Bubba Wallace set to make history as black driver in Daytona

Emotional Darrell Wallace Jr. celebrates second-place finish at Daytona 500

Daytona 500: Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace Jr. wins over NASCAR fans, finishes second

Darrell " Bubba" Wallace Jr carved a slice of NASCAR history Sunday night in only his fifth career start when he posted the best finish by a black driver in the Daytona 500. So, when Wallace passed him up to claim second place, he had something pretty pointed to say in response to that, and it sure seemed like it was something he had thought long and hard about beforehand.

The driver didn't feel like a victor, but he felt like he did something he never knew he would get an opportunity to do: competing in the NASCAR Cup Series. I found myself looking (from) a third perspective: like you're so calm and you're doing great.

It was Wallace's first Daytona 500 and the best finish in history by a black man. "We did win that race baby, we did". At this year's race, Wallace came in second by 0.28 seconds, with Austin Dillon taking first.

Darrell Wallace Jr. turned heads again Saturday at Daytona International Speedway and topped the speed chart in the final practice for NASCAR's season opener. "I said, 'don't tear up my car" and there the vehicle is, bringing it in. I was kind of pumping myself up, but at the same time trying to stay focused on the task at hand and not mess up. He ran well enough to earn the full-time ride in the No. 43 vehicle this year after Almirola left for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Emotional Darrell Wallace Jr. celebrates second-place finish at Daytona 500
Feel-good story of Daytona 500: Emotional Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace finishes second

Dillon also won in the 3 two decades after Earnhardt's lone victory in the Daytona 500. He's grateful that team owner Richard Petty gave him the four-race tryout previous year, then the 2018 ride when Aric Almirola left after last season.

Wallace was running just outside the top 10 when a multi-car crash occurred in Turn 2 with two laps to go. But that brought on accusations claiming Wallace only got the ride because he was African American.

And if Sunday is any indication, Wallace and Petty gives the impression that they are an ideal combination. "Knowing we're a smaller-budget team, we have a lot of poise and a lot of attitude and a lot of stuff to fight for this year". "I'm all about getting fans involved in racing, and nobody does that better than the NASCAR Racing Experience. That meant that the cars up front wanted to be with us and around us". We feel that Bubba can immediately come in and compete. We ran all the laps and got wrecked there at the end. His stride was interrupted only by a wrecker towing Wallace's scraped-up No. 43 Chevrolet back to the garage across his path. "He does everything right when we have him in the race vehicle, and this is another example of it". "We knew we wouldn't sit on the pole, but we knew the vehicle was strong".

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