Darrell Wallace Jr. raced his way into NASCAR history books this weekend.
According to reports, the 20-year-old driver won first place at the Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway, becoming the first African American to win on NASCAR’s national level since Wendell Scott in 1963.
“This means everything,” the 20-year-old driver told reporters. “This is an emotional win for me, especially doing it in Wendell Scott’s backyard. I love coming here to Martinsville; it’s always good to me. It finally paid off. I think it’s my third trip here. I love coming here. The fans are great here.”
“Wallace, driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, beat Jeb Burton into Turn 1 off a restart with five laps to go,” the Associated Press reports. “Wallace was never below sixth place and led a race-high 96 laps but needed to survive a final restart. Wallace chose the inside line for the reset and quickly pulled away from Burton.”
NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France sent his congratulations to the new champ in a statement. “We congratulate Darrell Wallace Jr. on his first national series victory, one that will be remembered as a remarkable moment in our sport’s history,” he said. “Darrell’s success, following fellow NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Kyle Larson’s win earlier this season, is indicative of a youth and multicultural movement that bodes well for NASCAR’s future growth.”
Wallace, a “Drive for Diversity” graduate, said he hopes to be an inspiration for other young drivers of color.
“I want to be a role model and inspiration to the younger kids and just change the sport as a whole and for the better, and winning helps everything,” he said. “I think that’ll help kind of pave its own way there and hopefully get my name out there even more. That’s what I’ve been trying to do is to get my name out there to keep pushing (and) striving for kids younger than me to get in the sport.”
After his victory, Wallace tweeted a special message to fans: “We came. We saw. We conquered.”
LIKE HelloBeautiful On Facebook!
Check Out This Gallery
Top 10 Hottest Bodies At The 2012 Olympics
1. John Orozco
Specialty: Gymnastics, Pommel horse. Born in the Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents,Orozco began gymnastics at the age of eight when his father found a flyer for free gymnastics lessons at a gym in Manhattan.
2. Cullen Jones
Specialty: Swimming, Freestyle. This hottie learned to swim after he was rescued from a near-drowning experience at a splash-down pool at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Pennsylvania when he was five years old.
3. Danell Leyva
Specialty: Gymnastics, High bar and parallel bars. Leyva left Cuba when he was a year old and is famous for having a dad/coach who gets loud and over the top when he’s competing.
4. Steven Lopez
Lopez can become the most decorated taekwondo athlete of all-time by winning a medal of any kind in London.
5. Tyson Chandler
The NBA defensive player of the year was featured in ESPN Body Issue 2012 and is the key player to the 2012 USA Olympic Basketball Team.
6. Wallace Spearmon
Speciality: Sprinter. Those green eyes and powerful legs are sure to provide anyone with a runner’s high.
7. Ashton Eaton
Specialty: Track & Field. Ashton Eaton set the world record in the decathlon at the U.S. Olympic trials and this is his first time competing in an Olympic game.
8. Jordan Burroughs
Speciality: Wrestler. Jordan Burroughs has won every wrestling tournament he's entered since 2009, and he isn't planning on breaking that streak at the 2012 Olympics.
9. David Oliver
Speciality: Hurdles.David Oliver is definitely one of the 2012 Olympic athletes to watch. Oliver is a 3 time USA Outdoor champion and won a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics.
10. Hugo Parisi
Speciality: Diving. This Brazilian diver from Brazil, who competed at two consecutive Summer Olympics is muy caliente!