Bubba Wallace and Richard Petty Motorsports revealed a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme for the No. 43 Chevrolet on Tuesday. Wallace, who has been outspoken about the civil unrest centered around racial inequality and NASCAR’s place in the national conversation, will run the paint scheme for the NASCAR Cup Series race on Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway (7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Wallace had significant input on the paint scheme that was revealed on RPM’s social media channels.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to run #BlackLivesMatter on the car for Martinsville,” Wallace said in a video posted on Richard Petty Motorsports’ Twitter handle.
“This statement that we have right here. … Running this race car. Being on live television. I think it’s going to speak volumes for what I stand for, but also what the initiative that NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push.”
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“I think the two fists — the black fist and the white fist — going hand in hand speaks volumes, says a lot. Has a lot of power behind it,” Wallace said.
The Virginia track affectionately known as the “Paperclip” was where Wallace, who came up through NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, won his first national series race in 2013 while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
Martinsville also is significant historically in that it is near the home of Danville, Virginia, native Wendell Scott, the only African-American driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race and a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Wallace has been a leader in the discussions among NASCAR drivers about social justice. Wallace and Ty Dillon held such a talk last week on Instagram Live, and Dillon later said he would not be afraid on his platforms to stand up for his beliefs.
Before the Cup Series race on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, drivers collaborated on a video titled “I will listen and learn,” and NASCAR President Steve Phelps took a moment before the start of the competition to discuss the need for change.