Behind the scenes as Bubba Wallace keeps his Richard Petty tattoo promise: ‘I didn’t want to be that guy’
CONCORD, N.C. – On the surface, the story of Bubba Wallace’s one and only tattoo is simple. Richard Petty, a seven-time NASCAR Cup champion and the owner of the No. 43 Camaro that Wallace currently races in the sport’s top series, autographed the 25-year-old’s arm last month. Wallace tweeted a photo of The King’s signature: “43000 RTs and I’ll get it tattooed.” The tweet received roughly 44,500 retweets. Boom. Tattoo.
Yet the story runs a little deeper.
In 2016, Wallace’s grandmother died. Ever since that loss, he had been pondering the possibility of getting a tattoo. But it had to be meaningful. He wanted to honor his grandmother, but how? With what? He has a deep passion for music, too. But what kind of tattoo could properly convey that part of his life? What about the racing career, fueled by the support of NASCAR’s most accomplished driver, that has shaped his celebrity?….