In advance of the 61st running of the DAYTONA 500, which will take place on Sunday, February 17, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace spent Friday in Miami learning about South Florida’s African-American history. Wallace’s visit began at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater where he met with Executive Director Timothy Barber, who led Wallace on a tour of historic Overtown.
“When you have the time to be able to do it, I would recommend doing it for everybody, just to be able to go through and hear the history,” said Wallace about his visit to Overtown. “A lot of this stuff I didn’t even know. When you go through history class in school, you hear about parts of it, but then you’re like, ‘Oh, we didn’t hear about this.’”
During his tour, Wallace stopped by a number of landmarks in the Overtown community including the Dunn & Josephine Hotel and the D.A. Dorsey house, which is the former home of Miami’s first black millionaire. Following the walking tour, Wallace had the opportunity to participate in a cooking class with graduates from the H.E.A.T. Culinary Training Program, a program which helps minorities find high-paying culinary jobs in Miami.
“It would mean that we’re for real,” Wallace said of winning the DAYTONA 500. “You solidify your name in the sport at the highest level. It’s the DAYTONA 500. It’s the Super Bowl of our season. No other sport starts with its biggest event.”
Tickets for the 61st annual DAYTONA 500 and all other Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news.
About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a state-of-the-art motorsports facility and was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious Sports Business Award for Sports Facility of the Year in 2016. Daytona International Speedway is the home of “The Great American Race” – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex, also known as the “World Center of Racing,” boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe. In addition to at least nine major event weekends, the Speedway grounds are also used extensively for events that include concerts, civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training. For more information, visit DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.
About Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway has been open since 1995 following an initiative to spur economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The Speedway, which was founded by Miami businessman, racing enthusiast and philanthropist Ralph Sanchez, is a 650-acre facility that features a 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course. The Speedway hosts on-track events nearly 300 days per year and generates more than $301 million annually for the region. In 2018, NASCAR crowned champions in all three of its national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend for the 17th consecutive year (2002-18). Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2018 were Joey Logano (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), Tyler Reddick (NASCAR XFINITY Series) and Brett Moffitt (NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series). 2019 Ford Championship Weekend will be held November 15-17.
About Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater
Opened in 1913, the Lyric Theater quickly became a major entertainment center for blacks in Miami. The 400-seat theater was built, owned and operated by Geder Walker, a black man from Georgia. The Lyric Theater served as a symbol of black economic influence, as well as a social gathering place-free of discrimination- and a source of pride and culture within Overtown. In 1988, The Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc. acquired the Lyric Theater. The Archives have three types of collections based on provenance – Subject Collections, Manuscript Collections and Black Archives Records.