Derek Stamets will serve as Darrell Wallace Jr.’s crew chief beginning for the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
The lead engineer on the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team since 2012, Stamets (pictured above, with Wallace) moves into the role following the departure of Drew Blickensderfer. Earlier this month, Blickensderfer was announced as the new crew chief for Michael McDowell at Front Row Motorsports.
RPM called the promotion of Stamets “a seamless transition” ahead of Wallace’s second full season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“Derek has a lot of knowledge of our program,” said Wallace. “He’s not having to learn a new program and I’m not having to learn a new personality. I’m comfortable working with Derek and this makes the most sense for improvement. Derek was working as our lead engineer, and I think he’s eager to make more of the decisions and put his footprint on our race team.”
In his time at RPM, Stamets has been a part of wins with Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola. He also has NASCAR victories with Rusty Wallace, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, and David Ragan.
“Derek was a logical decision for us to move up,” said Philippe Lopez, RPM’s director of competition. “He spent the full season with Bubba and our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 program last year and has been with our organization for seven seasons. We want to keep the chemistry that Derek and Bubba built together while continuing the experience we built with Chevrolet and Richard Childress Racing. We are confident in Derek’s leadership of the No. 43 team.”
Wallace and Stamets began their new relationship by participating in a two-day test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Thursday and Friday.