Monday afternoon, reports surfaced that the NASCAR Cup Series drivers would show support for Bubba Wallace after someone left a noose in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway. They did just that prior to the Geico 500. All of the drivers and pit crews lined up and pushed his No. 43 Chevrolet to the front of the starting grid on pit road.
NASCAR Executive VP Steve O'Donnell posted video of the moment on Twitter. He panned from right to left and showed the multitude of figures marching in solidarity. Some pushed Wallace's car while others walked to show their support. They wanted to provide a sign of unity following what NASCAR described as a "heinous act" on Sunday evening.
No words pic.twitter.com/ZorYccEjFo— Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) June 22, 2020
When the FOX broadcast began, Mike Joy spoke about the noose incident and talked about how everyone at Talladega Superspeedway rallied around Wallace. Defending Cup Series champion Kyle Busch led the group and helped push the No. 43 car. Once they finished the sign of solidarity, all of the drivers came up and embraced Wallace.
The show of support continued during the national anthem. All of the drivers, pit crews and NASCAR legend Richard Petty stood around Wallace's car. They embraced him once again and then prepared for the 500-mile event at Talladega Superspeedway.
Pushing Wallace's car to the front of the track was not the only manner in which NASCAR showed support on Monday. Racing's governing body also painted #IStandWithBubba on the grass next to pit road. Photos showed the fresh, white paint next to cars belonging to Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. Hamlin's car also featured a paint scheme highlighting the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
"Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team," NASCAR said in a statement on Sunday. "We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport." NASCAR also said that there is no place for racism in the sport and that this act only "further strengthens the resolve" to make the sport more inclusive.
Pushing the car to the front of grid was one way to for NASCAR and its teams to show support. They view Wallace as a member of the NASCAR family and wanted to prove this to be true. According to Johnson, the idea started with the drivers early on Monday and expanded to include everyone at Talladega. The result was a massive show of support for the only Black driver in NASCAR.