Following an emotionally-charged 2020, Bubba Wallace has been named the overall 2020 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Pocono Spirit Award winner. A press release from the NMPA, lists Wallace’s advocacy in helping make NASCAR a more diverse and inclusive sport as the determining factor in the award.
The 27-year old driver, in a year of social unrest in the United States, let his voice be heard loud and clear on the issues, which helped his peers and the sanctioning body that he drives in also feel comfortable in taking a stand against racism and social injustice.
“It’s an honor to win the NMPA Pocono Spirit Award this year,” said Wallace. “In a year of
ups and downs, what we were able to accomplish off the race track as a sport is something that is special and a proud moment for me.
“I didn’t set out to become an advocate this year, but as things were happening around our
country, I found myself in a position to use my voice and push for change. I’m proud of what we accomplished, but we still have work today. Thanks to the NMPA and all of their members for this honor.”
Wallace played a key role in the Confederate flag finally being banned from NASCAR race tracks and properties in 2020, and he also sported a #BlackLivesMatter car at Martinsville in the aftermath of George Floyd being killed by police in Minneapolis in June.
The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is a chance to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. The members of the NMPA vote quarterly for an award recipient as well as for a yearly overall award winner as well.
In addition to Wallace, Wood Brothers Racing, Josh Williams and Martin Truex Jr. and his girlfriend Sherry Pollex all won quarterly NMPA Pocono Spirit Awards in 2020.