The National Motorsports Press Association has selected Bubba Wallace as the winner of the second-quarter Pocono Spirit Award for his advocacy to make NASCAR more diverse and inclusive.
The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.
Wallace called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag shortly before officials announced they would do so in June. He competed in the Martinsville race with Black Lives Matter on his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports car.
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“It’s an honor to accept the Spirit Award, for sure,” Wallace said. “Looking back, I thought just by standing up for what’s right and speaking out on the problems the nation faces and how we can be better, not only as a sport but also as a society, is powerful.
“And I encourage everybody to use their voices to speak up for what’s going on wrong in the world and try to make this a better place for all. So, thank you for the opportunity, and we’ll try to keep pushing the envelope to make things better.”
Wallace was selected in a vote by the NMPA membership.
Receiving votes was Bobby Bennett, publisher and editor of CompetitionPlus.com. He survived COVID-19 and established the C19 to encourage plasma donations from fellow coronavirus survivors. Also receiving votes was the Ford Motor Company. The company launched a Donation Match program in April. Ford committed to match up to $500,000 in employee contributions to designated community organizations engaged in the fight against COVID-19.
Wallace is eligible for year-end NMPA Pocono Spirit Award. Wood Brothers Racing won the award in the first quarter for charitable work in helping seniors in and around its home base of Stuart, Virginia. The team spearheaded a campaign to provide COVID-19 quarantined seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities with electronic tablets to communicate with family members unable to visit.