Brian Scott has been confirmed as the new full-time driver of the Richard Petty Motorsports #9 car, replacing Sam Hornish Jr. who has been in the car for one season since Marcos Ambrose's decision to return home to Australia at the end of the 2014 season.
RPM had previously announced in November that they did not expect three-time IndyCar champion Hornish to return to the team in 2016.
The 2016 season will mark Scott's first full-time Sprint Cup Series schedule but he has nine years of experience in NASCAR's top three series after making his NASCAR début in 2007 in the Camping World Truck Series.
Since then, he has notched up 17 Sprint Cup, 208 Xfinity and 62 Camping World Truck Series starts. In his six full seasons competing in the Xfinity series, he has five Poles, an average finish of 15th, and 20 Top-Five and 77 Top-10 finishes, including four runner-up finishes.
Although Scott is no stranger to Sprint Cup competition - he earned a pole at Talladega Superspeedway in 2014 and best finish of 12th at Kansas Speedway this autumn - the 27-year-old from Boise, Idaho will still be eligible to win the Rookie of the Year title in 2016.
"I am thrilled to go Sprint Cup Series racing full time next year and to do it with such an iconic team,” said Scott. "When you think NASCAR racing, you think Petty. I'm glad to now be a part of that legacy.
"I had a lot of fun competing in the Xfinity Series for the last seven years, and I'm excited to take the next step," he continued. "I ran some races in the Sprint Cup Series the last few years and learned a lot.
"I feel like we are in a good position to compete for the Rookie of the Year next year and continue the consistency that RPM built over the last few years."
"We're happy to welcome Brian to the team,” said co-owner Richard Petty. “Our team has worked very hard to continue our winning tradition and building consistency.
"We feel Brian is a great addition to that. He's made a steady progression through the ranks, and now, we feel he's ready to compete in the Sprint Cup Series."
The team will announce further details, including sponsorship arrangements from the #9, during the upcoming weeks.