NASCAR's only Black driver to be honored at Musial Awards in St. Louis

Bubba Wallace has recently signed on to be part of basketball legend Michael Jordan's new NASCAR team.

Sam Masterson
September 23, 2020 - 2:52 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The only Black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. has been named the recipient of the 2020 Stan Musial Award for Extraordinary Character. 

Identified as "one of the most important sports figures of 2020," Wallace will be honored – and presented his award – in the Musial Awards television broadcast airing nationally on CBS on Saturday, Dec. 26. 

The Stan Musial Award for Extraordinary Character honors an individual who demonstrates remarkable poise, perseverance and overall sportsmanship.

He was involved in one of the biggest stories in sports this year, after the FBI came in to investigate the discovery of a noose in Wallace's garage stall. The entire industry rallied around the driver, who in 2018 became the first fulltime Black driver in NASCAR’s premier Cup Series and finished second in his Daytona 500 debut.

The investigation described the incident a misunderstanding.

Related:LOOK: NASCAR Releases Picture of Noose at Bubba Wallace’s Garage

"This year, as the nation has grappled with unrest and injustice, Wallace took a courageous, visible stand promoting tolerance, understanding and unity, underscored by his push for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at races. Under the media microscope, he has demonstrated tremendous grace, humility and decency," stated a release of the Musial Awards announcement.

“Bubba Wallace exemplifies what the Stan Musial Award for Extraordinary Character is all about,” said Frank Viverito, president of the St. Louis Sports Commission, which produces the Musial Awards with the National Sportsmanship Foundation. “He has overcome much to be where he is, and he has courageously stepped forward to take an important stand for change. He is most deserving of an award that stands for sportsmanship and character, and is named for Stan Musial, whose own actions promoted racial acceptance and unity.”

Related: Baseball legend Hank Aaron to receive Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award

Wallace joins Hank Aaron as a 2020 Musial Awards honoree. The baseball legend is receiving the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship. The Lifetime Achievement and Extraordinary Character awards are two special honors bestowed by the Musial Awards. Other 2020 Musial Award recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.

Past recipients of the Stan Musial Award for Extraordinary Character include St. Louis Blues superfan Laila Anderson, Loyola University Basketball Chaplain Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt (now 101 years young), soon-to-be Basketball Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings, and Little League World Series star Mo’ne Davis.

For more information on this year's Musial Awards, click here. 

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