CONCORD, N.C. -- Following weeks of speculation about the team's future, Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. will compete full-time for the team in 2018 Wednesday. 

Wallace made four starts for the team earlier this season, subbing for Aric Almirola, who was injured during a race at Kansas Speedway in May. Wallace finished his four-race relief duty with an 11th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway. 

Wallace will be the first African American driver to compete full-time in NASCAR's top series since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott in 1971. 

The team released an aptly timed 43-second video on Twitter using the hashtag #R43KIE to signify Wallace as being the next driver of Richard Petty's famous No. 43 car. 

The 24-year-old Alabama native will replace Aric Almirola, whose 2018 plans have not yet been announced. 

In 45 career starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Wallace has six wins, including earlier this season at Michigan. He was in the midst of his third Xfinity Series campaign with Roush Fenway Racing when a lack of sponsorship shut down the No. 6 team. 

Sponsorship details are expected to be announced at a later time.