Officials at Sonoma Raceway are investigating an object that is an apparent noose found on the property. Steve Page, the president of Sonoma Raceway, said they discovered "a piece of twine tied in what appeared to be a noose" on Saturday. This situation comes on the heels of NASCAR announcing a noose being found at Bubba Wallace's stall at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.
"Our staff, on-site business tenants and local law enforcement have been contacted and asked to share any information they may have," Page said in a statement via Sports Illustrated. "Sonoma Raceway takes this incident very seriously and is dedicated to operating a facility that is welcoming to everyone." Sonoma Raceway was closed over the weekend, and an employee spotted the noose. The employee reported the object to Page, which led to him informing his staff about the incident.
"Piece of twine, probably there for a while, but somebody had fashioned it into a shape you can reasonably interpret to be a noose. (The employee) was understandably very upset about it," Page said to NBC Bay Area. "To have something like that show up on our property is disgusting." Page reported the incident to the Sonoma County Sherrif's Office. Investigators said the person responsible could face a hate crime charge.
As for the Wallace situation, the investigation is ongoing, but it's not bringing him down. Wallace, the only full-time Black driver in NASCAR, got the support for his fellow drivers by pushing his car to the front of the line before Monday's race. Wallace finished in 14th place, but he felt like a winner once the race was over.
"This sport is changing,'' Wallace said. "The prerace deal was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to witness in my life. From all the supporters, from drivers to crew members, everybody here, the badass fan base, thank you guys for coming out. This is truly incredible, and I'm glad to be a part of this sport.''
Wallace's noose incident comes after him advocating NASCAR to ban Confederate flags at races. NASCAR made the big move last week, which led to some backlash on Sunday. Confederate flags were flying outside Talladega Superspeedway, and a large Confederate flag banner was flown over the track with the words "Defund NASCAR" on Sunday.