Bubba Wallace Could Lose Ride… So What

Bubba Wallace Could Lose Ride… So What

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Sunday, 23 April 2017
Dennis Michelsen

Bubba Wallace Could Lose Ride… So What

This week we heard that NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Darrell Bubba Wallace Jr’s season might be in jeopardy if the team doesn’t find additional sponsorship very soon. Also this week I learned the effectiveness of the words “So What” when used by AP Writer Jenna Fryer so I decided to borrow it. Whenever I see a young racer’s potential in this sport hurt by the lack of sponsors instead of that driver’s talent I am disappointed. When it happens to be a young driver who appears to represent all that is great with this sport of auto racing it is even worse. When it happens to be the only African American driver to currently race in NASCAR it is even worse. But this is a classic example that the NASCAR Diversity program will only get a driver so far. Did you think “So What” when you heard about Bubba Wallace in jeopardy of losing his ride? If so I will tell you why this stinks on so many levels.

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The only African American driver to win in one of NASCAR’s top three divisions was not allowed to have that trophy on the night of the race. NASCAR claims it was a scoring error that deprived Wendell Scott of his victory that night but most believe it was the fear of seeing a Black man kiss a white beauty queen in Victory Lane in Jacksonville, Florida in 1964. Several years ago NASCAR started a diversity program to try to make the people working in the sport look more like America when it came to gender and race. The program has introduced us to some excellent racers that might not have gotten a shot in this sport without the diversity program. One of the success stories is Darrell Bubba Wallace Jr.

Bubba Wallace has dealt with his share of idiots as he was racing his way towards NASCAR. The young man handled it with class and concentrated on his racing. While some young racers grow a big head once they have made it to NASCAR this young man is the same as the young short track racer I met years ago. They criticize us for cheering in the press box but this is one young man you can’t help but cheer for whether you are a fan or a media member. Maybe his talent will fall short of being a success at the Cup level in this sport but it shouldn’t be based on money!

Back in 2003 I caused a bit of a ruckus when I suggested that NASCAR should not fall for the antics of Jesse Jackson and Operation Push Sports that was all but blackmailing them for a donation. I appeared with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News to talk about this issue since none of the better known NASCAR media types back in the day would dare appear on the show to talk about this topic. I suggested that instead of paying off the folks at Operation Push that NASCAR should put that money into a diversity program instead. I also suggested that IF people in a certain ethnic community wanted to see more diversity in NASCAR that they could help develop a young racer.

This season we have seen the rise of Mexican born racer Daniel Suarez to the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series to talk over the ride of Carl Edwards. I hate to burst your bubble if you thought that Suarez was promoted based on just his driving talent. One of the reasons that Suarez has gotten this chance is because a very rich man from his country decided to support this talented Mexican driver. Without this support Daniel Suarez would be yet another talented young racer whose progress in this sport was held back by money.

Why aren’t we seeing a single African American owned company step forward to sponsor Darrell Wallace Jr? Why aren’t we seeing a single person who over the years has criticized the lack of diversity step up to the plate to help find sponsorship just as Carlos Slim Domit has for Daniel Suarez and other Mexican drivers? Darrell Bubba Wallace Jr deserves that same support!

13 Comments

  1. TheNASCARJeff says:

    Kyle Petty said the only thing keeping Mark Martin from winning a championship was Jack Roush. So, I say the only thing keeping Bubba Wallace from winning a race or moving up is Jack Roush.

    Roush Racing or Roush/Fenway is not the team it once was and it’s pour performance is also hurting Petty Enterprise now known as Richard Petty Motorsports.

    If Darrell “Bubba” Wallace wants to win a race or move up the the Cup level he needs to leave Roush for a team that can compete. I dont think it was wise for him to leave JGR for Roush but you do what you have to and leaving Roush now is what he needs to do.

    • Dennis Michelsen says:

      Bubba left JGR for Roush because JGR wasn’t going to finance his ride so his choice was Roush or unemployment (Or like all good young drivers to become a spotter)

      Thanks for adding to the discussion…DMIC

  2. Bill B says:

    So what.

  3. not racial panderer says:

    So what? By and large, people are tired of the constant racial nonsense. He got to be in NASCAR because of his color and the drive for diversity program. That’s not a golden ticket to stay forever. Nobody writes about all the drivers who are more deserving that never get the chance because of their lack of color.

