JOLIET, Ill. – Bubba Wallace does not yet know about his future in NASCAR or with Richard Petty Motorsports.
Wallace has been rumored to the the driver tabbed to replace Aric Almirola after RPM announced earlier this week their current driver of the No. 43 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series would not return in 2018. That news came in the aftermath of sponsor Smithfield announcing its departure to join Stewart-Haas Racing.
But Wallace said Friday at Chicagoland Speedway, it’s premature to make the assumption he’s going full-time Cup racing with RPM next season.
“I don’t know,” said Wallace, who will be driving in Saturday’s XFINITY Series race at Chicagoland.
“Things with the 43 are still shaking out. That is in RPM’s hands right now. Obviously the news that came out the other day, they are pushing hard to fight through some things and I am supporting them. Nothing is set in stone. We are still trying to figure out what we need to do.”
It’s been a tumultuous season for Wallace, who began the year with Roush Fenway Racing’s XFINITY Series program but found himself on the sidelines when the team shuttered the No. 6 Mustang due to sponsor challenges.
Since then Wallace has won a Camping World Truck Series at Michigan with MDM Motorsports, albeit in a truck that didn’t pass post race inspection and the finish deemed encumbered. He’ll make another start for the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team Saturday but beyond that, Wallace has not clear view of what lies ahead in his career.
“It makes you sit back and realize what all you went through and it is a humbling experience for sure,” Wallace said when asked what it’s like to watch rather than drive on a regular basis. “It sucks. You definitely want to be driving each and every weekend, each and every day if you could. It is just what you grew up doing. It is these little minor setbacks that create a great comeback.
“I feel like something good will come out of this. At least that is what mom tells me every time I get frustrated. She tells me to stay positive, keep my head up and God has a plan. I trust in that and we will see how we shake out.”
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Darrell Wallace Jr
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