It’s not raining on Bubba Wallace’s first NASCAR Cup Series victory parade – .

It’s not raining on Bubba Wallace’s first NASCAR Cup Series victory parade – .

Bubba Wallace is now a winner of the NASCAR Cup Series race. Do with it.
He did it Monday afternoon at the Talladega Superspeedway, the crapshoot of all racetracks. He did it in a shortened rain event, the crapshoot of all racing strategies. He did so behind the wheel of a new team owned in co-ownership by the greatest basketball player who ever lived, albeit backed by the technical behemoths of Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing.

Wallace celebrated the victory by crying, jumping up and down like a child, and throwing a big dirty word on live national television. And no haters weighed heavily on his mind, no matter how hard they tried.

“It’s for all those kids who want to have an opportunity, whatever they want to accomplish and be the best at what they want to do,” Wallace said as he stood on a pit lane saturated with. rain moments after NASCAR called the race with 71 laps remaining and darkness looms. “You’re going to cross a lot of bulls -. But you must always stay true to your path and not let nonsense get to you. Stay strong, stay humble, stay hungry. There were a lot of times I wanted to give up. But you surround yourself with the right people and it’s times like this that you enjoy. “

For every congratulatory tweet posted Monday afternoon and throughout the evening, there were an equal number of courageous responses from the couch. The latter tried to downplay what had just happened by referring to everything listed above as disadvantages, trying to belittle the moment. They also added the added bonus so easily predictable of debating what is and isn’t a noose, digging up conspiracy theories written on social media and all the other digital cave drawings they could jot down.

The point is, William Darrell Wallace Jr. doesn’t care what you think. He’s not interested in your sneaky take on motorsport history he and his team took at the end of a weather-delayed Talladega crash on Monday afternoon. No matter how much you might tweet, post, and shout, you might as well have your smartphone’s megaphones pointed at an empty closet.

Wallace doesn’t listen to him. He certainly doesn’t read it. Not unless he’s looking for a late night laugh as he still kisses the running trophy he now owns.

Wallace used to read everything, not with laughter and shrugs, but with disbelief and sorrow. However, that was some time ago. Before becoming the adult man, he is now newly engaged and just four days away from his 28th birthday. Before him, at the very spot where he won on Monday, was unwittingly drawn into an embarrassing July 2020 controversy involving what the FBI has repeatedly called a noose, found in his garage. Before he was blocked by the mismanagement of the situation by NASCAR.

Before becoming a race winner at the highest level of stock car racing.

History aside, what he did on Monday was impressive in every way. He bypassed the Big One disaster. He did a wheel race during what became the final green flag laps of the race. He only won his fourth full-time Cup season, driving Team 23XI, a team started by current title contender Denny Hamlin with six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan, and a team that had no crew or a racing store less than a year ago. Wallace’s victory also capped the first-ever NASCAR racing weekend where the first winners swept through all three national events.

But you can’t put the story aside. You can’t forget that Wallace became the first black racer to win at the highest level of NASCAR since December 1963, over a span of 2,040 races, and the second in history. You also cannot ignore the fact that in 73 years of Cup Series racing, out of 2,673 races, only 198 drivers have crossed the checkered flag. On Monday, Bubba Wallace became the 198th winner of the race.

That’s one more Cup Series victory than the combined career tally of all the Cro-Magnon social media outlets that have ever tried to take on Wallace.

“Now is not the time for these people. It’s Bubba’s time. Now is the time for dreamers who love NASCAR racing. It’s our time. The man on the phone was Warrick Scott, less than an hour after Wallace’s victory at Talladega. His grandfather was Wendell Scott, the man who won that race in 63 and until Wallace’s arrival he had been the only full-time black racer in NASCAR Cup Series history.

Today, Warrick works alongside his father, Frank, as the head of the Wendell Scott Foundation in seeking to create better opportunities for at-risk youth. The organization is driven by passion and the promise of a better life. The Scott family, who have been close to Wallace since their teens, are always on the lookout for real-life examples they can use to prove to these at-risk young people that hope and dream isn’t just about fairy tales. . It can indeed happen.

On Monday afternoon, Bubba Wallace handed them their best example to date.

“For us, it wasn’t a question of whether Bubba was going to win, but where was he going to win first,” Warrick said from his home, where the sound of his family celebration could still be heard back. -plan. “Talladega is the racetrack where my grandfather almost died [in a wreck] in 1973, the place that really got Papa out of the game. Talladega is where Bubba had endured so much. And Talladega, this place, you don’t win there by accident. You have to drive him to Talladega. You have to kick the butt. And anyone who’s seen those last few laps before the rain knows that Bubba Wallace was on that wheel. It was the maestro. “

Warrick watched these tricks with his sons – Wendell Scott’s great-grandsons – Warrick Jr., 11, and Wendell, 5. Warrick had ridden the school carpool line on Monday afternoon, then run home so they could all see the finish together. As they watched Wallace celebrate the victory, they jumped up and down in their den, then the phone started ringing. It was Franck. Then it was everyone in the family. Then it looked like it was everyone in the world.

“Every conversation has been the same,” Warrick said. “And it’ll be like that for a while now.” Excitation. Inspiration. The African American kids, from my boys at the foundation to the kids I’ll never meet, and Bubba will never meet, the young black runners, they’ll all believe a little more tonight. And it’s just beautiful for this sport my grandpa really loved and Bubba really loves. “

Warrick Scott couldn’t stop laughing. That giggle that happens when your face doesn’t know what to do.

“It’s just joy,” he said. “There is no hate here. And even if there were, we cannot hear them. We’re too busy celebrating. ”


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