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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Bubba Wallace
Mark Taylor analyzes this week's NASCAR race at the Martinsville short track where Martin Truex Jr. and company will look to survive the Round of 8 in the Chase.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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.
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
Crash and DNF at Phoenix
Wallace crashed and finished 39th in the Season Finale 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway Sunday afternoon.
Wins YellaWood 500
Wallace won the YellaWood 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway Monday afternoon.
Crew Chief Change
23XI Racing announced veteran crew chief Mike Wheeler will move full time to Director of Competition, a role he has held since 23XI Racing's inception, along with crew chief of the No. 23 Toyota Camry. With the move, Bootie Barker will step in as crew chief for Wallace for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Third in Coke Zero Sugar 400
Wallace finished third in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway Saturday night.