Bubba Wallace to honor trailblazing Black driver Wendell Scott at Darlington

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Nick Bromberg
·2-min read
Bubba Wallace to honor trailblazing Black driver Wendell Scott at Darlington
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Bubba Wallace is honoring Wendell Scott at Darlington.

Wallace, the only Black driver racing full-time in NASCAR, will honor the only Black man to win a NASCAR Cup Series race during Sunday's race at Darlington. Wallace's No. 23 car is designed to look like the No. 34 car that Scott drove during his Cup Series career.

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Scott first raced in NASCAR in 1961 and is believed to be the first Black driver to get a NASCAR license. He won the only race of his career in 1964 at Jacksonville Speedway Park. Scott didn’t immediately get that win however. NASCAR officials thought at the time of the checkered flag that Buck Baker had won the race. That was a scoring error, and Scott got the win two hours later. But he never had the chance to pose for pictures in Victory Lane because of the delay.

Wallace has been the only Black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series ever since he made his first start in 2017. He's currently in his fourth full-time season and in his first at 23XI Racing, the team co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.

Wallace has become one of the most recognizable NASCAR drivers because of his willingness to speak out on social and racial justice issues. Wallace found his voice during the social justice protests in the wake of George Floyd's death in 2020 and was one of the leading advocates for NASCAR's Confederate flag ban enacted in June 2020. 

The car Wallace is racing on Sunday is the second Scott tribute that Wallace has driven in NASCAR. Wallace got the fourth Truck Series win of his career at Martinsville in 2014 in a truck that ran the No. 34 instead of No. 54 in honor of Scott. That Scott tribute truck raced to honor Scott’s 2015 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the win made Wallace just the second Black driver — alongside Scott — to win a national series NASCAR race.

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