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Netflix series featuring Bubba Wallace wins Sports Emmy Award

"Race: Bubba Wallace" chronicles Wallace's experience after he successfully campaigned to ban the Confederate flag and chased his first victory.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — "Race: Bubba Wallace," the Netflix docu-series that followed NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, won a Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary Series (Serialized). 

The six-part series chronicled Wallace's experience as the only Black driver in NASCAR's Cup Series after he used his voice to ban the Confederate flag from all events amid calls for social justice across the country, as well as the pursuit of his first career win in NASCAR's premier division. 

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During the series, Wallace mentions his upbringing and the challenges he faced as a Black driver in a predominantly white sport. In addition to social issues featured in the series, Wallace's mental health struggles are a focal point. Wallace has been public about his battle with depression, telling reporters in 2019 that on-track struggles only made it harder on him. 

"You try to be the best you can and sometimes it ain't damn good enough," Wallace said. 

Wallace joined 23XI Racing, the team co-owned by NBA icon Michael Jordan and NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, in 2021. He became the second Black driver to win in the NASCAR Cup Series that season. He was the first Black driver to win in NASCAR's top series since Wendell Scott in 1963.

Prior to joining 23Xi, Wallace was pushed into the national spotlight when a garage pull rope was tied into a noose in his garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway. An FBI investigation determined the noose was not part of a hate crime against Wallace. NASCAR said it was the only garage stall with a pull rope that resembled a noose. Wallace even drew the ire of former President Donald Trump on Twitter. 

"Race: Bubba Wallace" includes in-depth interviews with Wallace's family, Hamlin, NASCAR legend Richard Petty and Bill Lester, a Black racer who faced many of the same challenges as Wallace during his career in NASCAR. 

The incident occurred just a couple of weeks after NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from all of its events and properties. Wallace led the charge to remove the flag in the wake of George Floyd's murder and global protests for justice. Wallace wore an "I can't breathe" T-shirt before multiple races in 2020. 

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