Bubba Wallace becomes second Black driver, first since 1963, to win NASCAR Cup Series Race
Tuesday at Talladega Speedway, Bubba Wallace earned his first NASCAR Cup Series victory. Doing so also made history as he became just the second Black driver to record a victory in NASCAR’s top series. Wendell Scott was the first to do so in 1963. In a postrace interview, Wallace became emotional when reflecting on being NASCAR’s first Black champion in more than 50 years.
“I never think about those things, and when you say it like that, it obviously brings a lot of emotions, a lot of joy to my family, fans, friends. … You’ve got to stay true to your path and not let the nonsense get to you and stay strong, stay humble, stay hungry,” said Wallace. “There’ve been plenty of times when I wanted to give up. You surround yourself with the right people, and moments like this that you appreciate.”
Tuesday’s victory was also the first for 23XI Racing, which launched earlier this year. Michael Jordan is co-owner of the racing team.
“Man, I’m just so proud of everyone at 23XI,” Wallace said. “New team coming in and getting a win late in the season. I know a lot of history was made today, I believe, which is really cool, but it’s about our guys, about our team, about what was done.”
“I appreciate Michael Jordan…for believing in me and giving me the opportunity. … It’s pretty fitting that it comes here at Talladega.”
Wallace’s “fitting” description alluding to the noose that was found in his garage just last year after NASCAR united to protest the death of George Floyd.
An FBI investigation concluded a federal crime was not committed and the noose was not believed to be specifically directed at Wallace.