Darrell Wallace Jr.
Richard Petty Motorsports
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Wallace is entering a contract year at Richard Petty Motorsports. The last two seasons in the No. 43 Chevrolet haven't shown much growth for the young driver. Wallace has managed nearly identical average start and average finish (around 24.0) marks for both campaigns, and he's finished 28th-place in the driver points both seasons. It really has been a flat line performance to this point. RPM will be taking a long, hard look at Wallace this season. With sponsorship getting tougher and tougher to come by, results need to start happening on the track in order for Wallace to secure a contract extension here. That pressure will either galvanize this youngster and he'll step up, or he could completely fold under that pressure. It's tough to predict. However, we do note that he only cracked the Top 20 twice in the final eight events of 2019. Read Past Outlooks
Sixth-Place in Pennzoil 400
February 24, 2020
Wallace Jr. finished sixth in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon.
The Richard Petty Motorsports youngster turned in his best finish since the Brickyard in 2019. Wallace started 27th on the grid after a mediocre qualifying effort. However, his hard racing and the team's constant adjustments made this car better and move forward throughout the 400-mile event. The late caution would help Wallace consolidate his track position and help him grab a few more position on the overtime restart. His sixth-place finish was his first Top 10 of the season and fifth-career Top 10 in Cup Series competition.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Richard Petty Motorsports welcomes Wallace back for season two in the No. 43 Chevrolet. Last season's Rookie of the Year candidate started strong out of the gates with his runner-up finish in the Daytona 500, but it was a much different story from there on out. The Mobile, Alabama native labored to just two more Top 10s during the season for a total of three for the campaign. Wallace's 24.5 average finish over the course of last season resulted in a 28th-place finish in the final driver standings. We expect some marginal improvement for this driver and team over last season. After all, Aric Almirola was piloting this same car to six or seven Top 10s per year and high teen to low 20 standings finishes for many seasons. Wallace has similar potential. Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer will continue calling the shots as we see this driver continue to grow this season.
Wallace will finally get his crack at the top level of NASCAR in 2018. He takes over the No. 43 Chevrolet of Richard Petty Motorsports and fills the seat that Aric Almirola vacated. Wallace comes over from Roush Fenway Racing's Xfinity Series team where in five seasons he managed 35 Top-10 finishes and grabbed a top standings finish of seventh-place in 2015. He made four relief appearances for Almirola last season in the No. 43 Ford during his back injury hiatus. The 24-year-old driver performed impressively in those outings collecting two Top-15 and three Top-20 finishes. The relief duty served as an audition for Richard Petty Motorsports, and they saw all they needed to see to give Wallace the ride for 2018. RPM will shift from Ford to Chevrolet in the upcoming season, so Wallace and this team have lots of upside.
Wallace's 2016 season failed to measure up to expectations in a few ways. His Top 10 totals dropped from 14 to nine over the previous year, and he slipped from seventh to 11th in the overall driver standings over 2015. Once again he was held out of victory lane and saw his average finish drop from 11.8 to 15.7 year-over-year. The downturn in performance was disappointing and saw Wallace nowhere near making the Chase for the Cup playoff. Roush Fenway Racing is in a bit of turmoil right now and it's showing up in this race team. Wallace will return for another full schedule in 2017 although not much is known about the team's makeup or the sponsorship package. This young driver will likely face some headwinds again in his pursuit of success in the Xfinity Series.
Wallace didn’t have quite the season we expected for his first full-time effort in the Xfinity Series last year. He claimed no wins and only 14 Top-10 finishes in a season that lacked a lot of week-to-week consistency. Wallace only led 85 total laps during his rookie campaign, so it seemed this team lacked some speed when compared to others. The young driver will get a new crew chief in season two. Matt Puccia takes over atop the No. 6 team’s war wagon and will guide Wallace to hopefully a better season in 2016. While victories are probably a slim hope at this point, we would expect to see a generous increase in Top-5 and Top-10 finishes in the upcoming campaign.
The most dominant car and team in the last five years of Nationwide Series competition return in 2013. While the driver lineup is still in flux at this point, it’s clear that Joe Gibbs Racing star Busch could return for a few events this season. Outside of Busch the driver lineup should include a few Sprint Cup Series drivers and youngster Darrell Wallace Jr. This strong team racked up a series-leading seven victories and 28 Top-10 finishes last season and that was with a rotating driver lineup as well. The 18-year-old driver Wallace picked up three Top 10’s in four starts with this team, and that speaks volumes of the top car in the Nationwide Series.
More Fantasy News
Fast Daytona Practice
February 8, 2020
Wallace Jr. was fastest in Saturday's second practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. He turned a fast lap of 196.172 mph.
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New Crew Chief
January 7, 2020
Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Jerry Baxter will join the organization as crew chief of the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE driven by Wallace Jr., Richard Petty Motorsports PR reports.
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Texas Penalty Announced
November 9, 2019
NASCAR issued a behavioral penalty to Richard Petty Motorsports driver Wallace on Saturday for intentionally manipulating competition last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The driver has been fined $50,000 and docked 50 driver points as a result, NASCAR.com reports.
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Third at Indianapolis
September 8, 2019
Wallace Jr. finished third in the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon.
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Wins Stage 2 Monster Energy Open
May 18, 2019
Wallace Jr. won stage 2 of the Monster Energy Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night.
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