Wallace To Run #BlackLivesMatter Car At Martinsville

Bubba Wallace will drive a #BlackLivesMatter car during Wednesday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
Bubba Wallace will drive a #BlackLivesMatter car during Wednesday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.

CONCORD, N.C. — Bubba Wallace will take his support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement to the next level on Wednesday evening at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro will carry a paint scheme in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement during the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500.

The hood of the car will feature to two hands — one black and white — clasped together with the words, “Compassion, Love, Understanding” underneath. The words “#BlackLivesMatter” will appear over the rear tires on each side of the race car.

The car also features a peace symbol on the rear quarter panels, which was a design element suggested by team owner Richard Petty.

In a video post revealing the paint scheme that appeared on the Richard Petty Motorsports Twitter account, Wallace detailed why he felt it was important for him and the Richard Petty Motorsports team to run the scheme on Wednesday evening.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to run the #BlackLivesMatter car for Martinsville, one of our best race tracks, and statistically my best race track for sure,” Wallace said. “With this statement right here that we’re back to make, running this race car, being on live television on FOX, I think it’s going to speak volumes to what I stand for, but also the initiative that NASCAR and the whole sport is trying to push.”

Wallace has been one NASCAR’s most vocal supporters of the #BlackLivesMatter movement that has swept across the country. He said the idea for the scheme developed following a movement called Blackout Tuesday, which saw people on social media post blacked out images as a show of solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

“It was actually on Blackout Tuesday, which was a special day and a big day for our country that saw millions of peaceful people peacefully protesting,” Wallace said. “We knew the Martinsville race was open, we did not sell sponsorship for that. It sparked an idea of why not run a blackout car? I was like, ‘Absolutely. That would be incredible.’ Our team brought that idea to me and I jumped all over it.

“We had further conversations of why not make a statement behind it? Let a foundation or a charity that is helping push the narrative or the initiative of what’s going on in the world today, racial inequality, lets find somebody that aligns with that. Why not drive straight to the root and put #BlackLivesMatter on the car? That’s the most powerful hashtag going around right now, especially these last couple of days, last couple of months really.”

Wallace said he hopes by running the #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme fans will better understand what the movement is about.

“It’s true, black lives do matter. It’s not that we’re saying no other lives matter,” Wallace said. “It’s we’re trying to say that black lives matter too. I think if we put t-o-o on the end, a lot more people would understand it. We want to be treated equally and not judged off our skin color.

“We want to be a part of this nation as one, come together as one,” Wallace continued. “We always say all lives will not matter until black lives matter. I think by running this branding on our car, putting the hashtag out there, bringing more awareness to it, it lines up with the videos that we had put out as NASCAR listening and learning, educating ourselves.

“So people will look up what this hashtag means and, hopefully, get a better understanding and know that we are not trying to create division, we are trying to unite.”

Wallace confirmed his foundation, Live To Be Different, will donate $10,000 to the Black Lives Matter Foundation.

“Just kind of solidifying our stance and where I stand and the people surround me, where we all stand together in moving forward in this world and trying to make it a better place for the next generation,” Wallace said. “Really proud about being able to donate and continue to press the envelope and change peoples lives.”