Jerry Baxter has been named crew chief of the No. 43 Chevrolet of Darrell Wallace Jr. at Richard Petty Motorsports.
Baxter has 34 years of experience as a crew chief in NASCAR, spending the last 13 years working with various drivers in the Truck Series. He moves to the Petty organization from GMS Racing after spending the 2019 season working with Brett Moffitt and winning four races.
In making his return to the NASCAR Cup Series where has 12 races on his resume as a crew chief (1986-’00), Baxter replaces Derek Stamets, who worked with Wallace last year. Baxter is familiar to Wallace as the two worked together in the Truck Series in 2013-’14, winning five races and finishing third in the ’14 championship.
“During our time together, he trusted what I did as a crew chief, and trusted himself more and more, and we got better and better as we went,” said Baxter. “This is an incredible opportunity, and change is good. Having the confidence of Bubba and everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports means a lot to me. I am excited about working with Bubba again, and the foundation Richard Petty Motorsports has in place with their group of guys.”
Wallace, who ran four races with the team substituting for the injured Aric Almirola in 2017, finished 28th in points the last two years. After earning three top-10 finishes in 2018, Wallace and Stamets earned only one last year, although Wallace’s average finish improved slightly from 24.5 to 23.9.
“The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season is a crucial year for Richard Petty Motorsports,” said Wallace. “As a team, we have made a ton of progress from my debut in 2018, and we are looking to continue that progress with Jerry calling the shots.
“He has been a great mentor, and even better friend, since we were able to work together in 2013 and 2014. I am excited to see him get this opportunity in the NASCAR Cup Series, and use our past success to take this team to new levels.”