As VIBE and Revolution Racing gear up to race for diversity, 17-year-old NASCAR racer Darrell Wallace Jr. is mentally and physically preparing to drive the VIBE vehicle for a great cause. Let me remind you, he’s doing all of this while working on graduating early from high school.
“Just took my first exam today. Got two more to take, then I’ll be done with high school,” he mentions with pride.
In efforts to reach an urban audience and open doors for minorities to join high-speed racing, NASCAR has developed the Drive For Diversity Program to showcase their dedication to new opportunities. Wallace is a great example of what it’s like to be an African American racer who excels in a predominantly white sport.
Prior to his dreams of being a top racer, he wanted to play basketball, but quickly dropped that because of his fearless need for speed. However, he has noticed a lack of black culture representation in the high-speed racing world which he’s learned to deal with.
“You just can’t give ’em any reason to talk bad about you, so you gotta go out there and do good in every race, be positive to the fans, the media, the track owners, the track officials. I mean, it’s just that much more that you have to be on your toes,” he says.
He does hope to see more black people try it out in future years.
“I’d love to see more black people and minorities. That’s what we’re trying to do is bring a new face into the sport and we’re going out there showcasing our talent showing that we can do it and so can you, so why not give it a try.”
Winning Rookie Of The Year honors at the end of 2010, this history making driver won major races last year, including 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He, no doubt, plans to rep the VIBE and Revolution Racing brands well.
“I got a call from Joe Gibbs racing last year, and he asked me if I wanted to do it, so I ended up doing the program last year,” the bi-cultural sensation says. “This year, I was asked to do it again and being able to be apart of this with VIBE Magazine is definitely awesome. I can’t thank VIBE enough and Revolution Racing.” -Niki McGloster