Bubba Wallace captured his first NASCAR Cup Series victory last Monday in the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Speedway. The 27-year-old made history with the win, becoming just the second African-American driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race alongside Wendell Scott, who accomplished the feat in 1963.
Wallace earned the victory in interesting fashion, as rain brought the race to a premature conclusion. The 23XI Racing driver led five of 117 laps before the race was brought to a halt by the weather, but was in the lead when the event was paused. NASCAR eventually deemed that the conditions were too dangerous to continue and ended the race, giving Wallace the victory.
The result marked a historic career achievement for Wallace, but a few fans called into question if the rain-shortened event should carry the same weight as a full race. When that notion started to gain some traction, a former NASCAR driver came to the defense of the driver of the No. 23.
Rick Mast, who raced for 15 years in the Cup Series, said that he would’ve given up quite a lot to be in Wallace’s position last Monday. He tweeted out exactly what he would’ve parted ways with if he’d had the same opportunity to win a rain-shortened race.
“For all the folks fussing about [the Bubba Wallace] “rain shortened victory”. I would’ve given my left nut for a rain shortened cup victory. Well, maybe only a part of my left nut,” Mast wrote on Twitter.
For all the folks fussing about @BubbaWallace “rain shortened victory”. I would’ve given my left nut for a rain shortened cup victory.
Well, maybe only a part of my left nut.
— Rick Mast (@rickmast22) October 5, 2021
Mast knows a thing or two about coming up short at the Cup Series level. He ran in 364 races over a 15-year period and never crossed the finish line first.
The notion that Wallace’s victory means any less than a normal result is ridiculous, so Mast’s defense of the young driver is encouraging to see. Last Monday was an incredible achievement for the 27-year-old and it should be celebrated as such.
Wallace will try to recapture the magic of last week’s victory as he goes for a second consecutive win at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.