NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace‘s No. 43 Chevrolet will have a special #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme for Wednesday night’s Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. Richard Petty Motorsports who Wallace drives for made the announcement Tuesday. The announcement comes two days after Wallace, the only black driver in the Cup Series, was part of NASCAR’s strong refutation of racism before the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Wallace wore a Black Lives Matter shirt on pit road before the race with a face mask of the American flag.
“I’m excited about this opportunity to run a #BlackLivesMatter car for Martinsville,” Wallace said in a video announcement. He continued, “One of our best race tracks, it’s simply my best race track for sure. With this statement we’re about to make running this race car, on live television on, I think it’s going to speak volumes to what I stand for, but also to the initiative NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push.”
Wallace said the inspiration for the car, which was going to be unsponsored for the Martinsville race, came on “Black Out Tuesday” on June 2, a major day of peaceful protest across the country. He wanted to connect the scheme to a foundation or a charity that is helping to “push the narrative and the initiative of what’s going on in the world today. “Why not dive straight to the root and putting #BlackLivesMatter on the car? It’s the most powerful hashtag going around I feel like, especially the last couple of days, the last couple of months really,” he said.
Monday on CNN, Wallace also declared that he wanted NASCAR to ban the display of the Confederate flag at tracks.