Darrell "Bubba" Wallace says he is excited to be taking part in this weekend’s efforts to recognize the United States Armed Forces at Daytona International Speedway.
Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, will join the rest of the XFINITY Series drivers in having the names of active U.S. military units, installations and ships replacing the usual XFINITY decal that is on their windshields.
And it just so happens Wallace has a special connection to the "USS Comstock" decal that will adorn his windshield.
"It’s actually the same ship where a fellow NASCAR (K&N Pro Series) driver, Jesse Iwuji, recently served as a Navy lieutenant," Wallace told FOX Sports Wednesday. "I’ve been able to meet Jesse a few times, and he’s really a good guy. He’s trying to break his way into the sport the same way everybody else is. So it’s a real honor to do this."
It’s all part of the "NASCAR: An American Salute" industry-wide effort to recognize and thank members of the U.S. Armed Forces this year on the Memorial Day and Independence Day weekends.
Throughout the weekend, fans can follow #NASCARSalutes on Twitter for more tributes and to send U.S. troops messages of thanks and support.
Wallace, who currently sits ninth in the XFINITY Series points standings and finished sixth in the season-opening race at Daytona last February, hopes to give folks plenty to cheer about.
"Daytona was really good to us in February, so we hope to bring the same amount of luck that we did then and maybe a little bit more, and come away with a really good finish."
Wallace is coming off back-to-back ninth-place finishes at Michigan and Iowa in the last two series races, and his best finish of the season was second at Dover.
But he wants more.
"We’re always wanting more. I mean, racers are greedy," Wallace said. "It’s been kind of a tough season for us. We’re trying a lot of different things to see what works.
"With the new Chase format (in the XFINITY Series), it kind of gives you less stress to go out and have to win a race. As long as we’re locked in through the points, we’ll be OK. But we definitely want to get a win. We know our team is capable of winning races. We’ve just got to put all the pieces together and go out there and complete the job."
Meanwhile, Daytona International Speedway will again host and recognize three recipients of the Medal of Honor, the highest award given to military service members, continuing a tradition dating back several years
And retired U.S. Air Force Sergeant Kelly Miller will be grand marshal for Friday’s Subway Firecracker 250. A Subway franchisee, Miller served as an aeromedical service specialist, responsible for the healthcare of Air Force pilots and flight crews.
Retired Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Fred Gardner, also a Subway franchisee, will serve as the honorary starter for the race, which will be followed on Saturday night by the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at DIS.
So while Wallace wants the great finish, he said he’s also simply proud to be part of the patriotic show.
"I think it’s really cool how the XFINITY Series is implementing this way they honor our troops and our American heroes," he said.