Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. finished second in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, but as far as the Richard Petty Motorsports driver’s mother was concerned, it was a victory.
Wallace’s second-place finish was the highest by a NASCAR Cup Series rookie, but, more importantly, it was the highest finish by an African-American driver in the history of “The Great American Race.” Wendell Scott’s 13th place finish in the 1966 Daytona 500 held the previous record.
After the race, Wallace received a hug from his mom, Desiree, and sister, Brittany, in the media center before talking to the media.
“I’m so proud of you babe,” Wallace’s mom, Desiree, said, per ESPN.
“You act like we won the race,” Wallace told her.
“We did win,” she responded.
Wallace was overcome by his emotions when he sat down to take questions.
Wallace is the first full-time African-American driver since Scott in 1971.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images