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Kenny Wallace Highlights Cup Series Anomaly As Millionaire Rapper Makes Grand Appearance

Published 09/26/2023, 9:37 PM EDT

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When NASCAR races roar across our screens or headlines zoom into our newsfeeds, more often than not, it’s a male-dominated narrative, focusing on male drivers or their female partners. The stories of fierce female drivers carving their paths in the sport frequently get sidelined. Despite the tireless endeavors of racers like Tony Breindinger and Hailie Deegan to ascend to the Xfinity or Cup Series, a shadow of male dominance looms large over the circuit.

The issue was recently turbocharged by the voice of NASCAR legend Kenny Wallace. During a discourse on the Texas Cup Series race, he spotlighted an incident, underscoring the glaring sexism within NASCAR’s lanes and bringing a much-needed focus to the challenges and triumphs of women in motorsport.

Did Kenny Wallace just highlight the gender bias in NASCAR?

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While Hailie Deegan and Tony Breindinger blaze the trail as young, prominent female drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, their ascent to higher series like Xfinity remains stalled despite outperforming many of their male counterparts. The issue of gender disparity in NASCAR has now been unwittingly spotlighted by the legendary Xfinity Series driver, Kenny Wallace. In a conversation about the Texas Motor Speedway race, he inadvertently shed light on the limited presence of female drivers in the sport, leading to an evolution in a longstanding NASCAR tradition.

Typically, the celebrated call of Gentlemen, start your engines echoes from a notable figure, signaling the end of pre-race formalities and the imminent unfurling of the green flag. However, acknowledging the emerging female force in motorsports, this phrase often morphs into a more inclusive Drivers, start your engines.” 

But in Texas, singer Jelly Roll was prompted to utter the traditional “Gentlemen,” a point underscored by Wallace, highlighting the absence of female contenders in that race. Commenting on the ambiance celebrities like Jelly Roll bring, Wallace remarked, “It is amazing the vibe that they bring when they simply come to the racetrack, and he announced, “Gentleman! Start your engines!” So we had no ladies in the race; no ladies were in the race(repeated), but when there was a lady in the race, they say, “Drivers, start your engine.”

And Wallace isn’t alone. Pioneers like Danica Patrick have also voiced the topic of gender imbalance in NASCAR, though her insights met with a lukewarm reception. These reflections, however unintentional, emphasize the pressing need for a more inclusive and equal racing world, ensuring every driver, regardless of gender, gets a fair shot at every racetrack.

Watch This Story: Dirty Old Garage Kenny Wallace Defends Nascars Misogyny Claims Theyre Protecting Dainty Wom

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Danica Patrick’s Startling Comment on Women in Motorsports

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Danica Patrick is a beacon of accomplishment. Known for her formidable driving skills and striking presence, she has etched her name in the annals of motorsport history more than once. Her list of accolades is impressive, including being named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list and appearing in a record-setting 14 Super Bowl commercials. Such a successful journey paved with her own grit and determination, might lead one to assume her staunch support for increasing women’s presence in motorsports as well.

However, in a recent interview, her comments took an unexpected detour. Responding to a question about her stance on women in racing, she said, “You’re assuming I want that. You’re assuming that is important to me. And it’s not. It’s always like an interesting stance I have on it. I think what makes a sport really popular is great racing. Like you can have half the field out there [with] women and have them be follow the leader, and it’s not gonna be interesting to watch.”

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Days After Issuing Sexist Remarks, Danica Patrick Takes Controversial Stance on Employing Women in F1

These remarks, seemingly dismissive of the importance of promoting women in NASCAR, underscore the roadblocks faced by women in a predominantly male-centric sport. The community is left hoping for a more vocal and supportive stand from its stalwarts, emphasizing equal opportunities and fair racing grounds for all deserving drivers, irrespective of gender. Amidst the roaring engines and speeding cars, may the call for equality and recognition for women in motorsports echo louder.

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer for EssentiallySports. Her ability to capture the spirit of the exhilarating races and relay the enthusiasm to her readers distinguishes her as a sports journalist. Neha's articles strike a nice balance between technical accuracy and story-telling.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta