Bubba Wallace also appeared to pass out immediately after Sunday's race, reportedly collapsing in a crewmembers' arms

By Joelle Goldstein
June 08, 2020 01:50 PM
Bubba Wallace
Bubba Wallace
| Credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty

NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace suffered two medical scares on Sunday following a race in Atlanta.

Wallace had just finished in 21st place at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 when he fainted on the broadcast — first in his crewmembers' arms following the race and later, during a live television interview.

Despite both scares, Wallace, 26, reassured fans that he was okay, writing on Twitter later that day, "Got sent to the Gulag.. Won that... Where we dropping. Aka I’m good."

The first incident occurred shortly after Wallace had completed the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, according to The New York Post.

Cameras captured the NASCAR driver talking to his crewmembers before appearing to get lightheaded. He then was seen collapsing in one of their arms, the outlet reported.

Once he recovered, Wallace sat down along the pit road for an interview with Fox reporter Jamie Little.

When asked what happened after the race, the driver reportedly told Little, "I don’t even know. Long race I guess. I stood up too fast. Well, I guess I was told I was going to do media, and sat down and got up too fast, and I got dizzy, got lightheaded."

"I feel fine now. Quick scare for everybody," he added, according to the New York Post.

bubba wallace
Bubba Wallace at Sunday's race
| Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty

Though he appeared alert at the beginning of their live interview, it wasn't long before Wallace fainted again.

In the terrifying clip, shared by a Twitter user, Little can be heard asking if Wallace is okay after the driver did not answer her question. Instead, Wallace was seen putting his head down, closing his eyes, and leaning forward.

When it was clear that something was wrong, one of Wallace's crewmembers was seen grabbing his shoulders from behind while another person can be heard saying, "Where's medical?"

Fox quickly cut away from Wallace, but later showed him sitting on the wall where he was being tended to by crewmembers. Fox NASCAR announcer Mike Joy later told viewers, "Bubba Wallace is okay, being tended to by medical personnel," according to the New York Post.

It was an emotional Sunday for Wallace, who — prior to fainting — had called for social justice in the wake of George Floyd's death by wearing an "I Can't Breathe" shirt before the race.

He also paused during the warm-up laps, along with the other 39 cars, while NASCAR president Steve Phelps vowed to better address racial injustices and participated in a call-to-action video with other drivers that was played during Phelps' speech.

"Thank you for your time," Phelps said, according to ESPN. "Our country is in pain, and people are justifiably angry, demanding to be heard. The black community and all people of color have suffered in our country, and it has taken far too long for us to hear their demands for change. Our sport must do better. Our country must do better."

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"The time is now to listen, to understand and to stand against racism and racial injustice," Phelps continued. "We ask our drivers ... and all our fans to join us in this mission, to take a moment of reflection, to acknowledge that we must do better as a sport, and join us as we now pause and take a moment to listen."

Wallace, the only black driver in the Cup Series, currently ranks 22 in the 2020 cup standings, according to ESPN. Competing since 2017, he has 10 starts, two top 10s, and 170 points on the year so far.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.