Wallace and his crew, Richard Petty Motorsports, debuted an unique Black Lives Matter paint design for the event. "# BlackLivesMatter" is written on the car's hood. Wallace has been critical of how the sport has handled issues involving minorities in its world.
He also has criticized how police officers have handled incidents involving blacks and guns. In May, he called out NASCAR for not doing enough to promote diversity at its highest levels. "We need more people of color in leadership positions at NASCAR," he said at the time. "It would be nice if some of our fans were represented as well."
Currently, there are only two black drivers on NASCAR's premier series: Darrell Wallace Jr. and Alex Bowman. But there have been others over the years who have had success in other divisions or events.
In fact, there have been several black drivers who have won races during their careers. They include Bill Lester, Wendell Scott, James Hylton, Frank Warren, Elmo Langley, Don Prudhomme, Chad Kemenah, and Ricky Craven.
Most recently, Bowman became the first black driver to win a race in the modern era of NASCAR when he prevailed at the 2019 Daytona 500. He joined Wallace as the only other black driver to win a race this decade.
Bubba Wallace, another African American stock-car racer, is leading NASCAR's departure from the residual vestiges of a racist history some 57 years later.... Nascar has one of the most diverse groups of athletes in any sport. There are several black drivers who have won races including Wallace and Richard Petty.
In fact, there are more black race winners than there are white race winners. In addition, about 15% of Nascar's fans are black. Of the top 10 drivers ranked by earnings, only three are not white.
So, yes, all Nascar drivers are white.
Each year he has participated in NASCAR's three major series (Cup, Xfinity, and Truck), Bubba Wallace Wallace has been the only full-time African American driver.
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|49 races run over 6 years|
|Truck no., team||No. 11 (Spencer Davis Motorsports)|
NASCAR race vehicles have seen some tremendous improvements throughout the years, as well as significant evolution into the cars we see today. This one is clearly near, since it has painted-on headlights rather than actual ones. However, even these days, many drivers will still wear head protection during races.
The first race cars were modified roadsters based on Standard Model T's. They had dropped bodies with flat fronts and tails, single seats, wooden floors, and open wheelers were the most common type. The first race was held in Daytona Beach, Florida in February of 1949. It was called the Grand National Series and was open to stock car racing vehicles. The winner was awarded $10,000 ($ when it first started).
By the early 1950's, cars were becoming faster and faster as they evolved from open wheelers to closed wheels. In 1955, the first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race was held at North Carolina's Rockingham Speedway. Since then, the series has become one of the biggest sports leagues in America.
Today, all types of cars are used in NASCAR races, from simple go karts to highly specialized prototypes. But no matter what type of vehicle a driver uses, they all share certain characteristics. All have four wheels and two seats, but other things may vary greatly including number of doors, length, height, weight, and power source.
Bubba Wallace's journey to become the face of NASCAR has begun. The 14-year veteran of the sport was named the new spokesperson for Winston Inc., the company that sponsors NASCAR's most popular series, Sunday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
Wallace will make his first appearance as a spokesman this weekend at the season-opening Daytona 500. He is the second driver to be chosen by NASCAR as its public face after Dale Earnhardt Jr. was selected in 2003.
"I think it's important for us to have an ambassador for our sport who is not only talented but also represents what's good about racing and sports in general," said Brian France, chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR. "Bubba fits that description and we're excited to have him on board."
Since its inception in 1948, the winner of the Daytona 500 has gone on to win the championship title. Dale Earnhardt was the last driver to win the championship while still active during the season. He died at the age of 41 in February 2001 during practice for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard race in Indianapolis.
Daniel Suarez, NASCAR's ONLY Latino driver, says Bubba Wallace inspires him, but the diversity struggle has only just begun. "I think it's really important to have more than one person of color in sports, especially since I'm the only Hispanic driver in NASCAR," said Suarez.
Suarez was born in Cuba and grew up in Puerto Rico before moving to North Carolina at a young age. He is now based in Charlotte, where he attends college, study engineering, and drives for Joe Gibbs Racing.
He has two victories so far this season and has been consistently scoring points throughout the year. His best finish to date is third, which he achieved three times. He hopes to continue improving and win some races soon.
Although he started late, due to college studies, Suarez made sure not to delay his racing career too long. He began driving go-karts when he was 11 years old and won several titles during his youth. At 20 years old he moved up to stock cars, winning several races during his first season in the league.
Since then he has been developing steadily, receiving sponsorship from Coca-Cola and NAPA Auto Parts. He currently drives for Joe Gibbs Racing, one of NASCAR's most successful teams.
In 2021, Wallace will race under a familiar number, 23XI Racing. Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin revealed on Thursday that their newly founded NASCAR Cup Series team, 23XI Racing (pronounced twenty-three eleven), would field the No. 46 Chevrolet in both races of the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Jordan, who won seven championships in his career with Nike, announced on Twitter that he and former NFL quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion Dan Marino are partners in the team. "I'm thrilled to be partnering with such an innovative company as Nike," said Jordan, who last year became the first athlete to have his own official sneaker release date during NBA All-Star Weekend. "Their focus on performance and design, along with my love for racing, made this partnership a no-brainer."
Marino also tweeted about the deal, writing, "I'm excited to partner with Michael on this project. As we know, sports are always evolving and I'm looking forward to seeing what these guys come up with next."
Wallace confirmed the news later on Thursday night during an interview on The Jim Rome Show. "Dan Marino is going to be involved with the team a little bit, just like Mike [Jordan] was involved with the team," he said.