Bubba Wallace Earns First NASCAR Cup Series Victory at Talladega

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 

It was a weekend of firsts at Talladega Super Speedway that continued into Monday as the NASCAR Cup Series resumed the rain-delayed YellaWood 500, which ended up being rain-shortened. 

Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, and even crew chief Robert “Bootie” Barker earned their first NASCAR Cup Series victory. Wallace led five laps before NASCAR was forced to call the event due to heavy rain at the track. His victory, added to those of Camping World Truck series and the Xfinity Series, marks the first time in the history of the sport that all three series had first-time winners at the same track on the same weekend. 

The win comes in 23XI Racing’s first season as an organization. It is co-owned by NBA champion Michael Jordan and current NASCAR driver, Denny Hamlin. 

Wallace, an Alabama native in his fourth full-time NCS season, is the second African American driver to win at NASCAR’s highest level. Wendell Scott was the first with his 1963 victory in Jacksonville, Florida. Jordan became the first African American principal owner to field a winning car since Scott's victory, as well. 

“It’s super special. With everything that’s going on, it’s fitting that we got our first win here,” Wallace said of his home-track victory, “It’s a plate race, you know, one of these wildcard races, you never know what’s really gonna happen. We were able to capitalize on the opportunity.”

Brad Keselowski finished second for his first top-five finish since Loudon in July. Joey Logano finished third, while Kurt Busch and Christopher Bell rounded out the top five. 

Chris Buescher finished sixth, Denny Hamlin came home seventh, while Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, and Anthony Alfredo finished eighth through 10th place, respectively. 

Wallace’s win is historic, and significant in many ways, including giving hope to kids who look up to the 27-year-old as a role model. So, how does that make Wallace feel? Well, it just adds to the motivation to keep on winning. 

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 

“It’s super special for me to go out and compete and do what I love to do, go out and win some races, make our sponsors happy, make our team happy. 

"But knowing that we have a whole fanbase back home by watching on TV or whether it’s at the track, wherever they are, they’re supporting me and having some kids that want to be in my shoes one day is really cool. It’s tough, it’s very tough to get to where we’re at. Just stick with it and you’ll be here one day.”

Ryan Blaney, who finished 15th and was noticeably disappointed with his performance, was happy for Wallace and didn’t waste any time congratulating his friend on the victory.  

“I went to see him right after they called it,” Blaney told Skirts and Scuffs. “[It’s] very cool for him. Very happy. He did a really good job today.” 

The “Big One” occurred on Lap 96 when the No. 48 of Alex Bowman was turned into the outside wall by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who received contact from Chase Elliott from behind. Several drivers were involved including Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Tyler Reddick. 

Kyle Larson was eliminated from competition after suffering a cut tire. He sustained additional damage from a Lap 57 crash that involved William Byron, Chase Briscoe, and the No. 77 of Justin Allgaier. 

The NASCAR Cup Series head back home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, where four drivers will be eliminated from the postseason Playoffs. 


Before she even knew what NASCAR was, Courtney watched the races while sitting in her father’s lap. When she attended her first race at Talladega, her love for the sport grew even stronger.

In addition to her Trackin’ Trucks column for Skirts and Scuffs, Courtney runs her own blog, ChasingtheScoreboard.com. She is a receptionist for a daycare headquarters and enjoys attending country music concerts whenever one is in town. 

Bubba Wallace Earns First NASCAR Cup Series Victory at Talladega  Bubba Wallace Earns First NASCAR Cup Series Victory at Talladega Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Monday, October 04, 2021 Rating: 5