Bubba Wallace received an early birthday surprise on Monday when he won his first NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Mother Nature struck again on the second day, forcing NASCAR to pause many times after the Yellawood 500 was postponed from Sunday to Monday due to rain. Wallace was named the winner when the race was stopped after 117 laps due to torrential rain.
It was also 23XI Racing’s first win in its inaugural season, co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.
Wallace is the only Black driver in the Cup Series right now, and he’s only the second Black driver to win a NASCAR race at the highest level, following Wendell Scott’s victory in 1963. (technically listed as part of the 1964 season).
Wallace felt emotional when that statistic was read to him after he won, and he said: “I never consider those things, and when you say something like that, it clearly stirs up a lot of emotion in my family, fans, and friends. It’s quite awesome. So happy to have won the Cup Series.”
This was his sixth career top-five result in his fourth full-time Cup Series season. Wallace, who turns 28 on Oct. 8, has a major career victory despite the rain-shortened race.
After he was proclaimed the victor, Wallace told NBC Sports, “So many cool fans behind us in the pit box just cheering for it to rain, and that kind of amplified the excitement a little bit.” “However, I’m simply so proud of everyone at 23XI.” Late in the season, a new club comes in and wins. It reminds me of 2013, when I finally won my maiden Truck [Series] race after a long wait.