He follows NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Wendell Scott, who claimed the championship in the year 1963.
On Monday, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace made history. He became the second Black driver to win the NASCAR Cup Series, the association's top series. The last Black athlete to do so was NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Wendell Scott, who claimed the championship in the year 1963. Just after the race, Wallace expressed his gratitude to his team and the owners, sports legend Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, for the opportunity to race in the series. Last year at the same track, the driver discovered a noose in his garage stall, which prompted a hate crime investigation by the FBI, CNN reports.
Bubba Wallace made history by becoming just the second Black driver to win NASCAR's Cup Series race, matching 1963 winner Wendell Scott's rare accomplishmenthttps://t.co/SDJV9BC1YH— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 4, 2021
"Talladega, we're winners," Wallace says in a video posted to the Twitter account of Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway following the race. "What a perfect weekend, or weekday, I should say. I just knew something about it." The NASCAR driver was born in Alabama, which made the win even more special. He affirmed, "It's pretty fitting that it comes here in Talladega." When he was asked what it meant to him to be only the second Black driver to win the Cup Series, he became emotional. "I never think about those things, and when you, when you say it like that, honestly it brings a lot of emotion, a lot of joy, to my family, fans, friends," Wallace stated. "It's pretty damn cool."
The victory was especially moving given the experiences Wallace had the year before. At the same track, the NASCAR driver found a noose in his garage. After the FBI launched an investigation into the matter, on the grounds that the discovery could be linked to a hate crime, the organization did not find any evidence to prove Wallace was the victim of such a crime. This is because the noose had been in the garage since 2019, the organization noted. However, the driver shared in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon that that was beside the point.
"It was a noose," Wallace stated at the time. "Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. So, it wasn't directed at me but somebody tied a noose. That's what I'm saying." The incident came at a time when Black Lives Matter protests had shaken the country, making it a troubling incident for folks across the United States. Nonetheless, this win affirmed Wallace's skill and expertise as a NASCAR driver. This was his first year driving for 23XI Racing. Furthermore, the victory is the first for Jordan as an owner.