Race Weekend Central

Bubba Wallace Driving #BlackLivesMatter Scheme at Martinsville

Bubba Wallace’s No. 43 will have a new look this Wednesday, June 10 at Martinsville. The Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet will sport an all-black paint scheme with “#BlackLivesMatter” on the sides and several emblems in support of the cause.

Wallace wore a T-Shirt prior to Sunday’s event at Atlanta Motor Speedway with both “I Can’t Breathe” and “Black Lives Matter” emblazoned on the front. The former is in reference to the words of George Floyd, who died while in police custody two weeks ago. The officer who stepped on Floyd’s neck with his knee, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Floyd’s death, as well as those of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, among others, sparked – as of this writing – more than two weeks of protests, riots and demonstrations around the world in support of victims of racial discrimination and injustice.

In addition to Wallace’s attire, NASCAR held a 30-second moment of silence in support of the movement after a message from President Steve Phelps. It was followed by a video message from dozens of NASCAR drivers, all vowing to stand up against racism.

Wallace’s car also features two arms, one black and one white, grasping hands on the hood. The hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter” is painted on both sides where a sponsor would normally be, paired with a peace sign on the rear quarterpanels. Underneath the hood design, as well as on the back bumper, are the words “Compassion, Love, Understanding.” The driver has become the focus of the movement within the sport, as he is the only full-time black driver participating in the Cup Series.

Richard Petty Motorsports made the announcement with an eight-minute video on Tuesday (July 9), just over 24 hours before the race’s scheduled start time.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to run a #BlackLivesMatter car for Martinsville, one of our best racetracks,” Wallace said in the video. “With this statement we have right here that we’re about to make, with running this racecar on live television on FOX, I think it’s going to speak volumes to what I stand for – but also the initiative that NASCAR, the whole sport, is trying to push.”

The concept to support #BlackLivesMatter through the paint scheme came up during the two-week protest movement gripping America.

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

The No. 43 also has the trademark pair of swooshes near the number, but the colors were altered to match the hood – one white, one black.

“Let’s make a statement behind it,” Wallace said. “[We could] run a foundation or a charity that is helping push the narrative and the initiative of what’s going on in the world today, you know, racial equality… [and] why not dive in straight to the root in putting ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the car, the most powerful hashtag going around I feel like these last couple days, last couple months.”

Wallace was also quick to point out the substance behind the hashtag. He feels there’s a clear meaning in that phrasing that justifies putting the words on the car.

“It’s true, black lives do matter,” he added. “It’s not that we’re saying no other lives matter, we’re trying to say that black lives matter too. If we put ‘too’ on the end, I think 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 and come together as one, but we always say ‘all lives will not matter until black lives matter,’ so I think by running this branding on our car, putting the hashtag out there [and] bringing more awareness to it, it lines up with the videos we put out – NASCAR listening and learning and educating ourselves, so people will look up what this hashtag means and hopefully get a better understanding and know that we’re not trying to create division, we are trying to unite.”

Wallace will start 23rd in the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. The race will get underway shortly after 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 10 with coverage provided by FOX Sports.

About the author

Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.

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Prediction: Bubba wins the race!
But shouldn’t all the cars have this # on them too??

P.S. Leave the stars and bars at home cause Bubba said so!


What is the stars and bars?

Bill B

It’s a new reality TV show where stars from various TV shows get together and bar hop while trying to solve clues to a mystery all the while getting more and more inebriated.

Gary O

Hey! I like Bubba a lot but we can’t change history and Confederate flags like all statues are historical and we cannot change that no matter what we do.


I don’t think the people tearing down statues everyday are aware of that…


Blacks Lapped Matter.


Wow! Not surprised, he is hungry, always hungry for every bit of attention he can get! Is his “white” half at odds with his “black” half? If you see him talking to himself, probably is his “WHITE PRIVILEGE” apologizing to his “oppressed” black side. What an ahole. The world has gone freaking insane. Maybe before “BUBBA” goes deeper down the rabbit hole he should learn how to use a database with numbers from the FBI, etc. The narrative being shoved down simpletons throat, a thinking man rejects the instantly! IMO.


it’s comments like yours that make people think the fanbase is full of ignorant white people. Non-productive comments, such as this should be removed – but it’s against the first amendment…that said – i guess instead of going on a rant, all i can say is – we’re all entitled to our opinions, enjoy the race tomorrow night.


dh, the ignorance is all yours. GO FUCK YOUSELF, while you bathe in your moral superiority and naivete! It is my opinion, and comments sometimes are just not productive! SO WHAT?????? Who the fuck do you think you are? Get over yourself and get lost. People like you are part of the problem! You wanna go kiss some feet, you do it. Not me.


You’re entitled to your opinion, I mine. As I said, enjoy the race.

As an aside, if I figure out the secret to “fucking myself” I’ll be sure to patent it and make millions. Lol.

Until then. Best to you and yours.

Tom B

Thanks Phil for not censoring these replies. I like reading different opinions. It really shows how far apart we are because one person is talking about one thing while the other person is talking about something else.
Moral superiority and plain truth do not mix well. Most Americans know what’s right and wrong and 2 wrongs never make it right.


R.I.P. NASCAR. Time of death: June 10, 2020
Cause of Death: Bubba Wallace, a Man who couldn’t get enough attention to overshadow the fact he sucks as a race car driver with mediocre racing abilities at best and a need to have his ego stroked. The same driver, who 10 months ago slammed Kyle Busch for “bumping him and not respecting him as a driver because he was a young driver” and continued to curse Fuck You at Kyle. Not very “that’s just racing boys” of the privileged half back racist. Good Riddance NASCAR!

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