Last year’s YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway was historic. Now the car Bubba Wallace won in is on display at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In a new exhibit that had been planned since the win last season, his No. 23 McDonald’s car will sit on display until August.
The win, which Bubba Wallace claimed after multiple rain delays and weather issues, was a big one for the driver and the sport itself. This was Wallace’s first win at the Cup Series level. It also marked only the 2nd time in NASCAR history that a Black driver took home a win at the highest level. Of course, the first was Wendell Scott in 1963.
Winston Kelley, executive director of the Hall of Fame talked about the latest exhibit. It was made possible thanks to the switch to Next Gen vehicles. So, the car was officially retired after the race.
“That [Talladega] would have been the last that this superspeedway car would have been run in this generation car,” Kelley explained. “Wendy [Belk relations manager] knew that it would not be going back out onto the track and 23XI Racing, co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, they were certainly willing to let us have it for a bit of time before it goes back into their’s and Bubba’s possession.”
For those that know their Bubba history, you might recall that this isn’t the first time that the driver has been featured at the Hall of Fame. It wasn’t long ago that his first winning truck was on display. In 2013, Wallace won his first of six races in the Camping World Truck Series.
Something tells me this won’t be the last time that Bubba Wallace will be featured in the Hall of Fame.
Bubba Wallace Had a Hall of Fame Rant to His Team in Phoenix
Now, this one is probably going into the Bubba Wallace Hall of Infamy. Last Sunday in Phoenix, things did not go well for the No. 23 driver. Some of that had to do with more frustrations with the Next Gen cars. Teams and crews are learning each week what works and what doesn’t. Whatever Wallace’s team did with his car last week… he did not like it.
During the middle of the race, the driver told his crew exactly how he felt. “I am trying to stay f***ing calm, but I am f***ing over it. … F***ing terrible,” Wallace said.
Now, NASCAR is full of these moments, we just don’t always see or hear them. Tensions run high. Especially when you are going 180 MPH+ on a hot blacktop track in the middle of Arizona. Surely, Wallace’s crew understood his frustrations. You just have to hope they improve this week as they head to Atlanta. Each week that goes by means fewer mistakes can be made. If the No. 23 wants to be in the playoffs, he has to start finishing better.