Darrell Wallace Jr., a driver in the great tradition of the Wallace crew ... oh, wait, this guy's no relation. (And probably thanking his lucky stars for that.) Anyway, on March 27th, young Wallace quietly became the first African-American to win in the NASCAR East Division. Not only that, at the tender age of 16 years, 5 months and 19 days, he was the youngest driver ever to win in that division, beating out the previous record-holder by over four months.
Wallace started seventh and led three times for 22 laps, including that all-important last one. In an interview afterward, he scarcely seemed to believe it himself:
Wallace's win is also the first for the Drive for Diversity in the East Series for Max Siegel. Siegel had taken over leadership of the Drive for Diversity program after the merger of Ganassi Motorsports with DEI, where he had been company President. In partnership with Revolution Racing, Siegel also operates several other minority development teams, and Wallace's win is a major milestone for Siegel as well.
Since becoming interested in racing at the age of nine after a chance encounter with a go-kart, young Darrell has been tearing up the tracks in every division he's run. In the meantime, he's a regular high school student who also enjoys playing basketball and paintball. Hopefully basketball's loss will be NASCAR's gain. Although the Drive for Diversity has not yet had any driver reach the Sprint Cup level, Darrell Wallace Jr. may well be the driver to change all that.
(Thanks to Marbles reader Willy Doer for the tip.)