- Erica Blackburn
Bubba Wallace Wins at Talladega, First Black Driver in 58 Years to Win
Bubba Wallace won his first career race on Monday at Talladega Superspeedway, becoming just the second African-American to win a NASCAR Cup Series race.
He’s the first Black driver to win in NASCAR's Cup series since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott sped to victory in a race in Jacksonville, Florida on December 1, 1963.
"I never think about those things," Wallace said when asked about being the first African-American to win in nearly 58 years. "When you say it like that it obviously brings a lot of emotion, a lot of joy to my family, fans, friends. It's pretty damn cool. Just proud to be a winner in the Cup Series."
Wallace took the lead at his home track on lap 113 and held off several hard charges from hungry competitors.
On lap 116, Ryan Preece, William Byron and Matt DiBenedetto wrecked to bring out a caution.
Rain soaked the track while Wallace was leading, which caused the race to be shortened to 117 laps. But it was labeled official because it was past the halfway point of the 188-lap race (lap 94).
This is Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing first win as a team. It was Wallace's 143rd career start, but just the 31st start for 23XI Racing. Wallace broke down in tears after he returned to his No. 23 Toyota.
"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," Wallace said as he choked back tears. "You're going to go through a lot of bulls---. But you always got to stick true to your path and not let the nonsense get to you.”