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Friday, December 9, 2022

Where is NASCAR Driver Today? Today Update

As a graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, William Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr is the only active black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series. Netflix’s six-part docuseries called ‘Race: Bubba Wallace’ follows the immensely talented driver through his past two seasons in the sport. Bubba is also known for his activism on racial inequality beginning in 2020.

Around the time Black Lives Matter protests started in response to George Floyd and many others’ deaths. Bubba’s competitive spirit and racecraft have been deftly complemented by how he has grown as a person over the past couple of years, serving as an inspiration to many who want to get into the sport.

Bubba began racing at nine, and by 2010, he started his journey through the NASCAR feeder series. After winning multiple races in different series, Bubba temporarily raced for Richard Petty Motorsports in NASCAR Cup Series, the sport’s top echelon.

By 2018, he was a full-time driver, finishing second in the season-opening Daytona 500, Florida. In October 2021, Bubba created history by becoming the first black driver to win a race in NASCAR Cup Series since 1963 by taking the checkered flag at the Talladega Speedway in Alabama.

Where is Bubba Wallace Now?

Bubba’s decision to take a stand against racism and use his platform to make that clear has been commended by many. Racing in a sport that has a majority of its fanbase come from the South, Bubba asked for the Confederate flag to be banned around racetracks.

He said in June 2020, “No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.” NASCAR quickly obliged by announcing the ban a couple of days later.

There was controversy just weeks later when a noose was found in Bubba’s garage at Talladega Speedway. Suspecting a hate crime, the FBI quickly got involved, but it was concluded the noose was present a few months before the garage was assigned to Bubba.

However, that led to many people calling him fake, wrongly assuming he reported finding the noose. Furthermore, Bubba has been vocal about his struggle with depression and how he dealt with it.

Since the 2021 season, Bubba has been racing for 23XI Racing, a team co-owned by Michael Jordan, the legendary basketball player. The 28-year-old drives car number 23 and recently finished second at Daytona 500, missing victory by just 0.036 seconds.

Bubba believed he had a chance to win, saying, “I didn’t have a fighting chance in the first time in 2018. This one, being that close, it’s just like a gut punch. So going from all the confidence in the world to literally having it ripped out from underneath you is a really (expletive) feeling.”

Bubba is also the founder of Live to be Different Foundation. It aims to encourage inclusivity and support underprivileged individuals with the requisite educational, medical, and other types of support. Bubba also awards scholarships to students from his alma mater.

Apart from racing, he enjoys playing the drums and mountain biking. From what we can tell, Bubba lives in North Carolina with his fiancée, Amanda Carter, and their pet dog, Asher.

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