Just when you thought they were moving into the 21st century, the NASCAR community takes two steps forward and three steps backwards. In October, Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. became the first full-time African American NASCAR Cup Series driver since the legendary NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott in 1971. Richard Petty Motorsports, a full-time competitor in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series named Wallace, 24, as the 2018 driver of the legendary racing icon Richard Petty’s No. 43.
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman sits down with Darrell Wallace Jr. and Richard Petty to talk about their plans to join forces for 2018. For more NASCAR news, check out: http://www.NASCAR.com
NASCAR is going through another cycle, Petty told NASCAR.com, "and we wanted to be part of that change this time. We...felt that Bubba was going to be our best bet to be right up to the cutting edge of what’s going on.”
It was a PR execs dream for NASCAR diversity - a legend in the the most redneck sport in existence taking a young and talented African-American driver with no NASCAR team or financial stability and tabbing him as the future of the sport, betting his entire post-career legacy on the lighter shade of brown.
Then just as quickly as you can say “Martin Luther King would be prou..”, a Wisconsin high school golf coach resigns his position after sending racist tweets directed at Wallace Jr., who made four starts in the No. 43 earlier this year while Aric Almirola was recuperating from a back injury and did well enough to gain the faith of Richard Petty.
Cambridge (Wis.) High School coach Brent Nottestad posted several tweets last week commenting on Richard Petty Motorsports blessing Wallace with the No. 43 car next season. The Cambridge News first reported Nottestad’s resignation. He stepped down Thursday after meeting with school district officials.
One of Nottestad’s tweets, which have since been deleted, included a reference to Wallace’s grandmother, who died last year: "Granny Jan die in a police shooting?" Nottestad also tweeted: "Hey @BubbaWallace. Please quit with, 'I'm black' bs. You're terrible. There are 1423 more credible drivers to get that ride than you.”
The number 1423 is often used by the Southern Brotherhood, the largest white supremacist prison gang in Alabama, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Nottestad, 42, also wrote in reference to a photo of Wallace posing with a white fan: "Almost looks like going to the zoo."
@nottestad25 You're a smart guy? a disgusting but smart guy right? This makes you look pathetic and weak, it's sad. You said what you meant and now worried about the repercussions..that I pray to God will happen. Oh and my granny hopes so too🤘🏽
Wow, I feel truly sorry for your kids. Again..to have so much hate towards somebody you've never met. Hope your kids grow up to be the exact opposite of a father you are.. https://t.co/yxLhvjjxQ8
Wallace shot back against the racist on Twitter, but his true retaliation will come in a couple of months when he embarks on making history and continues to shine as NASCAR's Black Prince.