Bubba Wallace’s dad, Darrell Wallace Sr., introduced his son to racing at a young age. Bubba has his dad to thank for his passion for racing and oddly Harley-Davidson.
According to Kentucky.com, Darrell Sr. purchased a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and the man selling the bike invited them to a go-kart race. Bubba was just nine years old but was intrigued by the sport after attending the race.
“We went,” Bubba explained to Kentucky.com. “We were sitting there watching, and I still remember this, my Dad turns to me and said ‘Is this something you think you would like to try?'”
Bubba became a regular at the race track with his father while his mother Desiree Wallace traveled with his sister to different basketball tournaments.
“By the time Bub got into racing when he was 9-years-old, my daughter was already established in basketball with AAU,” Desiree explained to Blavity.com. “While they were on the racetrack, she and I were traveling all over the United States with basketball.”
Darrell Sr. Is Worried About Bubba’s Safety
More than a decade later, Bubba went on to become one of the most recognizable NASCAR drivers on the Cup Series. Bubba has become a public figure even to non-racing fans as a result of his support for the Black Lives Matter movement. His decision to race in a Black Lives Matter paint scheme at Martinsville drew praise from the likes of LeBron James and Alvin Kamara.
The paint scheme debuted on the same day NASCAR announced that the confederate flag would no longer be welcome at events. Not everyone is happy about Wallace being outspoken about social issues, and Darrell Sr. is concerned for his son’s safety. Bubba explained that his father is “proud” of the work he is doing but texted his son about his concern for his safety.
“He was proud of what I was doing on and off the racetrack, but he was worried about safety, going out in public and whatnot,” Bubba told The New York Times. “It’s just crazy you have to worry about that side of things. Definitely got to watch your back now. …Now I’ve got to be careful what I do. That’s kind of the sad world we live in.”
Bubba Is Preaching Compromise to Those Upset About NASCAR’s Ruling on the Confederate Flag
When Bubba joined the Cup Series in 2018, he was not initially outspoken about the confederate flag but after researching the issue more the driver came to the conclusion that it was time for a change. Bubba decided that taking the flag down would allow more fans to feel comfortable attending races. Bubba’s message to those upset about NASCAR’s decision is simple as the driver encourages people to think about the greater good of the sport.
“To you, it might seem like heritage, but others see hate,” Bubba noted to The New York Times. “We need to come together and meet in the middle and say, ‘You know what, if this bothers you, I don’t mind taking it down.’”