Old habits are hard to break…
Mother nature ended last weekend’s Cup Series race earlier than expected. Rain postponed the race before it started and forced drivers to race on Monday afternoon. Rain made its presence felt once again before the whole thing was called off. Bubba Wallace was at the front of the pack after 113 laps and was declared the winner at Talladega. His win seems to have ruffled some feathers among fans.
Whether you like it or not, Wallace got the win. And that’s a good thing because of many different reasons: Because Michael Jordan owns his car, because he was a true underdog not involved in the Playoffs. And yes, in a sport like NASCAR, still rooted in the deep South of the United States, because of his skin color.
Right Place at the Right Time
The first way to rip Wallace off his win is by pointing out the fact that the race was shortened and he was just sitting at the front when the red flag dropped. It is frankly nonsensical to try to disqualify a driver from a legitimate win just for doing what he is supposed to do: Come in first. Exhibit A of such thinking is this tweet, from a gentleman that seems to speak English:
If winning is not even half a race because of rain, congrats? They called it for one reason #23.
— Marg S (@MargieStoll) October 4, 2021
Coming in first is every driver’s goal, that applies to NASCAR and every other racing series in the world. If coming in first does not represent a win, then, people are probably watching the wrong sport.
Making a Big Deal
Media outlets have been accused of “Making a big deal” out of Bubba Wallace’s win. Even we at Overtake Motorsport do so to the eyes of many by covering this story all the way from across the pond. Has the media made a big deal of this? Yes, they have. But then again, we do so every Sunday across different platforms and different series all over the world. This is our job and our responsibility to our readers.
Furthermore, this was a big deal. Number 23 is the first African American driver to win a Cup Series race since Wendell Scott back in 1963. Almost 60 years ago. If that isn’t a story worth telling, then go read comic books. This brings us to the final argument.
The Color of his Skin
As mentioned before, skin color still matters in NASCAR. Credit where credit is due, all three national series have done their best to eradicate racism and their old ways from the sport. Nonetheless, old habits are hard to break.
Wallace’s history with racial incidents goes back to last season when a noose was found hanging from his garage door. That was something people brought to light after his win. The same people who fought like hell to keep their confederate flag at the track:
Looks like he didn't see any garage door pulls this morning
— Facebook Whistleblower (@oledawgcase) October 4, 2021
Yours truly would make further comments on this but, I frankly find it disgusting and it doesn’t deserve more seconds of yours or my attention.
Like it or Not…
Bubba Wallace got his win. He did what he had to do. He’s no weatherman or the God of Thunder to control the skies. His first-ever Cup Series win is in the books for all the right reasons.
To begin with, it is his first win, you only to do that once of course. It is also Michael Jordan’s first win as an owner. His first motorsports win, in fact. Also, Wallace’s trip to Victory Lane is a statement of everything NASCAR has done right. But, above all, it is a reminder of all the things NASCAR has to keep fighting to keep off the sport.
Bubba won. Live with it
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Featured Image: BBC