Bubba Wallace is now the second African-American driver to win in NASCAR’s highest level.
Bubba Wallace was given a massive opportunity this season as he was recruited by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to drive for their 23XI racing team. This is 23XI’s first season in the NASCAR Cup Series, and after his season with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2020, it’s clear that Wallace was the man to pilot their inaugural entry into the series.
As with most first-year teams, 23XI went through growing pains and struggled in the early going of the season. Eventually, they managed to string together some Top 5 finishes all while showcasing quite a bit of speed. On Monday, Bubba had an opportunity to get the first win of his Cup Series career as the series went to Talladega, which just so happens to be his home track.
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Halfway through the race, Wallace took the lead right before a wreck led to a caution. From there, it started to rain, which forced NASCAR to stop the race. According to the rules, if the race is halfway done and the rain is too much for a potential restart, the race gets called and the leader is declared the winner. As flood warnings came through the Talladega area, NASCAR deemed the race over, thus handing the win to Wallace.
It was an emotional scene on pit road as Wallace became the second African-American driver in NASCAR history to win a Cup Series race. The last such driver to do it was Wendell Scott back in 1963.
After the win, Wallace was greeted and congratulated by numerous drivers, including his boss Denny Hamlin, who was clearly excited about 23XI’s first win. This is a historic day all around, and one that Wallace will remember for a very long time.