Bubba Wallace wins first NASCAR race at rain-shortened Talladega

Jake Nichol October 4, 2021
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Bubba Wallace has claimed a maiden NASCAR Cup win after rain brought an early end to the re-scheduled Talladega race. He is the 198th different winner in NASCAR.

Bubba Wallace survives wrecks to win at Talladega

The crucial moment in the race at Talladega came on Lap 115 – just five ahead of the stage two close.

Wallace had drafted to the front of the pack, but contact with Ryan Preece and William Byron brought out a caution period.

As the cars circulated behind the pace car, rain began to fall at Talladega once again – having already caused one red flag period.

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Cars were brought to pit-road as NASCAR hoped to storm cell would pass.

However, after attempting to dry the track with Air Titans, officials called the raced shortly before 16:30pm ET.

Bubba Wallace’s win makes him the 198th different driver to win the Cup Series.

Wallace took the win by 0.258s from Brad Keselowski as he was ahead at the timing loop where the caution had been flown.

It is also the first victory for 23XI Racing – the team co-owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Fellow co-owner and Joe Gibbs racer Denny Hamlin (who finished seventh).

Wallace does not advance to the next round of the Playoffs.

He had been eliminated at the end of the regular season.

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Wallace makes NASCAR history with victory

The driver of the #23, Wallace is just the second African-American driver to win the Cup Series.

It is nearly 60 years since Wendell Scott became the first black driver to win in NASCAR – on December 1st, 1963 in Jacksonville.

Wallace’s win is also symbolic.

It was at Talladega in 2020 where what was believed to be a noose was found in his pit-stall.

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Thankfully an FBI investigation proved it was not a hate crime.

It turned out to be just a door tie that had been fashioned in the shape of a noose.

To get behind Wallace, his fellow Cup drivers pushed the then driver of the #43 to the front of pit-road.

They then stood behind him during pre-race ceremonies, as a mark of solidarity.

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Jake can usually be found writing about or watching anything to do with motorsport – from Formula 1 to NASCAR to British Truck Racing. His work as a motorsport journalist has been published by the likes of Autosport, Motorsport.com and Motorsport News – all highly respected names. Away from racing he is a keen amateur astronomer, podcast listener and enjoys long walks in the park with his three dogs.