NASCAR driver, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr. had a surprising second-place finish at this year’s Daytona 500 and is hoping to fare even better or win the Coke Zero Sugar 400 race on the same track Saturday night.
Five months removed from his stunning Daytona run, Wallace, NASCAR’s only full-time African American driver, is in need of a strong finish. He’s only finished in the top 10 once (eighth in a race at the Texas Motor Speedway) in the 16 races since Daytona.
“I think about winning all of the time and I think that’s what drives all of us,” Wallace told The Sporting News. “Once you lose the dreaming about winning and you just sitting there watching these old races and saying, ‘Damn, that would be cool to win.’”
“As soon as you look that, then you are out,” he added.
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The 24-year-old Wallace, who drives for the legendary, yet rebuilding Richard Petty Motorsports team, admits there has been some bumps in the road since his Daytona 500 loss to eventual winner Austin Dillon.
“I think we had three close instances during the 500 when we should have been on the hook wadded up, and it just didn’t happen,” he told USA Today. “So, hopefully we can have that same kind of luck and good grace on our side to continue to press on and set ourselves up for a good finish at the end.”
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Despite his current situation, Wallace, who ranks 24th in NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series standings, offers this competitive outlook.
“It’s still a dream to go out and win in NASCAR, win a Cup race, and there’s no greater opportunity than this weekend,” he said. “Every emotion is coming after that, so have your recorders and video cameras ready.”