Following nearly two days of investigation, the FBI has released its findings about the noose incident involving Bubba Wallace's garage at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR released a statement on Tuesday and said that this was not a targeted hate crime. The noose in question was actually a pull rope on the garage door that had previously been fashioned into a noose shape.
"The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime," 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. This was obviously before the 43 team's arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate the FBI's quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing."
Apologies for not knowing who originally created this image, but it has been making the rounds on Twitter and turned out to be correct. You can see in the left photo the rope was in noose form — apparently as a handle — last year and then cut for evidence Sunday. pic.twitter.com/MIrtF3uqtN— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 23, 2020
The FBI also released a statement and said that the organization had conducted 15 interviews following Sunday's initial announcement. Wallace revealed on The View that he spoke to the federal agents as part of the ongoing investigation. After conducting interviews and reviewing authenticated video footage, the FBI determined not to pursue any federal charges.
One person that expedited the investigation worked for Woods Brothers Racing, the team behind Matt DiBenedetto. This employee remembered seeing a pull rope fashioned into a noose during the 2019 Talladega race and alerted NASCAR officials. Woods Brothers Racing then assisted in the investigation.
A photo circulated on social media prior to the FBI's announcement. This image showed a garage door pull rope with a noose knot months prior to the 2019 race. An accompanying photo showed the same garage pull rope after it had been cut to be taken as evidence.
Conservative Treehouse, the site that originally posted the comparison photos, alleged that NASCAR had created a "racial hoax" to promote. The website alleged that racing's governing body did this to build a pop culture audience.
Despite Twitter users calling him "Jussie Smollett part two," Wallace did not actually see the noose in the garage. A member of his racing team spotted the pull rope with the fashioned noose handle and alerted NASCAR officials. They then alerted the FBI, which led to the investigation.