Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. entered Victory Lane for the first time Monday when rain stopped Monday’s Yellawood 500 playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.
The driver of the No. 23 Toyota became just the second-ever Black driver to win at NASCAR’s top Cup Series level (Wendell Scott, 1963). Wallace is in his first season as the driver for the 23X1 Racing team owned by both Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.
Many on Twitter were thrilled for the 27-year-old Wallace:
Wallace was emotional following the win, as shown on NASCAR’s official Twitter account.
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, but with the rain not slowing up and the impending darkness, the race was called with Wallace as the winner.
Wallace specifically mentioned during his post-race interview on NBC that the win at Talladega somewhat made everything come full circle. After all, it was at Talladega in June 2020 that NASCAR thought to have discovered a noose in the garage stall assigned to Wallace. The FBI later determined there was no foul play, but the entire sport rallied behind Wallace as the events transpired.