Darrell Wallace Jr. expected to replace Almirola at RPM in 2018

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Darrell Wallace Jr. expected to replace Almirola at RPM in 2018

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. is expected to move into the ride next season.

Almirola, 33, first joined RPM for the last five races in 2010. After a full-time season with JR Motorsports in 2011, he moved back to RPM to drive the No. 43 Ford for 2012 with Smithfield as his sponsor. Smithfield announced earlier on Tuesday that it will cut ties with RPM at the end of this season.

“We have had numerous discussions with Smithfield Foods regarding the extension of our relationship dating as far back as February,” a statement from RPM read. “Over the past few months, Smithfield had continually told me they wanted to be with us, and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend our relationship. I come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like STP on a handshake. I’m sad to see this is where we are now. This decision is very unexpected, and we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction.

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