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NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace faints after hot race and long, emotional week

Driver Bubba Wallace wears a "I Can't Breath, Black Lives Matter" shirt before NASCAR race Sunday, June 7, 2020,at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. Wallace, the only full-time black driver in any of NASCAR’s top three series, encouraged his peers to speak up about racial injustice.
Driver Bubba Wallace wears a "I Can't Breath, Black Lives Matter" shirt before NASCAR race Sunday, June 7, 2020,at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. Wallace, the only full-time black driver in any of NASCAR’s top three series, encouraged his peers to speak up about racial injustice.

Credit: Brynn Anderson

Credit: Brynn Anderson

This week, driver Bubba Wallace has faced the glare and heat of public notice more than at any time in his brief career. As the only African American driver on NASCAR’s biggest circuit, Wallace has been very out front in telling his story and his feelings in the midst of the nationwide unrest caused by the death of George Floyd while in the hands of police.

It all got hotter Sunday. Wallace's trying, emotional grind of a week came to a momentarily scary conclusion Sunday at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. With track temperatures over 100 degrees, a depleted Wallace had trouble getting out of his Richard Petty Motorsports car following a 21st-place finish. It was reported he fainted soon after exiting his ride.

» PHOTOS: The scene at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Appearing to have recovered, Fox Sports’ Jamie Little began asking Wallace about the “I Can’t Breathe/Black Lives Matter” shirt he wore before the race when the driver slumped and seemed to briefly lose consciousness.

Wallace was taken by ambulance to the Atlanta Motor Speedway infield care center, where he was treated and released, according to NASCAR. There was no explanation given for the cause of the episode.

Wallace was the second driver requiring post-race medical attention. Josh Bilicki, who finished 34th, also was treated and released.