Wallace to run "Black Lives Matter" paint scheme for Martinsville NASCAR race

Bubba Wallace will sport a "Black Lives Matter" paint scheme in Wednesday night's NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in support of the campaign against racial injustice

Wallace to run "Black Lives Matter" paint scheme for Martinsville NASCAR race

Wallace is the only full-time black driver in NASCAR's premier Cup Series and has taken a far more vocal stance in recent weeks on racial injustice and the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes while Floyd was handcuffed.

On Sunday, Wallace wore a shirt on pit road that read "Black Lives Matter" and "I can't breathe," referencing Floyd's plea to officers in his final moments.

On Monday night, Wallace appeared on CNN with host Don Lemon and said he believed it was also time NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from being flown at tracks.

The idea to sport a "Black Lives Matter" car livery actually first came up last week, before NASCAR's pre-race acknowledgement of racial injustice on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Wallace said his Richard Petty Motorsports team did not have sponsorship for the Martinsville race and the "Black Out Tuesday" peaceful protest campaign on 2 June sparked a discussion on running a "blacked out car."

"I'm excited to run a #BlackLivesMatter car for Martinsville, one of our best race tracks and my best race track for sure," Wallace said in a video released by RPM.

"This statement that we have here that we're about to make on live television on Fox will speak volumes to what I stand for but also the initiative that NASCAR and the sport is trying to push.

"They brought that idea to me and I jumped all over it.

"Why not dive in straight to the root and putting Black Lives Matter on the car - one of the most powerful hashtags going around the last couple of months.

"It's true, black lives do matter. We're trying to say black lives matter, too. We wanted to be treated equally and not judged off our skin colour. The actions that we (face) off our skin colour are different.

"We want to be part of this nation as one, come together as one.

"By running this branding on the car it brings more awareness to it, it lines up with the videos we have put out in NASCAR about listening and learning and educating ourselves."

NASCAR to allow limited guest numbers

NASCAR has revealed plans to reintroduce a limited number of "guests" at selected Cup events, starting this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which will be the first time that non-essential personnel will be allowed access to racetracks.

In a statement, NASCAR said: "Modified event procedures, protocols and number of attendees have been finalised with guidance from public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal officials.

"All guests in attendance will be screened before entering, required to wear face coverings, mandated to social distance at 6 feet, and will not have access to the infield, among other revised operational protocols.

"NASCAR will continue to adapt and improve its procedures to ensure they are effective and can be scaled to support an increased number of fans in the future."

Homestead-Miami Speedway will invite up to 1,000 South Florida service members as honorary guests for this Sunday's Dixie Vodka 400, representing the Homestead Air Reserve Base and U.S. Southern Command in Doral.

Talladega Superspeedway will allow up to 5,000 guests in the front-stretch grandstands/towers for the GEICO 500 race on 21 June.

In addition, there will be limited motorhome/5th-wheel camping spots available outside the track high atop the Alabama Gang Superstretch.

shares
comments
NASCAR Atlanta: Harvick eases to second Cup Series win of 2020
Previous article

NASCAR Atlanta: Harvick eases to second Cup Series win of 2020

Next article

NASCAR bans Confederate flags from all tracks with immediate effect

NASCAR bans Confederate flags from all tracks with immediate effect
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021