NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace confirmed reports on Thursday that he would leave Richard Petty Motorsports, releasing a statement on social media.
Wallace, 26, is competing in his third full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series and has raced only for RPM.
The 2020 season has been his strongest yet, with one top five result and five top-ten finishes, but speculation has been swirling about his future prospects for some time.
His best result came in the 2018 Daytona 500 where he finished second, while he added a second podium to his tally last year at the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wallace explained his decision to leave Petty with the following statement, branding it "not easy" to leave, but believing it was time for someone else to "take over the reins of the No. 43.
"This was not an easy decision as I have nothing but the utmost respect for Richard Petty and his family," Wallace wrote.
"But I believe it's time for someone else to take over the reins of the No. 43.
"Thank you to the King and everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to start my Cup Series career.
"I've grown so much as a driver and as a person since joining them.
"We've got nine more races together, and I hope we can finish the 2020 season on a high note."
Where Wallace may be heading for the 2021 season remains unclear.
Wallace is the only African-American driver competing at the top level of NASCAR and has been a leading voice for the series with the Black Lives Matter movement and its push towards greater diversity within the series.
He was instrumental in NASCAR implementing its blanket ban of the Confederate flag at all of its events earlier in the year.
He has recently signed several prominent sponsorship deals including Beats by Dre, Columbia Sportswear, DoorDash and Cash App.
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