Daytona 500: Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace Jr. wins over NASCAR fans, finishes second
Wallace is a jumble of emotions after finishing second in his first Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla -- Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. may have finished second in the 2018 Daytona 500, but he certainly won the hearts of NASCAR fans across the country. An emotional Wallace entered the media center after Austin Dillon drove Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 to Victory Lane and was met with a huge embrace from his mother, Desiree, as well as his older sister. Wallace had to take a moment to hold back tears before answering questions from the media.
"Pull it together bud, pull it together," Wallace repeated to himself after the race. "I just try so hard to be successful in everything I do and my family pushes me each and every day. They might not even know it but I just want to make them proud."
Wallace is known for being an entertainer, as he's often on social media posting videos of himself playing the drums or doing epic trick shots to gain sponsorships. He makes a concerted effort to show his jovial personality on a daily basis no matter where he is. On Sunday, we saw a much more raw Wallace, one that most definitely knew what was riding on his shoulders.
The 24-year-old rookie from Mobile, Ala., is the first full-time African-American driver in the sport since Wendell Scott in 1971. If that wasn't enough pressure, Wallace is driving the winningest car in NASCAR history: Richard Petty's No. 43.
To top it all off, Wallace was given encouragement from Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron before the race and also received well wishes from four-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton on Twitter.
Despite all the pressure for his first race on NASCAR's biggest stage, the man known as Bubba rose to the occasion, running in the front of the pack all day and eventually finishing second.
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