Even though he’s only 20 years old, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. has often spoken about the impact the late Wendell Scott had upon the development of his racing career.
Even though he faced tremendous odds, adversity and negativity primarily for the color of his skin, Scott’s trailblazing ways helped pave the way for other African-Americans like Wallace and other minorities to chase their dreams of being in NASCAR.
With Scott being named Wednesday to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2015, Wallace applauded the move in a statement released Thursday by his team, Joe Gibbs Racing.
“What a phenomenal moment not only for the Scott family, but for NASCAR,” Wallace said. “This moment has been coming for a long time.
“To be a pioneer and persevere thru the negative and never let his vision be interrupted, shows that Wendell Scott knew what it took to be an iron man in this sport. I’m honored to be following in his steps and I hope to continue to carry on his legacy throughout my racing career.”
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.