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Bubba Wallace is the first NASCAR winner

Talladega, Ala.

Wallace went through an accident and took five laps to the front of the field before the rain stopped in the second half. NASCAR tried to dry the track for about 5 minutes, but showed no signs of stopping the rain as it approached sunset.

Wallace waited on top of his pit stand and celebrated wildly with his crew as the race called. Wallace was driving for 23X1 racing in his first season, a team owned by both Danny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.

Wallace broke down in tears after returning to his parked No. 23 Toyota. The car number was chosen for co-owner Jordan, who wore 223 in the NBA.

“It’s for all the kids out there who want to get a chance and be the best at what they want to achieve and what they want to do,” Wallace said with tears in his eyes. “You are going through a lot (BS). But you must always have the truth in your path and not let bad talk come to you.

“Be tough. Be humble. Stay hungry. I’ve been here many times when I wanted to give up.”

Wallace became the first black driver to win at NASCAR’s Elite Cup level since Wendell Scott in 1963 – a race where he had not been declared the winner for months. NASCAR finally presented Scott’s family with his trophy from that race two months ago.

Bill Lester, a black driver who started this season with a truck series from 1C to NASCAR, Wallace tweeted congratulations.

“Finally, it’s official, you did it!” He posted. “Proud of you and what you have achieved. Your win leads the ASNASCAR index on many fronts. Glad I was a witness. ”

In June 2020, in Taladega, NASCAR discovered a loop at a garage stall designated for Wallace. The discovery comes just a week after Wallace urged NASCAR to ban Confederate flags.

The FBI investigation found that the garage door was locked at the end of the pull and was there for several months, meaning Wallace was not a victim of a hate crime. Although the whole industry gathered around him, and stood in solidarity with Wallace in his car in front of the grid before the competition.

The flag ban has become a problem in Taladega, where a convoy of vehicles paraded up and down Speedway Boulevard outside the main entrance to Speedway for four race weekends because NASCAR said it would not allow the symbol in its tracks. The convoy returned this weekend and included a trailer towed vehicle that contained Civil War cannons.

Wallace called the barbaric incident a low point in his life. He has been the victim of relentless online harassment that last year even included a tweet from then-President Donald Trump that falsely accused Wallace.

Wallace never saw the leak after he had already called the FBI for an investigation, and only NASC President Steve Phelps spoke about it. He said he never thought about the significance of earning the first Cup race of his career on the same track in his native Alabama; His birth was on mobile.

“When you say it that way, it obviously brings a lot of emotion, a lot of joy to my family, fans, my friends. It’s pretty nice,” he said.

Wallace walked down a temporary Victory Alley inside an empty garage stall to celebrate with his 23XI racing team. The agency was formed a year ago and was the centerpiece based on Wallace Wallace and all the corporations that entered NASCAR in support of his social justice efforts.

The 23XI will expand to two cars next season and former series champion Kurt Bush will join the team.

Wallace’s victory at the start of the 1la2 career cup was his first, although he had six wins in the truck series from 2013 to 2015.

No playoff driver race has been won in Taladega this weekend, and only Danny Hamlin is already locked in the third round of the playoffs in next week’s elimination race in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hamlin, a three-time Daytona 500 winner, celebrated with Wallace after finishing seventh.

“It’s even more emotional because I know how hard it is. These guys have worked so hard over the last 10 months to bring this team together, ”Hamlin said. “We are still in the early stages of our team. We are still growing. We’ve got some great things on the horizon. This is a great morale booster for everyone. “

Brad Kesselowski finished second, followed by Tim Pence’s teammate Joey Logano and a pair of Fords. Bush was fourth in Chevrolet.

Kevin Harwick, Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman and William Byron proceeded to Charlotte in danger of extinction.

The final race of the second round of the playoffs at The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hybrid road course / oval where 12 fields will be eight. Chase Elliott is a two-time defending race winner at The Roval. His victory last October was the first of his three wins in the final five races that lifted Elliott to his first Cup championship.

More AP Auto Racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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