Sunday evening, NASCAR officials revealed that someone put a noose in Bubba Wallace's garage at Talladega Superspeedway. Some Twitter users didn't believe Wallace, the only Black driver in the Cup Series, but fellow NASCAR driver Jesse Iwuji has no doubts about the authenticity of this incident. He explained that he has been the target of racism throughout his own career.
Iwuji, an African American man who races in the Gander Truck Series, spoke to TMZ Sports about the noose incident and experiencing racism from NASCAR fans. He said that fans send him messages a few times a year and reveal that they don't like him because of the color of his skin. Iwjui posted an example on his Instagram page recently. Someone had posted a photo of him with the caption: "What a stupid n—."
While Iwuji says that "it sucks" to wake up and see messages like that, he also said he believes it's different than leaving a noose in a driver's garage. Iwuji said that this only one step away from carrying out the real act. That's a different level of hatred.
"To see someone go to that level, and the thing is, there are no fans at the track there," Iwuji said. "So it had to be someone, whether it was on a team or ... I don't know. Somebody got in there and put that in there. ... That's literally one step away from carrying out the real action of lynching someone. Everyone knows what that noose means. It's racist, it's hate, and it just shows that you do not care, any bit, about our race."
Iwuji has known Wallace since 2013 and has interacted with him several times. He said that the Cup Series driver has been doing a great job pushing for change at the sport's biggest level and saying that certain things aren't right. Now Iwuji, an officer in the Navy Reserves, says that it's time for NASCAR to expose the racists in the sports and eradicate them.
Racing's governing body and the FBI are currently investigating the incident from Sunday. NASCAR President Steve Phelps said that the process is very early and that he wouldn't provide any details about the number of cameras in the garages and what they did or didn't capture. What he did reveal is that he personally called Wallace to inform him that a noose was in the garage and that NASCAR stepped up security to ensure the driver's safety.