Bubba Wallace was honored Thursday by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) for his role as a trailblazer in the field of NASCAR.
Wallace has been a leading voice in the garage on issues of social justice, race and humanity. He took part virtually in a luncheon where he spoke about his efforts on and off the track.
Past speakers at the event have included former African-American astronaut Winston Scott, Ambassador Andrew Young, Senator Bill Nelson, Dr. Louis Sullivan and Charlene Hunter-Gault.
During the event, four students were awarded the NASCAR Wendell Scott Sr. Scholarship. NASCAR has been a longstanding partner of the UNCF and worked with the UNCF to provide annual scholarships for more than 15 years.
“It’s important to honor Wendell Scott Sr.’s legacy,” Wallace said. “He was the first one to do it, and while there have been four or five of us that have dabbled into it, I’m only the second African American driving full time since Wendell Scott. It’s been 60 years since his first start, and even though I had my first start four years ago, the sport is changing. We’re bringing in new owners, fresh faces to the sport and opening opportunities for others to join. We’re trying to get a new demographic into the sport and bring in more minorities and that is huge.”
The students awarded scholarships were Bethany McCullough (of Georgia State University), Autumn Ford (of Howard University), Karsten Patrick (of Dillard University) and Pierce Wilson (of Dartmouth College). Each recipient will receive $2,310.00. To be considered for the scholarship, students had to a have at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and be enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited four-year college university in the United States. Additionally, the applicants had to submit a video addressing this question: “In addition to internships, scholarships and campus visits, describe how NASCAR can expand and facilitate the inclusion of an engagement with diverse collegiate populations in all facets of the NASCAR industry. The content may expand on an existing initiative or be a new idea.”