Darrell “Bubba” Wallace is still looking for his first NASCAR Cup Series win but continues to knock on the door. Wallace finished second at the 2018 Daytona 500 and third at the 2019 Brickyard 400. His best finish so far in 2020 came at Las Vegas Motorspeedway where he notched sixth place.
Wallace did have six victories in the NASCAR Truck Series prior to landing his first full-time Cup ride in 2018 with Richard Petty Motorsports. He has six top-ten finishes since his rookie season in 2018. Wallace’s best finish came in his initial race after landing his first full-time ride in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Wallace shared an emotional moment with his family after his runner-up performance at the 2018 Daytona 500. The driver still admitted he hated finishing second.
“No matter what the circumstances are, when you have family here and you run good and it’s been a while since you’ve been somewhat competitive, it pulls on the heartstrings,” Wallace said, per NASCAR.com. “I’m competitive. I love to win. I hate to finish second. Obviously that shows for everybody. But I’m human. No matter if I race cars for a living and enjoy doing it, at the end of the day we all get emotional about something, so I’m just the same as you guys.”
Wallace Became the First African-American to Win a NASCAR Series Race Since 1963
Wallace had a successful career in the Truck Series prior to making the jump to the NASCAR Cup. He made history in 2013 at Martinsville by becoming the first African-American to win a NASCAR race since Wendell Scott won at Jacksonville in 1963.
Wallace would go on to win five more times while he was racing trucks. The driver discussed the connection he feels to Scott after receiving a lengthy voicemail from his son Wendell Scott Jr.
“(It said) don’t feel like I need to carry the pressure of his dad and the Scott legacy, just go out there and do me,” Wallace told NBC Sports in 2018. “That’s the way it’s always been. All the history falls in place after. That’s how I like to go about it. A small part carries him with me, but I don’t put that in the forefront.”
Wallace Has Embraced Making History With NASCAR
During a 2018 interview with USA Today, Wallace admitted that his preference would be for his career to be known for his success on the track. Wallace also noted that he has chosen to embrace making history as the lone African-American full-time driver currently on the NASCAR Cup Series rather than dispute the label.
“(For media outlets), their headline is ‘black driver’, ‘African-American driver’, and fans are getting tired of it,” Wallace explained. “So I was letting them know – I wouldn’t say I’m tired of it, but I’ve accepted it. I know that every article that you pull up is gonna start with that. Embrace it, (and) carry on about your day. No need to waste 20 seconds of your life where you’re responding ‘Oh, this is annoying. He doesn’t need to be labeled.’ I’m gonna be labeled, it’s gonna happen, it’s all part of it. So just enjoy it, sit back, embrace it, enjoy it.”