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Bubba Wallace leaving Richard Petty Motorsports

Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney talk prior to the GEICO 500 at Talladega. Wallace and Blaney are friends. Credit: 366999Chris Graythen | Getty Images via NASCAR Media

Saying it was a tough decision, Bubba Wallace and Richard Petty Motorsports will not be together in 2021

After three years of racing for The King, Bubba Wallace announced that he would be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the season. There were reports that Wallace got offered a stake in RPM to stay, but a lot has changed as the NASCAR season begins to wind down.

The 26-year old notified RPM on Thursday that he would not sign a contract extension.

Wallace said in a tweet, “This was not an easy decision as I have nothing but the utmost respect for Richard Petty and his family, but I believe it’s time for someone else to take over the No. 43.”

Bubba Wallace statement

Bubba Wallace Twitter statement on leaving Richard Petty Motorsports

As the only black full-time driver in any of NASCAR’s top-three touring series, Wallace has been at the center of the organization’s push for racial equality and inclusion. He was instrumental in NASCAR removing confederate flags from tracks and its properties.

After a rope fashioned in the shape of a noose got discovered in his Talladega garage, he handled the situation without malice. There was a show of unity by other drivers and crew members like nothing seen before in the sport as his No. 43 Camaro was pushed down pit row before the race.

TRUMP GETS INVOLVED

President Trump attacked Wallace calling the entire episode a ‘hoax’ saying he should apologize to everyone. Again, he stood tall in the face of ridicule. Since then, he has signed several sponsorship deals that will serve him well as he looks for a new ride in 2021.

According to Yahoo! Sports, his new partners are Door Dash, Columbia Sportswear Co., Cash App, and a personal deal with Beats by Dre. He also has an affiliation with McDonald’s, one of the sponsors at Chip Ganassi Racing.

At this time, CGR fields just two cars in the NASCAR Cup Series with Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth as its drivers. However, Kenseth is there for the short-haul, replacing the fired Kyle Larson. At 48-years of age, it is unlikely he will return after being pulled out of retirement after a 21-year Cup career. Wallace could be an excellent fit for a top team like CGR. Having sponsors in tow doesn’t hurt his chances.

Still winless in the Premier Series, Wallace is having his best season to date with an underfunded team. While missing the playoffs all three years with RPM, he has had a career-best five top-tens, including a fifth in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona Aug. 29.

Meanwhile, Richard Petty Motorsports announced it would finish the season with Wallace, and plans for 2021 will be forthcoming. Like everything in the sport, sponsorship is the key to what happens with the team.

RPM issued the following statement: ”We look forward to the next chapter in the making for the iconic No. 43 team. We will announce our new driver in the future.”

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