TALLADEGA, Ala. (WGHP / AP) — Bubba Wallace won the YellaWood 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway on Monday, marking his first NASCAR Cup Series victory.
The win is also the first for the 23XI Racing team.
Michael Jordan entered NASCAR as the first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup Series team in nearly 50 years with the 23XI Racing team. He owns the team with Denny Hamlin.
The playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway was washed out and rescheduled for Monday because persistent rain backed the series into too tight of a window to run as scheduled.
The race was initially delayed almost two hours and NASCAR made one attempt Sunday at starting the 500-miler. But it began to rain again as the cars circled the 2.66-mile superspeedway behind the pace car.
Talladega does not have lights — the Xfinity Series race on Saturday ended six laps early because of impending darkness — and the lengthy delay meant NASCAR would flirt with sunset if it even started the race. Talladega’s 500 miles average a 3 hour, 41-minute runtime and NASCAR does not like to start a race unless it expects to run to completion.
Early weather reports called for rain in Alabama on Monday, as well. Same for Tuesday and part of Wednesday.
Talladega marks the middle race of the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs, with the hybrid road course/oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway scheduled as next week’s elimination race.
Drivers were on edge headed into Talladega because of the unpredictability of the 2.66-mile superspeedway and the risks of pack racing. Both the Truck Series race and Xfinity Series race doubleheader on Saturday were crash-marred and won by non-playoff drivers.