EAST ST. LOUIS, Il. – Bubba Wallace, a popular NASCAR Cup Series driver, spent the day visiting with local children. He met with students at an East St. Louis McDonald’s. He posed for pictures, signed autographs, and certainly made a positive impact. 

It’s a rare day when there’s more people gathered in the McDonald’s parking lot versus the drive through line during the lunch hour. 

The packed lot all because of NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace. 

“Here to see Bubba Wallace and get his autograph signed,” said James Lefloie. 

“I’m coming to see bubba Wallace,” said Je’mori Wicker. 

“I just want to meet a celebrity,” said Kevin Stevenson-Hines. 

Wallace enjoyed the day connecting with the community. 

“Out here at McDonalds with our beautiful 23 car. Signing some autographs. Helping make some big macs. It’s a good day,” said Wallace. 

In a city not traditionally known for NASCAR races. 

“I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve only been here once. To this area. And that was eight years ago,” Wallace said. “So it’s cool to see how many people actually came out and all of them were fans. So it’s really special.” 

Many of those fans young, like Je’mori Wicker, were thrilled to meet Wallace.

“He’s one of my favorite racers ever. I just love him. I like how many races he won. I like his car,” said Wicker. 

But Wallace sees more than just the excitement of meeting a celebrity on all of the kid’s faces. 

“A lot of potential. A lot of opportunity for them.  It’s funny. You kind of look back when they’re this age and it reminds you when you were that age to just go out and have fun. Be with your friends your family. And just out here getting autographs from somebody famous. So hopefully they’ll remember when they’re my age,” Wallace said. 

As excited as they were to meet a NASCAR racing star, a lot of the kids in this crowd would have been even more pumped if the owner of the car, Michael Jordan, was here today. 

“I don’t know if they actually know who my boss is. They would have went way crazier if they would have known that,” said Wallace. “It’s cool. Obviously, everybody is a Michael Jordan fan So being able to race for him and to be representing his number is very special. And knowing that he has an impact on future generations to come is very cool.” 

Wallace will be competing on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in the Enjoy Illinois 300 race at the World Wide Technology Raceway.