HUNTERSVILLE, N.C.--While greeting fans at Joe Gibbs Racing on Wednesday, Darrell Wallace Junior might have looked like he was soaking up the spotlight. But, looks can be deceiving.
The 18 year-old from Concord isn't losing his focus.
"I got the team behind me that's ready to win. It's pretty much all up to me now where I gotta go out
there to win and be up front," said Wallace.It's that same strategy he's used to filter out fans who have heckled him for his race. "All the negative stuff I've experienced enabled me to get to this point right now," Wallace said.
After last weekend's race in Iowa, he is just the fourth African American driver to race on the NASCAR Nationwide Circuit. Wallace hopes he can be a role model. "Young African Americans have nobody to look up to in the top ranks so I think that's where I come in and they get to that point where they can start seeing there's somebody there they can look up to," he said.
After starting with a go-kart ten years ago, Wallace is already working toward his own championship. "I just take it race by race, day by day, anything just to keep myself calm.
I don't work myself up about too much. It's all about patience and that's what I take in,"Wallace said.
Wallace's next big race is in Iowa in August. He credits the support of both his mom and dad with his success.
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