NASCAR recently landed a new fan in retired NFL safety Bernard Pollard Jr. The longtime defender has not actually watched any races just yet, but he pledged to tune in for all of the upcoming action. He cited Bubba Wallace as the reason for his newfound fascination with stock car racing.
"Honestly didn't know [NASCAR] had a brotha. I'm watching [Bubba Wallace] for the rest of the year. I need to learn about this sport," Pollard tweeted on Monday. Racing fans immediately responded and welcomed him to the fold. They expressed excitement about having another set of eyes tuning in, especially one that spent nine seasons in the league and won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.
Following this warm welcome, Pollard doubled down on his watching habits. He said that it was amazing how fans greeted him and that he's excited to tune in. Wednesday night's Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 will be the first event on the calendar.
"This is pretty amazing. Last night and today I was greeted by #NASCAR fans welcoming me to the sport," Pollard wrote. "This has been pretty cool. Wednesday night is going to be the first race I'll be watching. Let's go!!!!"
Wallace, the only black driver in NASCAR, has drawn considerable attention in recent days. He wore a Black Lives Matter shirt prior to the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 and unveiled a matching paint scheme for Wednesday's Blue Emu 500. Additionally, Wallace spoke to CNN and called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from future events. He has been very outspoken in recent days with the intention of fighting for a change in NASCAR, as well as a modern society.
"I'm excited about this opportunity to run hashtag Black Live Matter car for Martinsville, Wallace said to Richard Petty Motorsports. "With this statement that we have right here that we're about to make with running this race car, being on live television on Fox, it's going to speak volumes to what I stand for, but also what the initiative that NASCAR is trying to push. We knew the Martinsville race was open, we did not sell sponsorship for that, and it sparked an idea of, 'Why not run a #blackout car?' The team brought that idea to me, and I jumped all over it."
Wallace's car will debut on Wednesday night during the Blue Emu 500. The Black Lives Matter car will fight for victory on the smallest NASCAR track. Pollard will watch as he strives to learn more about a different sport.