Bubba Wallace becomes second Black driver to win NASCAR Cup race

Bubba Wallace has become only the second Black driver in NASCAR history with a Cup Series victory, winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Cup race at Talladega.

Wendell Scott, a member of the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame class, was the first Black driver to win a Cup race, on Dec. 1, 1963, at Jacksonville.

Wallace, driver of co-owner Michael Jordan’s No. 23 car, had the lead at Talladega with three laps to go in Stage 2 when the race was red flagged because of rain.

The race already had passed the halfway point by the second stoppage, which means the results would be official if NASCAR could not resume the event.

The first red-flag stoppage lasted for just over 18 minutes early in the second stage. The second stoppage came with three laps remaining in the stage and Wallace, in his Toyota for 23XI Racing, led the field down pit road for the cars to be parked. The race originally was scheduled for Sunday but was postponed a day because of rain.

NASCAR was up against both rain and daylight at Talladega. NASCAR on Saturday called the Xfinity Series race six laps from completion because of darkness and it does not want the same outcome for its premier Cup Series. Talladega marks the middle race of the second round of the playoffs, with only pole sitter Denny Hamlin locked into the next round.

The Cup Series races this coming Sunday on The Roval, a hybrid road course/oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the playoff field will be trimmed from 12 drivers to eight after that elimination event.

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