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Posted by: City Buzz Motor Sports on 06/10/2017

Darrell Wallace Jr. Becoming The Fourth African American Driver To Make A NASCAR Cup Start Provides Complete Context To Why NASCAR’s $500 Million Federal Discrimination Lawsuit Was Not Dismissed

Darrell Wallace Jr. Becoming The Fourth African American Driver To Make A NASCAR Cup Start Provides Complete Context To Why NASCAR’s $500 Million Federal Discrimination Lawsuit Was Not Dismissed Los Angeles, California - June 9, 2017 - On June 11th, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr. will take the green flag during the Monster Energy Cup Series Axalta Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, “officially” becoming only the fourth African American race car driver to ever compete in the 69 year history of NASCAR’s top-tier Cup division, and the first African American to compete in Cup since 2006.

Sadly Darrell’s Cup Series accomplishment will eventually become a footnote within NASCAR’s history books after he pilots the famed Richard Petty Motorsports 43 car, for injured driver Aric Almirola.

On the surface, one would deem Wallace, Jr.’s opportunity to drive for NASCAR’s legendary figure Richard Petty as a tremendous boon for his career, as well as complete validation of NASCAR’s “Drive For Diversity” program, implemented by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in 2004, to insure more inclusion of minority drivers within the sport of NASCAR is successfully working.

However for NASCAR, an organization that carefully and consistently crafts narratives to fit their agenda, obviously got this one completely wrong.

Unfortunately for Darrell Wallace, Jr., his ascension into NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series is too convenient, poorly timed and a bit haphazard.

Let’s provide a back story.


Presently, NASCAR is facing a federal court date regarding a $500 million racial discrimination lawsuit (Civil Action No. 3:16-cv-843) filed by Georgia businessman Terrance Alton Cox III on December 14th that has not been dismissed by the Western District Court of North Carolina.

Over the past two years, NASCAR has been decimated with negative publicity due in large part to the federal racial discrimination lawsuit. Max Siegel, the presented leader of NASCAR’s “Drive For Diversity” program, had his responsibilities called into question given the fact that Siegel has been the President and CEO of United States Track and Field since 2012, and is under investigation for potential improper use of USOC funds.

Brian France and NASCAR drivers received backlash for publicly endorsing former Presidential nominee and now President of the United States Donald Trump, while Danica Patrick lost her full-time sponsor for the 2017 season, and is potentially on the verge of losing her drive with Stewart Haas Racing for lack of performance in 2018.


Presently, half way through the season, Darrell is having the best start of his Xfinity career setting fourth in the Championship. Darrell’s statistical performance still has not yielded a sponsor to come aboard his Roush-Fenway Racing #6 Ford to finish out the year, so after this weekend at Pocono, the Roush-Fenway Racing Xfinity team will cease operation.

Roush-Fenway Racing’s inability to secure funding to finish out the championship exacerbates
what is wrong with NASCAR’s profound push for diversity, because once Aric Almirola is cleared to return to racing, Bubba Wallace is out of NASCAR altogether.

If Brian France and NASCAR were truly serious about diversity, and graduates of their “Drive For Diversity” program, you would think Darrell Wallace, Jr. would be top of mind to ensure Wallace’s participation remained steadfast.

Particularly, since Daniel Suarez, the first Mexican born driver ever to compete in NASCAR won the Xfinity Championship last year and is another “Drive For Diversity” graduate.

In theory, to have had two D4D drivers win the Xfinity Championship back-to-back, and then graduate into the Monster Energy Cup Series would have been an overwhelming success for the D4D program, NASCAR as a whole, and would have justified its existence.


NASCAR has been very deliberate in how they leverage, present and expose their African American drivers, Bill Lester and Darrell Wallace, Jr., specifically within their sport.

Case and point, back in 2006, NASCAR took extreme measures to promote Bill Lester for his first drive in the NEXTEL Cup Series in Atlanta, Lester’s hometown at the time, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Golden Corral 500, making him the first African American to compete in NASCAR’s highest level since Willy T. Ribbs, some 20 years prior.

Similarly, in 2014, when Wallace was competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR designed a commemorative Wendell Scott paint scheme for the race at Martinsville, Virginia in recognition of the African American racing pioneer who was being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015.

Wendell Scott being a Virginia native, and Wallace driving the special paint scheme during the Martinsville, Virginia Kroger 200, honoring the only African American race car driver to win a race in NASCAR’s top-tier division - one can easily imagine the race outcome.

To be clear, Darrell Wallace, Jr. won the race.

NASCAR had all the pomp and circumstance you could imagine with the Scott family being in attendance for a pre-race ceremony, and then eventually going to Victory Lane with Wallace.

NASCAR had extensive hype leading into this event, and it was only a truck race.

So considering NASCAR’s history to script history, please help understand why NASCAR dropped the ball regarding Darrell Wallace, Jr.’s historic opportunity with “The King” Richard Petty and Richard Petty Motorsports?

It is an absolute indictment on NASCAR, Richard Petty Motorsports, Smithfield and Ford that there really is not a true intention for Darrell Wallace, Jr. to last very long in the Monster Energy Cup Series.

One would think Richard Petty himself would have welcomed Darrell to the team and shared a picture perfect photo op in front of the famed 43. One would think that, Brian Moffitt, CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports would have joined in on the photo op with “The King” and “Bubba”.

But none of that happened.

In fact, Richard “The King” Petty himself was not even quoted in any press release with regards to “Bubba’s” historic opportunity in the famed 43.

The only picture to acknowledge Bubba’s historic opportunity in NASCAR history, was Darrell Wallace, Jr. in a t-shirt, shorts, face unshaven, with his hat turned backwards!

Wow - even Bubba does not take his historic opportunity serious!!!