NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is the only active African-American driver in the Cup Series. File Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI | License Photo
June 9 (UPI) -- NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is pushing for change in the sport, calling for the removal of all Confederate flags at race tracks.
"My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags," Wallace told CNN on Monday. "No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them."
Wallace drives the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports and is the only active black driver in the Cup Series. Wallace, who wore a shirt that read "I Can't Breathe" and "Black Lives Matter" before Sunday's race in Atlanta, understands his position won't sit well with some NASCAR fans.
"There's going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it's time for change," Wallace said. "We have to change that, and I encourage NASCAR -- we will have those conversations to remove those flags."
Wallace, 26, said he wasn't always bothered by seeing Confederate flags at races. But the Alabama native recently educated himself about the history of the flag.
"What I'm chasing is checkered flags, and that was kind of my narrative," Wallace said. "But diving more into it and educating myself, people feel uncomfortable with that, people talk about that. That's the first thing they bring up. ... We should not be able to have an argument over that. It is a thick line we cannot cross anymore."
In 2015, NASCAR asked fans not to bring Confederate flags to races and had a flag exchange program to "create an all-inclusive atmosphere."
NASCAR's next Cup Series race is set for Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. Richard Petty Motorsports announced Tuesday that Wallace will drive a car with a "Black Lives Matter" paint scheme to promote racial equality.