Richard Petty Motorsports is officially moving to Chevrolet.
The team announced Friday that it would field Chevys in 2018 and have a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing. Darrell Wallace will drive the No. 43 car next season.
“This is our next chapter of Petty racing,” team co-owner Richard Petty said in a statement. “We need to provide Bubba, [crew chief Drew Blickensderfer] and the rest of the team with the tools necessary to be successful on the track, and I feel strongly this is the best move for RPM, our partners and everyone involved with our team. Chevrolet has been a consistent winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for a long time and we’re proud to be a part of the GM family again. We feel we can immediately win with Chevrolet and our new alliance with RCR.”
RPM previously had a technical alliance with Roush Fenway Racing and fielded Fords from 2010-2017. The team last ran with Chevrolet as a manufacturer full-time in 1980 when Petty was driving under his Petty Enterprises team banner.
Aric Almirola was the team’s full-time driver in 2017 and has moved — along with longtime team sponsor Smithfield — to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018. Wallace made his Cup debut with the team in 2017 while subbing for Almirola when Almirola was recovering from a fractured vertebra suffered in a crash at Kansas in May.
Petty’s move to align with RCR gives the Chevy team another customer as it figures out what it will do in 2018. RCR was a three-car team in 2017 and had alliances with JTG-Daugherty Racing and Germain Racing.
Paul Menard left RCR to go to the Wood Brothers in 2018 and no driver has been announced for the No. 27 car that Menard drove a year ago. JTG-Daugherty will still use Earnhardt-Childress engines in 2018 but will otherwise have a technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports.
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