Driver Bubba Wallace became the second black driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series championship race after a rain-shortened YellaWood 500 victory at Talladega Superspeedway.
Wallace, who last year successfully led calls for the display of the Confederate flag to be banned from NASCAR events following the assassination of George Floyd, led five of the 117 laps of the race at Alabama.
When a second downpour forced an additional suspension in the races, the test came to a halt with 71 laps to go, giving the victory to Wallace and his 23XI Racing team, which is owned by former NBA stars Michael Jordan and Denny. Hamlin.
Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano finished second and third, respectively. Kurt Busch was fourth with Christopher Bell completing the top five.
Wallace is the first black driver to win in the NASCAR Cup series since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott did so in a race in Jacksonville, Florida, on December 1, 1963.
Wallace, 27, joined 23XI last year after leaving Richard Petty Motorsports.
The driver regularly spoke out against racism following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and in June of last year asked NASCAR bosses to ban the Confederate flag from racetracks used at the circuit.
The flag has long been a staple on NASCAR tracks in the southern United States, but it remains a symbol of slavery and racism for many. NASCAR then banned the display of the flag in its races.
Wallace was involved in a controversy in June last year after his team reported that a rope had been found hanging in the team’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway.
A subsequent investigation by the FBI determined that Wallace had not been the victim of a hate crime and that the rope was a rope to lower a garage door that had been there since 2019. AP