Eric Norman tearing it up at VIR Patriot Course. Picture courtesy of Gabe Asturias
A schoolmate of mine who is a freelance writer just recent wrote an article for Mosaic Magazine featuring Darrell Wallace Jr., an up and coming star in NASCAR. Her article highlight his career and the diversity he brings to NASCAR. Take a moment to check it out and also to visit her page at: www.elisadianewallace.info
Article can be found here: http://www.mosaic-magazine.com/April-2013/Diversity-in-NASCAR/
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOE GIBBS RACING
“It looked like a lot of fun (even) at the age of 9,” says Darrell Wallace Jr., referring to his first experience with racing. “There were kids younger than me at the time that were out there racing and winning and having fun.”
What began as a hobby soon led to a career on the track. The now 19-year-old race car driver competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, driving the No. 54 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports as well as a partial schedule in the Nationwide Series with Joe Gibbs Racing.
And to think it all began with go-karts. “My dad had the urge to buy a Harley-Davidson,” explains Wallace. “He wanted to get it fixed up and trick it out.” Later the man Wallace’s father hired to fix the motorcycle, Chris Rogers, invited young Wallace and his father to watch a few friends race go-karts. “We just got hooked.”
Despite now having countless NASCAR accomplishments under his belt, Wallace once knew very little about the sport. “At that time I never watched a race personally, but my parents were big Dale Earnhardt Sr. fans. He’s now been one of my favorites ever since,” Wallace says. His other favorite NASCAR diver happens to be the owner of the team Wallace drives for. “Currently my favorite driver would have to be Kyle Busch.”
The son of a white father and African American mother, Wallace was born in Mobile, Ala., but grew up in Concord. It was in Concord that Wallace began racing. Starting in the Bandolero racing series, Wallace quickly moved to a faster series known as Legends car racing. Unfortunately, it was at the early events that Wallace first encountered racism among his fellow drivers.
“For me it wasn’t that hard because I guess I really didn’t understand it at the time,” Wallace recounts. “When I would hear things it wouldn’t really bother me like it did my parents. I just went out the next weekend and beat them on the track – again. That was the only way to gain their respect.”
Today, Wallace is an incredibly talented and accomplished race car driver, completing many racing milestones. In 2005, he won 35 of the Bandolero Series’ 48 races held that year, and in 2008 he became the youngest driver to win at Franklin County Speedway in Virginia. Wallace didn’t know he was breaking records after winning. “I didn’t realize I was the youngest driver to win at the GPS (Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina),” explains the driver. “It means a lot, as it’s helping change the face of NASCAR.”
Wallace began driving for Revolution Racing, which operated as part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program. NASCAR initiated this program in 2004 in order to attract minorities and women to the sport in positions such as ownership, driving and crew members.
In addition to his other accomplishments, Wallace was also the first African American to win the Rookie of the Year award in a NASCAR series. Despite all of his racing accomplishments, Wallace still wants to reach new goals. What’s at the top of his list? “Having a successful season in ’13, of course,” laughs Wallace. “And hopefully land something long-term in the years to come!”
Asked what advice he has for other young, ambitious drivers once they start racing, Wallace quickly replies, “It’s not easy; you have to want to do it to stay in this sport. Keep your mind on right and do the right things so you can go out there and do your thing!”
We personally are drooling at the new concept design. The flow, while futuristic, does maintain the look and feel of a WRX. Would not mind getting this version if it was out in production. What are your thoughts?
–Car meet, courtesy of Auto Lounge. Come out of you guys are free–
Auto Lounge and Firestone have teamed up to bring you Certified Monthly meets. Once a month we will be holding these meets that will offer a chill organized place for car enthusiast to lounge without the outside hassle.
Auto Lounge will have $1 raffle for an AL package (Snapback, 10 bands, stickers and a T Shirt of your choice) come by our booth to sign up. (no max on how many you can buy)
Firestone will be running specials all day (more posted later)
***Parking will be to the right side of Firestone, overflow parking will be the mall parking lot**
To be a vendor call or text
Court – 336-978-9325
Cameron – 336-793-6134
With heavy hearts we want to say good bye to Anh-Tuan’s LS400 which were recently involved in an accident. Anh-Tuan was driving home from work when an 18-wheeler merge onto his lane and did a pit-bull maneuver that sent the LS400 spinning multiple times across the highway and slammed onto the median wall. Fortunately Anh-Tuan were able to walk away without any obvious injury. The LS400….not so lucky.
All that is left is a picture for memory:
We’re thankful that Anh-Tuan is OK. Hopefully he’ll return with a more magnificent built. What should be Anh-Tuan’s next car….any suggestion???
With the super bowl game looming on the horizon, tomorrow to be exact, one can’t help but trying to make prediction as to the possible victor. Both of these team has great defense, and are also capable of high scoring. I believe it is going to be an exciting game. My prediction is 49ers 24, Ravens 21. Curious as to what your prediction will be.
image from: internet.wonderhowto.com