NASCAR has launched an investigation after a noose was found hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega.
Wallace is the only black driver who races full-time in NASCAR’s top three series and has been outspoken about racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25.
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Wallace was a strong advocate for NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flag from its properties on June 10 and Sunday’s postponed race is the first race in the state of Alabama since the flag ban.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” officials said in a statement.
“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.
“As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”
NASCAR world in disbelief over ‘despicable’ act
Wallace also took to social media in a state of shock.
“Today’s despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism,” Wallace wrote on Twitter.
“Over the last several weeks I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry including other drivers and team members in the garage.
“Together our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone.
“Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate.
“As my mother told me today, ‘They are just trying to scare you.’ This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”
Bubba Wallace had spoken out against racism
The infield area at Talladega was not open to any of the 5000 fans able to attend the race delayed to Monday because of rain.
Anyone with approved access to the garage would be someone with a NASCAR credential at the race for work-related reasons.
Wallace was born in Mobile, Alabama. He wore a shirt that said “I can’t breathe” and “Black Lives Matter” ahead of multiple races after Floyd’s death and drove a car in support of the Black Lives Matter movement at Martinsville.
The BLM car came less than two weeks after NASCAR president Steve Phelps spoke out against racial injustice in a pre-race speech ahead of the Atlanta race.
The sanctioning body hosted a moment of silence ahead of the race and multiple drivers teamed up to film a video standing up for equality.
Sunday's race, which was to be NASCAR's first with fans since the coronavirus pandemic erupted, was postponed until Monday by thunderstorms.
with Yahoo Sports and agencies