When NASCAR announced on Sunday that an unidentified person left a noose in Bubba Wallace's garage at Talladega Superspeedway. Monday afternoon, racing's governing body showed support for Wallace, the only Black driver in the Cup Series. NASCAR revealed the words "#IStandWithBubba" painted next to pit road at Talladega Superspeedway.
NASCAR posted a photo on Twitter that showed several cars lined up in preparation for the Geico 500. Cars belonging to Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin sat next to the grass and the white, painted text. Hamlin's car also featured a custom paint job highlighting the National Civil Rights Museum. #IStandWithBubba has been circulating on social media in the hours since the noose incident, and NASCAR used the message to deliver a strong message to the drivers and fans alike.
"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.
Wallace's fellow drivers have shown their support in the hours since the noose incident. Several posted messages on social media and condemned racism in any form. They also teased a unified show of support ahead of Monday's Geico 500. Driver Matt DiBenedetto, in particular, said that he and his peers would show the world what love for one another looks like without politics or agendas.
While DiBenedetto did not specify how the drivers would show their support, motorsports reporter Dustin Albino said that all of the Cup Series competitors will stand around Wallace's No. 43 Chevrolet during the national anthem. They will also reportedly push his car to the front of the grid in unison. Veteran Clint Bowyer called Wallace part of the family, and the drivers want to prove this on Monday.
They showcased this prior to the race when every single driver lined up on pit road. They came together and pushed Wallace's car to the front of the grid — like Albino reported — as a show of unity. Those that couldn't push walked behind to express their support.