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Kickin The Tires

Bubba Wallace 2020 Cup Series season preview

Photo By: SaJorden Miller / Kickin' The Tires

By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer

As the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season approaches Kickin’ the Tires previews Richard Petty Motorsports and driver of the No. 43 Bubba Wallace.

Wallace, an Alabama native is heading into his fourth overall season competing at NASCAR’s elite level, but 2020 marks his third-full time season for RPM.

26-year old Wallace had an up and down 2019 season but with all things considered and looking at his statistics, he produced some really solid finishes through out the season.

In 36 starts, he earned his best finish of the season at Indianapolis when he wheeled his No. 43 World Wide Technology Chevrolet to an impressive third place finish.

In addition, Wallace racked up eight top-20 and 22 top-25 finishes last season and improved both his average start and finish time from 2018.

In 2018 Wallace’s average start sat at a 24.8 with his average finish just below that at a 24.5. Fast forward to 2019 and he wrapped up the season with an average start of 24.3 and an average finish of 23.9.

In addition, Wallace cut his DNF’s in half from 2018 to 2019 going from six in 2018 to three last season.

While this may not seem like a huge improvement to some, it’s an improvement and a positive one for a single-car operation such as Richard Petty Motorsports.

With the season opener upon us in the distance, Wallace has seen some solid finishes at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Superspeedway in his Cup career.

In five NASCAR Cup Series starts at the famed Superspeedway, Wallace has a best finish of second in the 2018 Daytona 500. In addition to that finish, he also a total of four top-15 finishes including a 15th place result last July.

Earlier this month, RPM announced Jerry Baxter as crew chief for Wallace and his No. 43 Chevrolet in 2020.

The two are no strangers as they worked together when Wallace spent time in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series where they found victory lane five times.

“The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season is a crucial year for Richard Petty Motorsports,” Wallace said. “As a team, we have made a ton of progress from my debut in 2018, and we are looking to continue that progress with Jerry calling the shots.

“He has been a great mentor, and even better friend, since we were able to work together in 2013 and 2014. I am excited to see him get this opportunity in the NASCAR Cup Series and use our past success to take this team to new levels.”

Wallace will look to capture his first NASCAR Cup Series victory in the season opener Daytona 500 from Daytona International Speedway on Sunday February 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET live on Fox.

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