The historical and social significance of his move to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing is not lost on Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., who was announced on Wednesday as the driver of the iconic No. 43 car fielded by Richard Petty Motorsports.
Wallace will be the first African-American driver to compete fulltime at NASCAR’s highest level since NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott posted the final four of his 147 career top-tens in 1971.
Does that add pressure to Wallace’s ascendance to the Monster Energy Series level? The simple answer is
“There’ve been a lot of people who’ve come up through the ranks and tried to carry on the legacy that Wendell Scott had laid down for us, and for me to step in that realm and take on that role is a lot of pressure,” acknowledged Wallace, a product of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next programs.
“But we’re going to go out there and continue to do what we do on and off the race track, and that’s to represent the brand of myself and (team co-owner) Richard Petty and his image the best way I can and continue to grow together.”