NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace has informed Richard Petty Motorsport that he will not be returning to the team for the 2021 season.
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The 26-year-old has been on the team since he began driving in the Cup Series in 2017.
“We will complete this season with Wallace behind the wheel of the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. We look forward to the next chapter in the making for the iconic No. 43 team. We will announce our new driver in the near future,” the team said.
Wallace has not announced his plans for next year, but said in a statement posted to Twitter that it was not an easy decision to leave Richard Petty Motorsports.
Wallace is a free agent at the end of this season and had previously confirmed he was in discussions with Chip Ganassi Racing. Richard Petty Motorsports had offered Wallace part ownership in the team as part of a future contract.
Wallace, whose best finish in the series is his second-place showing at the 2018 Daytona 500, did not advance to the playoffs this year and is currently 23rd in the season standings. The Alabama native rose to prominence this year as a leader in NASCAR’s response to the Black Lives Matter movement with support from team owner Richard Petty who stood by his side at Talladega Superspeedway after a rope tied into a noose was found in his garage that was later determined to not be a message of hate directed at him. In recent weeks he has attracted several new sponsorships, including Beats by Dre and Kingsford Charcoal, that will follow him to his next team.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.