DANVILLE, Va. – A history-making win for #23.
Bubba Wallace took home the trophy in Talladega Monday at the YellaWood 500 NASCAR Cup Series playoff race.
“I know a lot of history was made today,” said Wallace after the win.
Wallace is the first black driver to win at NASCAR’s elite cup level in 58 years.
“I never think about those things. When you say it like that, it obviously brings a lot of emotion, a lot of joy to my family, fans, friends,” said Wallace.
But Wallace isn’t the first. Danville native and NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott paved the way. Up until Monday, Scott was the first and only African American driver to take home a cup win back in December of 1963.
“I really waited for this moment my whole life,” said Scott’s grandson, Warrick Scott. “It was something that was such a long time coming.”
Warrick Scott said Wallace’s win is helping push the sport toward a more diverse future.
“It means a tremendous amount for African American culture,” said Scott. “It’s proving that if you apply yourself and believe in yourself that you can really achieve great things in the face of insurmountable odds.”
Wallace said he hopes to inspire the next generation.
“You’ve always got to stay true to your path and not let the nonsense get to you. And stay strong, stay humble, stay hungry,” said Wallace. “There’ve been plenty of times when I want to give up and you surround yourself with the right people and it’s moments like this that you appreciate.”
Scott said his grandfather would have been proud.
“He would have been ecstatic for Bubba,” said Scott. “He would have been right there rooting him on.”
The Scott family was finally presented Wendell Scott’s trophy for his 1963 win this summer in Daytona.