History was made in Virginia on Saturday when NASCAR driver Darrell Wallace, Jr., won the Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 race at Martinsville Speedway. By claiming the checkered flag, Wallace became only the second black driver to ever win a NASCAR touring series race. The only other black driver to do that was Wendell Scott in 1963.
When Scott won, his victory came in Florida during the days of segregation. That meant he was kept out of Victory Lane. But 50 years later, Wallace celebrated like any other driver who won his first race — alongside his team and with tons of excitement!
This was a huge win for the 20-year-old Wallace, who is a rookie in NASCAR's Camping World Truck circuit. According to the New York Times, Wallace and his team have been trying to get him fully sponsored for next season. His victory on Saturday — and the attention it brings to Wallace and the sport — should boost his profile and appeal to sponsors.
But the win also gave the world a new sports superstar. Wallace became an instant hero for anyone who wants to be a driver, but who thinks they're not able to make it to NASCAR because of the color of their skin.
"I want to be a role model and inspiration to the younger kids and just change the sport as a whole and change it for the better, bring in a new face and just new activity into the sport," Wallace told the Sporting News. "And winning helps everything."
Photo: Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26, 2013 in Martinsville, Virginia. (NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace: The First Black Driver to Win a NASCAR Race Since 1963