Bubba Wallace earns historic first NASCAR Cup Series win

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For the first time in nearly 58 years, a Black driver has won in NASCAR’s premier division.

Bubba Wallace won Monday’s rain-shortened NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. He becomes the second Black driver to win a Cup race, joining Hall of Famer Wendell Scott (Jacksonville, Fla. – Dec. 1, 1963).

With rain threatening the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Wallace took the lead for the first time at Lap 113 in the scheduled 188-lap distance.

Three laps later, Ryan Preece was spun out of the pack and collected William Byron and Matt DiBenedetto to bring out the caution. The skies then opened up and the race was red flagged.

NASCAR assembled and deployed their fleet of track dryers. As that work continued, NASCAR ordered crews to seek shelter shortly after 4:10 p.m. ET due to a lightning strike within eight miles of the track.

Then, at 4:27 p.m. ET, with rains continuing, NASCAR officially called the race and the celebration was on for Wallace and his 23XI Racing team.

Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by Joey Logano in third, Kurt Busch in fourth and Christopher Bell in fifth. Keselowski, Logano and Bell are among the 12 remaining drivers in playoff contention.

This story will be updated…

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chris Buescher

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Entering the day last in the Cup playoff Round of 12, Christopher Bell’s fifth-place finish keeps hope alive for him entering next week’s elimination race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. … Kevin Harvick also boosted his chances to advance in the playoffs next week with an eighth-place finish.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Crashes ruined the day for Hendrick Motorsports playoff drivers Kyle Larson (finished 37th), Alex Bowman (finished 38th), and William Byron (finished 36th). Larson was involved in a crash at Lap 57 and a tire failure at Lap 67 that further damaged his car. Later, at Lap 98, bump drafting led to Bowman getting sent into the Turn 3 wall and triggering a wreck that involved 10 cars. Then, on Lap 116, Byron was taken out in what proved to be the day’s final incident.

NOTABLE: Bubba Wallace’s first Cup win as a driver is also the first Cup win for his crew chief, Bootie Barker (484th start). Barker took over as Wallace’s crew chief two weeks ago at Bristol Motor Speedway.

NEXT: Sunday, Oct. 10 – Round of 12 eliminator at Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (2 p.m. ET, NBC)

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Bubba Wallace earns historic first NASCAR Cup Series win originally appeared on NBCSports.com