Tha Sports Junkies 101

Richard Petty Motorsports to Chevrolet for 2018

Photo by Kevin McKinney via Flickr


Thursday evening news broke that Richard Petty Motorsports would be switching to Chevrolet, beginning in 2018. This news comes just months after another RPM announcement, declaring Bubba Wallace Jr. the driver of the #43 for next season. The team also told the press that they will be in partnership with long time Chevy team, Richard Childress Racing.

“We needed a change, and Chevrolet and RCR clearly saw the immense value of the Petty brand, which I believe is simply the best in the sport,” RPM majority Andrew Murstein told ESPN.

Team owner Richard Petty is a 7-time champion of the sport. He’s had an alliance with Ford dating back to 2009.  Under the Ford banner, RPM has been able to collect 5 wins. Those wins came from drivers Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne, and Aric Almirola.

2018: A Year of Big Changes for RPM

Even though Chevy is a huge change for Richard Petty Motorsports, 2018 adds other major changes for the team as well.

It all started in August when the team announced it would be moving to a new shop in 2018. The team expressed the fact that their current shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, was just too big. The team will be leaving this facility for the second time, after returning in 2014.

Another big change will be the driver behind the wheel of the #43. Due to a back injury which sidelined primary driver Aric Almirola, Bubba Wallace Jr. was given the opportunity to drive the #43. Almirola would make his return to finish the season, but would later be confirmed to be leaving the team. Wallace has now stepped up to the plate, as Almirola will be joining Stewart Haas Racing.

Following the announcement that Bubba Wallce would take over as driver of the #43, longtime primary sponsor Smithfield Foods announced it would be leaving the team as well. Smithfield will be following Aric Almirola to the #10 Ford in 2018. This leaves the team with no confirmed primary sponsor with only a few months until the season kick-off. However the team has signed a deal with new sponsor, Click n’ Close, for three races.

With Speedweeks just around the corner, RPM looks to be heading in the right direction. Only time will tell just how good that direction will be.

Follow The Writer: