After the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on Sunday, NASCAR‘s Bubba Wallace appears to pass out in the middle of a post-race interview. The weather was extremely hot and muggy at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, on June 7, and it seems to have badly weathered the 26-year-old driver, who needed to be taken away from the track via ambulance.
Wallace first collapsed just after finishing in 21st place. Not long afterward, however, he appeared to be fine. Shrugging off the scary moment he said, “Long race I guess! I stood too up too fast. I got lightheaded and dizzy. But I feel fine now. A quick scare for everybody.”
Later during the interview, as the FOX Sports journalist asked Wallace about the George Floyd tribute at the start of the race, his head droops, and his eyes roll back in his head. On live TV, Wallace appears to be completely unresponsive.
The reporter asks, “Are you okay?” and as he remains unresponsive, you can hear the reporter say “He’s not okay, while medics attended to Wallace.
Photos shared on Twitter afterward show that Wallace was responsive after the interview, but was taken away on a stretcher for further evaluation. PRN anchor Mark Garrow tweeted, “Not surprising so many drivers flat wore out after this race with only 5 cautions for only 24 yellow flag laps…that means 301 green flag laps on a hot, muggy day.”
At around 8 p.m. local time, NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass tweeted out positive news on Wallace’s health, announcing that the #43 Chevrolet driver had been released from the infield care center.
Wallace Wore an ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-Shirt To Honor the Black Lives Matter Movement on Sunday
Before the race got underway on Sunday, all the drivers shut off their engines so NASCAR President Steve Phelps could give a speech.
“Thank you for your time,” Phelps said. “Our country is in pain and people are justifiably angry, demanding to be heard. The black community and all people of color have suffered in our country, and it has taken far too long for us to hear their demands for change. Our sport must do better. Our country must do better.”
“The time is now to listen, to understand and to stand against racism and racial injustice,” Phelps continued. “We ask our drivers … and all our fans to join us in this mission, to take a moment of reflection, to acknowledge that we must do better as a sport, and join us as we now pause and take a moment to listen.”
Wallace, the only black man competing at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on June 7, wore an American flag face mask and a black t-shirt that read, “I Can’t Breathe” – a nod to George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
After Phelps’ speech, everyone in attendance at the race observed 30 seconds of silence.
Prior to the race, Wallace shared a Black Lives Matter video on Twitter, which featured multiple NASCAR racers including himself, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., condemning racial inequality.