Following an FBI investigation into an alleged noose that left in Bubba Wallace's garage, new NASCAR fans are asking questions about the Cup Series driver. Some first heard his name when he called for the ban of the Confederate flag while others had watched him compete during a few races following the COVID-19-forced postponement. They still didn't know a lot about Wallace's career prior to the 2020 season.
The Alabama native didn't take the traditional route to NASCAR's top series. He isn't the son of a Hall of Fame driver, but he still found a love of motorsports at an early age. Wallace took part in some small-town events during his younger years and competed across the southeast in Bandolero cars and Legends. Once he entered the NASCAR ranks, Wallace made an impact across multiple series and worked his way up to the Cup Series. Here's everything important to know about his career.
K&N Pro Series
Wallace started his racing career through NASCAR's Drive for Diversity. This program provides opportunities for women and minorities to pursue careers as drivers and pit crew members. Wallace began racing in 2010 with Rev Racing before signing with Joe Gibbs Racing as a developmental driver. He became the first African American driver to win NASCAR's Rookie of the Year award.prevnext
Following the 2011 K&N Pro Series, Wallace made his Xfinity Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing. He drove the No. 20 Toyota and competed in four races. He finished in the top-10 in three of these races and secured the pole position for the Dover race. Wallace missed the 2013 season while competing in the Gander Truck Series but returned for two more races in 2014. He then competed in the Xfinity Series on a full-time basis for Roush Fenway Racing during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.prevnext
Camping World Truck Series
In 2013, Wallace competed full-time in the Camping World Truck Series. He drove the No. 54 Toyota owned by Kyle Busch Motorsports. On Oct. 26, 2013, Wallace became the first African American driver to win a race in one of NASCAR's national series. He secured the victory in the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. This was his lone win of the season, but Wallace finished five races in the top five.prevnext
2014 Truck Series Season
Wallace returned to Kyle Busch Motorsports for the 2014 season and secured a career-high four wins. He won the Kroger 200 for the second consecutive season and later took the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his first win on a speedway. Wallace finished the 2014 season third in points before heading back to Xfinity for two more seasons.prevnext
Following two full-time seasons in the Xfinity Series, Wallace spent the 2017 season in both Xfinity and the Cup Series. Richard Petty Motorsports hired him to temporarily replace an injured Aric Almirola. He started four Cup Series races during the season and another 13 in the Xfinity Series. He didn't finish in the top five in either series but paved the way for a major career move.prevnext
Richard Petty Motorsports
Prior to the 2018 season, Richard Petty announced that Wallace would join the team on a full-time basis. Almirola headed to Stewart-Haas racing and left an empty spot on Richard Petty Motorsports' roster. Wallace took Almirola's spot and became the first African American driver to race in the Cup Series full-time since Wendell Scott in 1971. He started 36 races and secured second place in the season-opening Daytona 500.prevnext
Alex Bowman Feud
In 2019, Wallace and fellow driver Alex Bowman had an on-track feud at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The incident started when Bowman collided with Wallace during the race's first lap. He said it was a mistake, but Wallace responded by giving Bowman the middle finger several times throughout the race. Bowman ultimately retaliated and spun Wallace into the wall on lap 42. Following the race, doctors were treating Bowman for heat exhaustion when Wallace walked up and threw Powerade in his face, splashing some on the physician.prev