Jonathan Ferrey | Getty Images

United States Air Force returns as sponsor for RPM, No. 43

RELATED: New looks for 2018

Richard Petty Motorsports announced Monday that the United States Air Force will return as sponsor of its No. 43 Chevrolet and new driver Darrell Wallace Jr. in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

The organization announced via social media that the partnership will be for two key 2018 races — Daytona in July and Phoenix in November.

“The Air Force is excited to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports once again and this year we are ‘enlisting’ a new driver, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr.,” said Timothy Hanson, Air Force Recruiting Service Strategic Marketing Division chief, in a team release. “NASCAR and other motorsports align well with our target audience’s interests and the Air Force’s commitment to teamwork and technology.”

The U.S. Air Force has been involved in NASCAR sponsorship since 2001, when it provided primary and associate backing of Wood Brothers Racing’s No. 21 Ford. The military branch shifted its support to the Petty organization in 2009, and has been a primary sponsor for multiple races in each season since.

MORE: Wallace to drive iconic ride

The USAF paint scheme rode with RPM to its most recent win, with Aric Almirola at Daytona in July 2014.

Extending its partnership with the U.S. Air Force is Richard Petty Motorsports’ latest announcement in what’s been a steady flow of news in recent months. Wallace, 24, was tabbed Oct. 25 as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate for 2018 with full-time driving duties in RPM’s No. 43 team.

“I’m proud to join the men and women of the Air Force and represent them on and off the track,” Wallace said in a team release. “I’m also really looking forward to meeting the next wave of Airmen and play my part to engage, inspire and bring awareness to the unique opportunities which lie within our United States Air Force. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with some Airmen and they are the best at what they do. I admire them for their service and the protections they provide our country.”

PHOTOS: All-time drivers of No. 43

The organization announced Dec. 8 that it would shift manufacturers to Chevrolet, striking an alliance with Richard Childress Racing. On Nov. 3, RPM announced that Mid America Mortgage’s Click ‘n Close brand would sponsor the No. 43 for at least three races in 2018, including the season-opening Daytona 500.