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Darrell Wallace Jr. will stand under the spotlight this weekend when he makes his debut in the Daytona 500.
The 24-year-old is one of several young drivers who NASCAR hopes emerges as a star in the wake of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart all retiring over the past three seasons. Wallace has a great deal going for him, too.
This season, he will drive the iconic No. 43 Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports. He’s also the first African-American to make a start in the Great American Race since 1969 and became the first driver since Bill Lester to make a Cup start since 2006 when he made four starts in the 43 last season.
To help introduce to him to casual fans, Wallace’s run at the Harley J. Earl trophy will be chronicled in a new docuseries called “Behind the Wall: Bubba Wallace,” which will air this week and next on Facebook Watch.
The first episode will posted on Thursday. The trailer can be viewed below.
Wallace has one of the more bombastic and engaging personalities of the next generation of NASCAR stars. His friendship with fellow young gun Ryan Blaney is well-documented and will be featured in the eight-part NASCAR-produced film.
“It’s been wild to have this entire journey documented leading into the Daytona 500,” Wallace said. “It’s cool to finally see it all come together. I’ve watched a few episodes, and it’s awesome.
“It really shows how much preparation is going into my first year racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Richard Petty Motorsports and the famed 43. This is something a little out of the box that’s great for fans.”
Two episodes will air per day from Thursday through Saturday in the lead-up to the 60th running of the 500, while the series’ final two episodes will be available next week. Wallace will interact with his fans live on Facebook as the series unfolds.
“Bubba Wallace is a burgeoning superstar in NASCAR, and his story is one that brings inspiration to so many people,” said Evan Parker, NASCAR managing director, content strategy. “With Facebook Watch, we’re thrilled to present Bubba’s journey to the Daytona 500 and the highest echelon of our sport in a completely new and innovative way.”
Facebook Watch is a video platform created to bring episodic content, community and conversation together on Facebook and is home to a wide variety of sports shows. It is most notable for being the home of the ‘Tom vs. Time’ series that focused on NFL superstar Tom Brady.
– Matt Weaver is an associate motorsports editor at Autoweek. Before becoming a journalist, he was a dirt track racer and short track cheeseburger connoisseur.
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