Wallace to become first black driver in Cup race since 2006

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Darrell Wallace Jr. will become the first black driver to race at NASCAR's top level since 2006 when he replaces an injured Aric Almirola this weekend at Pocono Raceway.

Richard Petty Motorsports says Wallace will be the replacement until Almirola returns. Almirola and Wallace both drive Fords, but Wallace races in the Xfinity Series for Roush Fenway Racing.

Wallace won the Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway in 2013 to become the first black driver to win at a national NASCAR series event since Wendell Scott earned a Cup victory on December 1, 1963.

Wallace is only the fourth black driver in one of NASCAR's top national series. Scott raced from 1961-73 in Cup, Willy T. Ribbs did three Cup races in 1986 and Bill Lester raced sporadically from 1999 until 2007 at all three national levels.

Almirola fractured a vertebra during a fiery wreck last month at Kansas Speedway. He's sidelined indefinitely.

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More AP auto racing: http://racing.ap.org

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