Richard Petty Motorsports is expected to announce sports car driver Billy Johnson will replace Darrell Wallace Jr. in the #43 this weekend when the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Sonoma. This will be Billy Johnson’s first NASCAR Cup series start and will come a week after he raced in the 24 Hours of LeMans.
Darrell Wallace Jr. the replacement for Regan Smith who is the replacement for Aric Almirola. So the replacement’s replacement is now being replaced in what has turned into a musical chairs charade in the #43 car. The thing about this though, Billy Johnson statistically isn’t an upgrade over Darrell Wallace on a road course.
In 4 NASCAR road course starts Billy Johnson has underwhelmed for lack of a better word. He has finished of 36th, 33rd, 8th, and 15th. Not exactly the most stellar results for a guy considered to be a road course ringer.
In 8 NASCAR road course starts Darrell Wallace has finished of 4th and 12th in the truck series. He also has finishes of 16th, 8th, 5th, 29th, 15th (rain) and 9th. That rain race at Mid Ohio last year saw Darrell leading too until a slide off the track derailed the chances at a win.
Billy Johnson is a good road racer in sports cars. He’s quick in the Ford GT at LeMans and there is no denying he knows how to drive. To think that he can return a a good result this weekend though after being out of a stock car for 3+ years is a but ridiculous. Especially when Darrell has a pretty above average number of results on road courses.
It feels like a gift from Ford to Billy Johnson unfortunately. A plan that wasn’t well thought through and one where the better driver is sidelined for a road course “ringer.” Keep in mind ringers haven’t won a race, ever.
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