When Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. takes the track at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday he will be the first African-American driver to do so in over a decade.
Bubba Wallace will be behind the wheel of the famous No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports car. He took a break from his busy race-prep schedule for an exclusive interview with BSO.
Wallace first became acquainted with racing at the tender age of 9 when he competed in the Bandolero and Legends car racing series. He has been affiliated with NASCAR since the age of 16 and in 2013 became the first African-American since Wendell Scott to win in one of NASCAR’s national series since 1963 when he captured the Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway.
When breaking into a sport long dominated by Caucasians, Wallace encountered his fair share of racism – from both fans and competitors alike.
Most of Wallace’s troubles were experienced at a young age when he was competing in the Legends and late model circuits and he says that he has not encountered many issues during his NASCAR tenure. A participant of NASCAR’S Drive for Diversity program, Wallace feels it is extremely important to expose minorities to the sport and does his fair share of community enrichment.
Trips back to his high school and to various elementary and middle schools helps Wallace get the word out to young boys and girls who look like him. However, the ultimate inspiration would be watching him win the race this afternoon at Pocono Raceway.
Tune in at 3pm EST to watch Bubba race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono.