Darrell Wallace Jr in tears after historic finish at Daytona

Darrell Wallace Jr in tears after historic finish at Daytona

It was just one of those deals where we needed it to stay green to be in a good spot.

Bubba at Daytona changed the game.

Bubba Wallace and his mother gave each other the longest sobbing, swaying, post-race hug in Daytona 500 history.

"I just had a guard walk me from pit road to the media center".

Richard Petty couldn't find his driver. He is now the only black driver in NASCAR, and is the first to start the storied Daytona 500 in 49 years. "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". "Mom, we finished second, we didn't win", Darrell Wallace Jr. said. "But yeah, I just love my family and having everybody here from my mom, my sister, my uncle, everybody here just means a lot". "But I'm doing my best at managing it, keeping it behind me, and that's the best thing I can do".

Last year, Wallace filled in for Aric Almirola, who was injured at the time. "We know how much stress this team has been through in the last three or four months just trying to get this program together".

Wallace was overcome by his emotions when he sat down to take questions.

Wallace, raised in Concord, North Carolina, has the full support of the black drivers before him. "But it was encouraging to hear from him". Wallace met some of Scott's children.

He became the first to compete in the Daytona 500 since Scott in 1969.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pregnant wife was absolutely glowing at Daytona 500
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pregnant wife was absolutely glowing at Daytona 500

More commonly known by his childhood nickname "Bubba", the easygoing Wallace handled the spotlight easily.

Darrell Wallace Jr. opens the 2018 NASCAR season in Richard Petty Motorsports' No. 43. Wallace was released uninjured and thus began the media interviews. On one such occasion, a high school golf coach directed racist remarks at Wallace after Wallace tweeted about his grandmother's death. "I mean, it's Daytona. He should be winning, '" Wallace said.

Wallace was running just outside the top 10 when a multi-car crash occurred in Turn 2 with two laps to go.

"Getting some exercise", Petty said as he briskly made his way. "He let the crew figure out what to do with the auto and he'd drive it". "He's proven at a young age to be able to be consistent on a weekly basis, give feedback to the team to help improve the vehicle and race hard to get the best finish possible".

"When (team co-owner) Andrew Murstein came up to me and said, 'Hey, Hank Aaron is on the line, ' I'm like, what?" When the King greeted his driver following the race, the drivers shared a laugh over it. He's taken to social media and, with his best friend Ryan Blaney, isn't afraid to have fun. "I look up to him. I hope he can continue to do that". NASCAR's back. It's a new season, 2018.

NASCAR research showed diversity among its fan base has grown from 20 to 24 percent over the last five years. "They might not even know it but I just want to make them proud".

"This weekend, it's more of a comfort feeling".

It's a distinction that Wallace recognizes and embraces. The 3 and the 43 are two of the most iconic numbers in the sport.

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