By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
Bubba Wallace and NASCAR drivers continued to put on a show of unity after weeks of turmoil and protest in the country. Before the race at Talladega Speedway all 39 drivers and crew member pushed Wallace’s 43 car to the front of the field as a show of support.
Wallace is Nascar’s only black full-time driver. As this was happening the FBI was investigating who left a noose in his garage stall a few days earlier.
The gesture brought the 26-year-old to tears. He then went over and slapped five with some fans in a joyous moment. He then was in the top 5 most of the race but due to lack of fuel he finished 14th.
“I am proud to stand where I’m as the sport is changing,” said Wallace. “The deal that happened (Saturday), I wanted to show who ever it was, you not going to take away my smile, I’m going to keep on going.”
His good friend Ryan Blaney edged out Rick Stackhouse Jr. for his fourth win and first since Talladega in October.
Wallace ranks 21st in points during this cup series.
It’s been an emotional few weeks for Wallace who recently requested a ban of the Confederate Flag. Several drivers have stood by him.
During the pre-race 82 year old Richard Petty stood by Wallace for the National Anthem. The Hall of famer who is known as “The King” Wallace drives his 43 car. Petty commented on the noose issue stating: “That’s a sick person.”
It was only the second race back since the COVID-19 caused things to be shut down. Workers painted #IStandWithBubbaWallace on the infield grass before the race.