An unidentified person left a noose in the garage of Bubba Wallace, NASCAR's only Black driver, on Sunday and prompted an investigation. Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. saw the news and made his support for Wallace clear. He tweeted that he hopes the driver of the No. 43 Chevrolet wins the rescheduled Geico 500 on Monday.
"Hope Bubba wins it tomorrow," Earnhardt Jr. tweeted after hearing about the noose incident. He joined several other drivers, both current and retired, to show support for Wallace. Similarly, fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon said that there is no place for racism and that he is "outraged and saddened" by the unidentified person's actions. He fully supports NASCAR's efforts to be welcoming to all fans.
"I don't worry about our sport. I have confidence NASCAR's leadership will find who did this and continue pushing us in the right direction," Earnhardt continued. "I do worry about Bubba. I hope Bubba is feeling loved and supported. Keep sending him that love and support. He needs it now more than ever."
According to reporters, Wallace is not the one that discovered the noose in the garage. NASCAR President Steve Phelps clarified during a Monday conference call that a crew member from the No. 43 team discovered the noose and alerted NASCAR officials. Security got involved and then NASCAR alerted the FBI on Monday morning.
Following the news about the noose, there has been a multitude of reactions. Some have expressed their support for Wallace and condemned all acts of racism. Others have accused the driver of "pulling a Jussie Smollet" and faking the entire incident. Phelps also responded to the people on Twitter calling this incident a hoax.
"That is something that personally offends me," he continued. "This is a terrible, terrible act that has happened. For those who would think this is staged, I don't even know where to go with that, frankly." Phelps also added that whoever left the noose in Wallace's garage will "be unequivocally banned" from NASCAR for life. He doesn't care who they are.
Wallace spoke out about the noose incident and referred to it as a "painful reminder" of how we have to go as a society. He also thanked his fellow drivers and NASCAR for the support in recent weeks, as well as the commitment to driving real change across the industry. He proclaimed that he will not give in or back down in the face of people trying to scare him.