Bubba Wallace the only African American NASCAR driver competing in the cup series is a well-known figure who has a strong presence on and off the racetrack.
The 28-y-o 23XI racing driver always has been the target to some uncalled for or inappropriate criticisms and scrutiny from NASCAR fans on and off the track after wearing an “I Can’t Breath” t-shirt.
During a interview on Monday at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Bubba was questioned about how the conversation happened with NASCAR when it came to his support for BLM (Black Lives Matter) in NASCAR.
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“It didn’t,” he said. “I just went and did it. That was the risk.” Wallace Said
Bubba said when NASCAR confirmed the decision to ban the Confederate flag went into place, several supporters claim they would never watch a NASCAR race ever again.
“In the short-term, you kind of go through the rumps and bumps, but we look at this year. We had an exhibition race in the heart of L.A. at the Coliseum and over 70% of the ticket sales were all first-time fans that have never seen a race,” Bubba explained.
“I wanted to bring awareness inside our four walls. Our sport needed the biggest culture shift of all.”
“Being real. Being yourself. That’s the easiest way of going about life,” he said. “The more I can be myself and feel comfortable with everything that I say and do, the companies that align with that, those are the ones that resonate the most with me because they’re uplifting and wanting to push that same positive message.”
Last week Wallace openly confess on CBSNews that he is his biggest and worst critic as he often goes hard on himself for making mistakes in life.
“I am my own worst critic. You know, when I make a mistake, I’m super hard on myself. And sometimes it’s okay to have a little bit of self-motivation, but when you stoop as low as I do, it’s tough to climb back out of,” Bubba said.
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Wallace is seeing his personal brand attracting interest from major sponsors, landing endorsements and a Netflix documentary titled Race: Bubba Wallace.
“You have to go through these trials and tribulations to figure out as you go. I feel like my my mission in life may be much bigger than [just being a race-car driver.] So it’s understanding your spot in life and how to surround yourself with the right people to help you elevate not only yourself, but the people around you.”