If there was any question about what Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.’s victory in Saturday’s Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway meant, it was answered Sunday morning at the historic track by Wendell Jr. and Franklin Scott, the sons of the late Wendell Scott.
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Until Wallace’s win yesterday, Wendell Scott was the first and only African-American driver to win a NASCAR touring series race, having claimed victory in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 1, 1963.
Nearly 50 years later, Wallace drove a nearly perfect race to score his first Truck Series triumph and make some history of his own. And if anyone appreciated what Wallace did, it was Scott’s sons, who are close friends with Wallace.
Of Wallace’s victory, Franklin said, “When the checkered flag dropped, I heard a big boom from heaven and my daddy said, ‘Hell, yeah.’”
Wendell Jr. was equally excited watching the race.
“My brother and I were texting back and forth, so we were saying, ‘Oh, Lord, watch so and so, watch so and so,’” said Wendell Jr. “He did a Kyle Busch restart. It was one of the most magnificent starts to win a race I’ve ever seen, and anybody that saw that race knows that this young man has only just begun.”
The Scott family is from Danville, Va., just 30 miles or so from Martinsville, so Wallace’s victory was especially satisfying for Scott’s family.
“I thought it was ironic and amazing that it happened here, and for the people to see and everybody in Danville, they’re excited,” said Franklin. “The phones have been jumping off the hook from all over the country to us, and we just want to wish him (Wallace) continued success. We know he’s going to do well, and we ask for the fans and the media to support him, allow time for his ups and downs, because you know, in racing they will come. But stick with him.”
For his part, Wallace said he was honored to be a part of history.
“Just carrying the torch that Wendell Scott laid down for us and taking it farther, and that’s the biggest thing I’m trying to do,” he said. “I don’t really pay attention to all the media stuff and let that get to me and forget where I came from. That’s not my type.”
Driving in just his 19th career Truck Series start, Wallace dominated the afternoon in his No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, leading 96 of 200 laps and finishing ahead of Brendan Gaughan, Jeb Burton, Ben Kennedy and Ryan Blaney.