Congratulations to Bubba Wallace on becoming only the second African American driver to win a NASCAR top flight event. Bubba grabbed the win at the rain-shortened Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway yesterday afternoon. Wallace took the lead 5 laps before the second rain stoppage of the race. NASCAR tried their best to dry the track but it became clear as the sun was setting that the race was not going to resume and Bubba was declared winner.
Wallace had been waiting atop his pit stand for NASCAR to make a decision and exploded in celebration with his crew when the race was called. Wallace is in his first season driving for 23X1 Racing, a team owned by both Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.
He’s the first African American driver to win at NASCAR’s elite Cup level since Wendell Scott in 1963. Unlike Wendell, Bubba got his trophy on the same day he won the race. Sadly for Scott, he never got a trophy! Shoot, NASCAR didn’t even acknowledge his win until months after the fact. Scott passed away in 1990 and NASCAR finally awarded his family with his trophy two months ago. You know…58 years later…
Wallace broke down in tears after he’d returned to his parked No. 23 Toyota. The car number was picked for co-owner Jordan, who wore 23 in the NBA.
“This is for all the kids out there that want to have an opportunity and whatever they want to achieve, and be the best at what they want to do, you’re going to go through a lot of (BS). But you always got to stick true to your path and not let the nonsense get to you. Stay strong. Stay humble. Stay hungry. Been plenty of times when I wanted to give up.”