Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fast Facts Redux: Darrell Wallace Jr.

Darrell Wallace Jr. at Daytona - Feb. 2018
credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts & Scuffs
Darrell Wallace Jr. comes into the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season as the first African-American driver with a full-time ride in the series since Wendell Scott in 1971. The driver of Richard Petty Motorsports’ historic No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro earned a runner-up finish in this past weekend’s Daytona 500, his first career start in the “Great American Race.” Here are the Fast Facts on this up-and-coming driver, originally published in Feb. 2013.
  • Darrell Wallace Jr. was born Oct. 8, 1993 in Mobile, AL and grew up in Concord, NC. He began racing at age 9 in Legends, Bandoleros and Late Model races; in 2005, he won 35 of the 48 races on the Bandoleros Series’ schedule.
  • In 2010, Wallace Jr. participated in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program and competed in the K&N Pro Series East. Wallace Jr. won in his first career start in the series at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, becoming the youngest driver ever to win there at age 16. He also became the first African-American driver to win the Rookie of the Year award in a NASCAR series in 2010. In three seasons in the series, Wallace earned points finishes of third (2010), second (2011) and seventh (2012) in points, tallying six wins and 25 top 10 finishes in 36 races, as well as four poles. 
  • In 2012, Wallace Jr. made four Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing, earning three top 10 finishes and a pole at Dover. In 2013, he ran full-time in the Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and became the first African-American driver to win a race in a NASCAR national series since 1963 when he won at Martinsville in October of that year. The following year he added four more wins with KBM, including the dirt race at Eldora Speedway and a second-straight win at Martinsville, this time honoring Scott by driving the No. 34.
  • In 2015 Wallace Jr. signed on with Roush Fenway Racing to compete in the Xfinity Series full-time, finishing second to Daniel Suarez in the Rookie of the Year battle and finishing seventh in points. He earned a career-best series finish of second at Dover in 2016 and picked up five-straight sixth-place finishes early in the 2017 season before his RFR team was shut down due to lack of sponsorship.
  • Wallace Jr., whose nickname is “Bubba,” voiced the character Bubba Wheelhouse in the film Cars 3 in 2017.
  • Find out more Wallace Jr. at his website, bubbawallace.com.

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