The FBI announced on Tuesday that the garage door rope pull tied into a noose was not a hate crime directed toward NASCAR's Bubba Wallace. This news led to increased criticism of the only Black driver in the Cup Series, but Wallace says that he wouldn't have changed anything. He still believes that racing's governing body would launch an investigation.
"Maybe being a little more proactive and seeing it for myself in person to have a true understanding instead of hearing, you know, from other words, get an image for myself," Wallace told Jesse Watters during an interview with FOX News Channel's Watters' World. "But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have changed anything. NASCAR, I felt like did the right thing, in shape of a noose, in fact it was a noose, everybody has seen the image now. So, to say we would go back and do things differently, I don't think so. Maybe word things differently, yes but I would launch an investigation. I would follow NASCAR's judgment on it again."
When a crew member from the No. 43 team discovered the rope, he examined the other garages to see if there were any other noose handles. He did not find any and alerted NASCAR officials. This situation prompted the investigation that included 15 FBI agents.
Watters asked Wallace if he believed this incident at Talladega Superspeedway was a hate crime. The driver of the No. 43 Chevrolet said that he doesn't necessarily think someone in the racing community would do that. He viewed the situation as a coincidence following the investigation.
"Did I think a track worker? Possibly, yes," Wallace said. "But getting to the bottom of it, somebody has tied this, whether it was a bad joke or whatever they thought, whatever their intent might have been, it wasn't to attack me or scare me. It was something that coincidentally happened to be in my garage for the next race."
NASCAR fans and political commentators have aimed at Wallace following the investigation, saying that he used this situation as a publicity stunt. Critics compared him to Jussie Smollet and said that he "planned a hoax" to build his brand. Wallace has seen these comments and responded.0comments
"Let's get it straight this wasn't used as a publicity stunt on my end," Wallace said. "I don't need all the fame and all the media hype to create my brand and create my image. People that know me, know I'm 100 percent raw and real and I just go out and give my all on the racetrack. And I'm the human being everybody else is off the race track. I put my pants on the same way."
With the investigation over, Wallace will head to the track once again with extra focus on his car. He will join other Cup Series drivers on Saturday for the Pocono Organics 325. He will start the race at the Tricky Triangle 23rd overall following a random draw based on the points standing.