Columbia Sportswear to sponsor Wallace

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(AP) -- Corporate interest in Bubba Wallace has picked up momentum and NASCAR's only Black full-time driver has signed a new sponsor that includes funding for his Richard Petty Motorports team.

Columbia Sportswear Co. on Wednesday announced a multiyear sponsorship with Wallace as a brand ambassador that will also put the company on the No. 43 at Dover later this month and one to two other races not yet announced.

Wallace, in his third full season at NASCAR's top Cup Series level, has gained national attention over the last several months as an activist. He successfully pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its events, promotes a message of "compassion, love, understanding" in his quest for inclusivity and has led the conversation among his peers about racial equality.

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