Bubba Wallace wrote his name in history books when he became the first Black driver to win a top NASCAR cup race since 1963 at the YellaWood 500 playoff race at the Talladega Superspeedway.
Face2face Africa earlier reported that the 27-year-old driver was declared the winner after 117 laps. The event, which was initially slated to be a 188-lap race, was officially ended because of a rainstorm.
Wallace also drove in a race car partly owned by NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan and fellow race car driver Denny Hamlin, Face2face Africa reported.
“Now we’ve got to deliver. [Michael Jordan] wants results,” Wallace told Forbes about joining the NBA legend’s team prior to achieving the historic feat. “He’s not a ride-around guy, and we all have our expectations, and we’ve got to manage those the right way.”
Wallace overtook his competitors to occupy the first position on lap 113. And he held on to the lead before the race was ultimately ended because of the deteriorating weather conditions and pending darkness on the track.
Up until Wallace’s Monday victory, Wendell Scott was the only Black driver to win a race at NASCAR’s top level. However, Scott’s history-making feat in 1963 went unrecognized as he never got the trophy from his win. In fact, he wasn’t even declared the winner immediately after the race. And it was just recently that NASCAR presented Scott’s family with a trophy for his historic victory, Face2Face Africa reported.
Born in October 1993 in Mobile, Alabama, Wallace made his national series debut in 2012 at the age of 19. Since then, he has made several top 10 finishes in races in both the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series before joining RPM, according to Forbes.
By 2018, he became the highest-finishing African American to race in the Daytona 500 and placed second. He later became the highest-finishing Black driver at the Brickyard 400 in 2019, placing third. And according to his official NASCAR bio, Wallace now has six total Camping World Truck Series wins.
How has Wallace’s success on the racetrack translated into financial success? According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has a net worth of $3 million and a chunk of his wealth came from racing. Aside from making money through racing, Wallace is also a big donor.
In 2017, he launched the Live To Be Different Foundation to award $10,000 merit-based scholarships for students at Northwest Cabarrus High School, which also happens to be his alma mater. He’s also one of the lead voices on racial justice causes.