Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and the United States Air Force will once again join forces for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) season. For the 12th consecutive season, the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service, charged with the mission to inspire, engage and recruit future Airmen, will continue the partnership with the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE driven by Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. in the NASCAR Cup Series.
The U.S. Air Force’s involvement in NASCAR and its partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports allows the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service to meet its mission to inspire the nation’s brightest, most competitive young men and women for service. As part of the partnership, the U.S. Air Force will also continue its U.S. Air Force Academy summer internship for Cadets to apply their developing knowledge of engineering, business, and leadership in a live lab setting as well as the fast-paced and demanding at-track environment of NASCAR.
“The U.S. Air Force is excited to continue its partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. The partnership provides a strategic platform to generate public awareness about the U.S. Air Force’s core values and mission,” Major Ross McKnight, Chief, Air Force National Events Branch at Air Force Recruiting Service, said. “It showcases the similarities between the U.S. Air Force and NASCAR, which include strong teamwork, technology, engineering, and speed. It also shows how young Americans can turn their hobbies and interests into a career in the U.S. Air Force.”
The partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the U.S. Air Force will commence for the first time in their partnering history at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for the DAYTONA 500. The No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will again display the iconic teeth of the A-10 Warthog for the second consecutive year. The special U.S. Air Force “Warthog” scheme debuted at the Daytona International Speedway in 2019, and was an instant favorite among fans.
“I have really enjoyed our partnership with the U. S. Air Force,” Wallace said. “It is incredible what they do each and every day, around the world to protect our country. I am proud to do my part in assisting in the mission to inspire and recruit the best and brightest Airmen.
“To have this partnership include the DAYTONA 500 this year is awesome.” The 26-year old said. “Not to mention the “Warthog” is my favorite paint scheme. It is awesome.”
The A-10 Thunderbolt II is the U.S. Air Force’s primary low-altitude close air support aircraft. There’s a lot of love out there for this tough old bird. It is a single-seat, straight-wing aircraft, which parallels Wallace’s single-seat Camaro ZL1 1LE — based on the fastest, most track-capable production Camaro right down to the aggressive look painted with teeth on the nose. As a primary partner, the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will feature the “Warthog” paint scheme at the Daytona International Speedway and at the Kansas Speedway on May 31.
The U.S. Air Force will remain an associate partner on the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for the entirety of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Wallace typically enters the infield of the Daytona International Speedway through the Turn 4 or Turn 1 tunnel. This year, his entrance will come through a different route as the U.S. Air Force will deliver Wallace to his third full-time season in the NASCAR Cup series. Wallace will tandem jump with U.S. Air Force Academy Wings of Blue on Thursday, February 13, into the legendary infield of the “World Center of Racing” from a jumping height of 10,000 feet.
In 2018, Wallace finished in the second-place in the DAYTONA 500, the highest finish by a NASCAR Cup Series rookie to date. It was also the best finish by an African-American driver in the DAYTONA 500. Wallace has five starts in the NASCAR Cup Series, and six starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) at the Daytona International Speedway.
The U.S. Air Force has been involved in NASCAR sponsorship since 2001.
The DAYTONA 500 will be broadcast live on FOX on Sunday, February 16 at 2:30 p.m. (EST). It will also broadcast live at 1:30 p.m. (ET) on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.