Wallace and famed No. 43 to sport "Black Lives Matter" livery

Jim Utter

“I’m excited to run a #BlackLivesMatter car for Martinsville, one of our best race tracks and my best race track for sure,” Wallace said in a video released by RPM.

“This statement that we have here that we’re about to make on live television on Fox will speak volumes to what I stand for but also the initiative that NASCAR and the sport is trying to push.”

The idea actually first came up last week, before NASCAR’s pre-race acknowledgement of racial injustice on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Wallace said his Richard Petty Motorsports team did not have sponsorship sold for the Martinsville race and the “Black Out Tuesday” peaceful protest campaign on June 2 sparked a discussion on running a “blacked out car.”

Darrell Wallace Jr., Richard Petty Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro

Darrell Wallace Jr., Richard Petty Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NASCAR Media

NASCAR Media

“They brought that idea to me and I jumped all over it,” Wallace said. “Why not dive in straight to the root and putting Black Lives Matter on the car – one of the most powerful hashtags going around the last couple of months.

“It’s true, black lives do matter. We’re trying to say black lives matter, too. We wanted to be treated equally and not judged off our skin color. The actions that we (face) off our skin color are different.

“We want to be part of this nation as one, come together as one. By running this branding on the car it brings more awareness to it, it lines up with the videos we have put out in NASCAR about listening and learning and educating ourselves.”

Wallace is the only full-time African-American driver in NASCAR’s premier Cup Series and has taken a far more vocal stance in recent weeks on racial injustice and the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes while Floyd was handcuffed.

On Sunday, Wallace wore a shirt on pit road that read “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe,” referencing Floyd’s plea to officers in his final moments.

On Monday night, Wallace appeared on CNN with host Don Lemon and said he believed it was also time NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from being flown at tracks.

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