Bubba Wallace broke his silence on the noose investigation and said he's "pissed" about the attacks on his character. The FBI announced Wallace is not a victim of a hate crime after an apparent noose was discovered in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. Wallace never saw the noose, as he was not allowed to go to the garage due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols. The rope in his garage was tied like a noose, which wasn't found in any other garages, according to NASCAR president Steve Phelps. Wallace was told by Phelps about the noose and was shocked.
"And I immediately thought my family was in danger and so I was about ready to call my mom and dad and make sure everybody was OK," Wallace said to CNN's Don Lemon via Yahoo Sports. But it was in the garage stall where our car was at so I was kind of taken aback and not really comprehending everything." The U.S. Attorney for the Nothern District of Alabama and the FBI said in a joint statement the noose has been in Wallace garage since October. Wallace told Lemon he's never seen a rope tied like that before.
"Don, the image that I have seen of what was hanging in my garage is not a garage pull," Wallace said. "I've been racing all my life. We've raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that. People that want to call it a garage pull put out old videos and photos of knots as their evidence, go ahead." Wallace continued said "it's a straight-up noose," which is what the FBI stated.
Phelps talked to reporters after the investigation was complete and defended the way everything was done. And while fans might be critical of Wallace's character, Phelps is happy that only full-time Black driver in NASCAR wasn't a victim of a hate crime. Phelps also mentioned the investigation isn't fully complete as the NASCAR will continue to look at why the rope was tied like a noose.
On Monday, all the drivers taking part in the Geico 500 in Talladega pushed Wallace's No. 43 car to the front of the line to show unity and solidarity. Wallace finished in 14th place and even led the race at one point.