The investigation of a noose being found in Bubba Wallace's garage at the Talladega Superspeedway has come to an end. The FBI determined that Wallace was not targeted for a hate crime, which led to fans calling the NASCAR driver out for setting the whole thing up. Wallace has talked about the investigation on various shows and is happy the apparent noose wasn't targeted at him.
"First off, I want to say how relieved I am that the investigation revealed that this wasn't what we feared it was," Wallace wrote on Twitter. "I want to thank my team, NASCAR and the FBI for acting swiftly and treating this as a real threat. I think we'll gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been, Make no mistake, though some will try. this should not detract from the show of unity we had on Monday, and the progress we've made as a sport to be a more welcoming environment for all."
Wallace, 26, is the only full-time Black driver in NASCAR. He has competed in 90 NASCAR Cup Series races in four years and has six top-10 finishes. In 2018, Wallace finished second in the Daytona 500, this highest finish in the race for an African American. Here's a look at what we know about the noose investigation.
Discovered by Team Member
Wallace never saw the "noose" as he couldn't enter the garage due to the COVID-19 safety procedures. A team member from Richard Petty Motorsports discovered a rope tied in the garage stall in the shape of a noose. From there the team member reported it to NASCAR president Steve Phelps.prevnext
Investigation Began Immediately
Once Phelps was made aware of the situation, he contacted Wallace and release a statement on Sunday night. "Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act," NASCAR said in a statement. "We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport."prevnext
Bubba Wallace Speaks
When Wallace first heard about the apparent noose, he said it was a "painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism." However, Wallace loved the fact he was getting a ton of support from his fans and fellow NASCAR drivers.prevnext
Drivers Have Wallace's Back
No words pic.twitter.com/ZorYccEjFo— Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) June 22, 2020
At the Geico 500 on Monday afternoon, the NASCAR drivers showed their support for Wallace as they pushed his No. 43 car to the front of the line before the race. Wallace finished in 14th place and said after the race: "The prerace deal was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to witness in my life. From all the supporters, from drivers to crew members, everybody here, the badass fan base, thank you guys for coming out. This is truly incredible, and I'm glad to be a part of this sport.''prevnext
On Tuesday, the FBI announced Wallace was not targeted for a hate crime as the pulled rope was shaped like a noose since last year. NASCAR said in a statement: "The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall." Of course, that led to more questions from fans.prevnext
NASCAR is not apologizing for jumping to conclusions. Phelps spoke to reporters on Tuesday and said: "To be clear, we would do this again. The evidence we had, it was clear we needed to look into this." He also said this is the "best result" NASCAR could hope for.prevnext
Wallace Believes It's a Noose
Wallace is happy that a hate crime wasn't committed. However, the NASCAR driver is convinced a noose was in his garage. He told CNN's Don Lemon: "I talked to my crew chief about it. ... I wanted to make sure we weren't jumping the gun. It was a noose. Whether tied in 2019, or whatever, it was a noose. So, it wasn't directed at me, but somebody tied a noose."prev