NASCAR star Bubba Wallace meets with young Chicago fans ahead of race

The stars and the cars came together for the NASCAR Road Rally at McDonald’s in Bronzeville. Fans got to meet Bubba Wallace Jr., and enjoy festivities leading up to the weekend races.

Over 200 local children from various neighborhoods and racing fans lined up to meet Wallace, one of the most popular race car drivers in the industry. He drives for Michael Jordan’s 23XI team and is sponsored by McDonald’s, making him a natural Chicago favorite.

"There’s a lot more to it than just showing up on Sundays and driving. You’re doing a lot of community work, especially this weekend in Chicago. It’s good to be back," Wallace said

Wallace was accommodating, even signing a large race car tire that one fan brought on a plane all the way here.

Garrett Irvine flew to Chicago from Florida. He said he had got some funny looks from TSA in the airport but they allowed him to bring the tire, which Wallace autographed. 

"He’s my favorite driver," Irvine said. "He;'s been my favorite driver for years. I root for him. I wear the hat. I wear the shirt. He’s my daughter’s favorite, also. She loves Bubba and the McDonald’s cars."

Wallace said he was skeptical about the event last year. 

"It actually ended up being a lot of fun all three or four days that we were here. My wife and I flew in yesterday. I’m excited to get back to it, get our feet on the ground and get to it."

McDonald’s owner Vincent Hale said the children will treasure the memory of meeting Wallace. 

"Who knows, the next Bubba could be in this crowd," Hale said.

The event was sponsored by the Black, Hispanic, and Asian McDonald’s Operators Associations, now teaming up with NASCAR. 


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