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Talladega champ Bubba Wallace no stranger to students on Northwest Cabarrus High campus

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 2:46 PM EDT
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CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) -It was an historic win on the NASCAR track in Talladega, Alabama, on Monday as Daniel Wallace, Jr., known as Bubba, became the first Black driver to win at the sport’s highest level since Wendell Scott was first to the checkered flag in 1963.

It’s a win that has turned the world’s attention to the sport, and to Wallace. The driver was born in Alabama, but was raised in Concord, and graduated from Northwest Cabarrus High School.

Bubba Wallace found out he won the race while waiting in the pits for the rain to stop. It didn’t, and he got the win. NASCAR broadcaster Doug Rice of the Performance Racing Network says the win is a big relief for Wallace.

“The question of can Bubba Wallace win a race has finally been answered, and I don’t want to hear rain delay races. Richard Petty won five rain-delayed races, Darrell Waltrip won races by rain delay, all the greats in the sport have won rain-delay races so don’t let that temper the excitement and expectation for Bubba,” Rice said.

The victory came as no surprise on the campus of Northwest Cabarrus High School…Andy Highsmith, an Instructional Technology Facilitator, was one of Bubba’s teachers at NCHS.

“You could tell at that point that he was going to do something big, you could just tell,” Highsmith said.

And the former student has not been a stranger.

“Every year Bubba either comes in person or he submits a video, gives our student scholarships, he and Corey LaJoie, also a Northwest grad, they’ve worked together before to give our students that need shoes, shoes, so he’s just a big contributor to Northwest,” said NCHS Principal Christopher Myers.

The win also carries historical significance. Wallace is the firs Black driver to win at NASCAR’s highest level since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott in 1963.

“It’s on all of the morning news shows, it’ll be on the news cycle for the next couple of days. I don’t know that you can measure the significance of what happened with Bubba winning,” Rice added.

That sentiment applies across the NASCAR world, and at Northwest Cabarrus.

“Oh, I’m so proud of him,” added Highsmith. “I knew he was going to do it one day, you just have that feeling when he was 15-years-old that he was going to make it and he was going to do it.”

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