Darrell Wallace Jr. – also known as Bubba Wallace – made history as the highest-finishing African American driver in the 60-year history of the Great American Race.
“There is only 1 driver from an African American background at the top level of our sport..I am the 1. You’re not gonna stop hearing about “the black driver” for years. Embrace it, accept it and enjoy the journey..” Wallace tweeted back in November of last year.
There is only 1 driver from an African American background at the top level of our sport..I am the 1. You’re not gonna stop hearing about “the black driver” for years. Embrace it, accept it and enjoy the journey..
— Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) November 8, 2017
Taking place at the Daytona International Speedway Sunday (Feb. 19), Wallace shocked the world of NASCAR with his second place finish in the Daytona 500. While No.3 driver Austin Dillon ultimately took home the Gold, Wallace was definitely stole the show with his emotional response.
Following his history-making finish, Wallace broke down into tears as he embraced his family. At a news conference after the big race, the driver openly wept as he hugged his mother, Desiree, and older sister, Brittany, before taking questions from the press.
“Pull it together, bud. Pull it together,” shared Darrell after placing second in the Daytona 500. “You just finished second. It’s awesome. I just try so hard to be successful at everything I do, and my family pushes me each and every day, and they might not even know it, but I just want to make them proud. Second is horrible, but it’s still a good day. But yeah, I just love my family and having everybody here from my mom, my sister, my uncle, everybody here just means a lot.”
While he may not have been the first to cross the finish line, Wallace exceeded the expectations of many, proving he’s just getting started.
You can watch it all go down in the video below.
Here’s @BubbaWallace embracing his mother after a second place finish in the #Daytona500.. I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the exact same thing in that situation. Also can’t say I’m not emotional right now.
— Matthew Mayer (@MatthewMayerCBS) February 19, 2018