Bubba Wallace wins race at Talladega; same track where noose found last year

Sports

Bubba Wallace stands for the national anthem before a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, June 14, 2020, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

TALLADEGA, Ala. (WFLA) – Bubba Wallace became just the second Black driver to win at NASCAR’s top Cup Series level when rain stopped Monday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Wallace had driven through a crash and to the front of the field five laps before the second rain stoppage of the race. NASCAR tried to dry the track for nearly 45 minutes, but up against sundown and the rain not showing any signs of ceasing, the race was called off.

The race originally was scheduled for Sunday but was postponed a day because of rain.

He’s the first Black driver to win at NASCAR’s elite Cup level since Wendell Scott in 1963 — a race where he wasn’t declared the victor for several months.

Wallace broke down in tears after he’d returned to his parked No. 23 Toyota. The car number was picked for co-owner Jordan, who wore 23 in the NBA.

“This is for all the kids out there that want to have an opportunity and whatever they want to achieve, and be the best at what they want to do,” Wallace said as he choked back tears. “You’re going to go through a lot of (BS). But you always got to stick true to your path and not let the nonsense get to you.

The win comes over a year after NASCAR discovered a noose in the garage stall assigned to Wallace. The finding came just a week after NASCAR had banned the Confederate flag at its events at Wallace’s urging.

Following an investigation into the noose that was found in the garage of Wallace, the FBI determined that no federal crime was committed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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