Nascar

Darrell Wallace Jr. to make Monster Energy Series debut in No. 43 at Pocono

NASCAR XFINITY Series regular Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. will make his Monster Energy Cup Series debut this weekend at Pocono Raceway.

Wallace will replace the injured Aric Almirola in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusion.

. @RPMotorsports confirms that @BubbaWallace will make his Cup debut this weekend at @poconoraceway in the 43-car

— Alan Cavanna (@CopaCavanna) June 5, 2017

. @BubbaWallace will be in the 43 until @aric_almirola is ready to come back, team says. No longer week-to-week decision.

— Alan Cavanna (@CopaCavanna) June 5, 2017

Wallace will be the first African-American driver to race in Cup since Bill Lester drove the No. 23 Bill Davis Racing entry at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Michigan International Speedway in 2006.

Roush Fenway Racing also announced that it will suspend the No. 6 XFINITY Series team following this Saturday's race at Pocono Raceway. Wallace is currently fourth in the XFINITY points standings with seven top fives on the year.

We are very proud of Bubba and his development at Roush Fenway Racing, said RFR team president Steve Newmark. We believe that Bubba has tremendous potential and will continue to excel in NASCARs top series. He has been a great representative of our organization both on and off the track and weve enjoyed being part of his growth as a driver. Our entire team is excited to see him take the next step in his career and make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut in the No. 43."

Roush Fenway and Wallace will continue to evaluate additional potential opportunities for Wallace to run in NXS races in the future, the team also stated in a press release.

"We are excited for Bubba to get this opportunity to drive the iconic No. 43 Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports," said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. "We couldn't be happier with the progress of Aric Almirola's recovery and can't wait to get him back. In the meantime, this is a great opportunity for Bubba to show what he can do at the top level of the sport and we are committed to helping RPM win races."

Wallace also has four career wins in 44 Camping World Truck Series starts.

Regan Smith, Camping World Truck Series regular and a frequent guest on FS1's "NASCAR Race Hub," has subbed for Almirola the past two points races, earning a 22nd-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte and a 34th-place at Dover.

Almirola continues to recover from a compression fracture in his T5 vertebra after a violent crash in the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway in early May.

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gallery:
Top 30 in Monster Energy Series points after Dover

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