    Bottom line, we are tired of it. Just stop. If we as a society are supposed to be colorblind, why does color have to be pointed out at every opportunity? The 90s are over. Your racial boot-licking won’t get you the points it once did.

    • Dennis Michelsen says:

      Sorry chief but Bubba Wallace got to NASCAR because he is damn good at what he does…race a race car. But my point (which you clearly missed) is that IF people are going to bitch about the lack of diversity in NASCAR then they should step up the plate to help. If Bubba was green, orange or polkadot pattern I would still say he is good enough to stick around at the Xfinity or Truck Series level. DMIC

      • not racial panderer says:

        Nobody (relevant) is bitching about the lack of diversity in NASCAR, chief, much like nobody bitches about the lack of diversity in the NBA or NHL. I know you can’t or won’t answer this honestly, chief, but would Wallace be in NASCAR without the Drive for Diversity program? Absolutely not, just like thousands of others as good or better than him without the benefit of money, or in this case, skin color, chief.

        By the way, chief, I think “chief” is considered a racially insensitive term these days to American Indians. Yes, American Indian is their preferred term, not “native American.” You tried so hard to show how racially sensitive you are in this stupid article, then address me with an offensive term like that. Typical liberal failure, you are.

        • Dennis Michelsen says:

          Well Chief…I wasn’t using it as anything except a place holder for your name because I didn’t want to waste time using “not racial panderer.”

          Liberal failure? Well Chief if you are going to insult me Chief at least get the label right.

          My article ALSO had nothing to do with being racially sensitive CHIEF because I am the least politically correct person in media chief.

          I am glad there is a diversity program because it has given some young racers a shot that would have been lost in the shuffle. I would prefer to see a racing scholarship program so young racers don’t have to qualify via Jim Crowe standards for a shot at a helping hand to get recognized.

          Turn back the clock about 10 years and there were a bunch of groups complaining about the lack of diversity in NASCAR. Of course I referred to that in the article Chief.

          Thanks for adding to the discussion chief!!

  4. John says:

    This situation is less about Bubba Wallace’s ability (he has actually run well so far this year) than a question of the long-term viability of Roush-Fenway Racing. The recent years have not been kind to RFR, as we already know, having dropped from 4 to 2 Cup teams and completely exiting their driver-development program in Trucks.

    With Ford spending piles of money this year adding Stewart-Haas. Ford has to fund race sponsorship gaps for Roush’s #17 team. They are also picking up nearly all of the tab for the Wood Bros. #21. So does Ford pick up Wallace’s Roush-Fenway Xfinity team for the post-Charlotte races? Or does Ford let 1/3 of their (competitive) Xfinity program just go away?

    We shall see.

    • Dennis Michelsen says:

      Great comments John, although the Ford commitment to the Wood Brothers has not increased their budget is made up by sponsors and Penske.

  5. TheNASCARJeff says:

    The problem and John puts it and he is correct is Bubba Wallace is a very talented driver and that is something we all should and can agree on. Roush Racing is the problem. They’re Cup teams are uncompetitive and underfunded and the Xfinity teams are the same.

    That place became a sinking ship beginning with the exit of Mark Martin. Stenhouse and Trevor Bayne will be lucky to find jobs with the way they have preformed so Bubba needs to find a knew home and if Ford want to keep him in the fold then do what Toyota did for Erik Jones, find him a ride!

    • Dennis Michelsen says:

      Thanks for adding to the discussion Jeff…Roush Fenway has been on the decline since the BoSox needed big money to sign Big Pappi! This year we are seeing a big improvement in their Cup teams although in Xfinity it seems to be the JGR and Penske show. DMIC

  6. Dennis Webster says:

    I’ve always been and will continue to be a Rousch Supporter. Sure, they have fallen on some hard times but are showing progress. Concerning the talented Bubba Wallace, I think it might also be a case where mother bird pushes it’s child from the nest so it can be strong on its own. The best place for Bubba is probably the 21 Wood Brothers FORD when Ryan moves over to Penske. I don’t care if my rice is served whit, brown black or blue as long as it has good flavor. Bubba Wallace has that and with his aggressive nature should be awesome for NASCAR.

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