NASCAR show of support for Bubba Wallace

NASCAR drivers push Bubba Wallace's car to the front of the field at the Talladega Superspeedway

In an extraordinary act of solidarity with NASCAR's only black driver, dozens of drivers pushed the car belonging to Bubba Wallace to the front of the field before Monday's race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Meanwhile, FBI agents nearby tried to find out who left a noose in Wallace's garage stall over the weekend.

The stock car series was left reeling and angered by the racist act that came less than two weeks after it banned the Confederate flag on its properties at Wallace's urging.

The 26-year-old Wallace was surrounded by all 39 other drivers in the moments before the race and they were joined by their crews in a march down pit road as they pushed his No.43 car to the front of the line.

Wallace climbed out of his car and wept.

It was a stirring move to support Wallace at a track in the heart of the south where flags have flown for decades and were seen outside the superspeedway all weekend long by fans opposed to NASCAR's ban.

Standing alongside Wallace for the national anthem was Richard Petty, the 82-year-old Hall of Fame driver known as "The King."

Wallace drives for Petty, who issued a scathing rebuke after the noose was found.

He called for the "sick person" to be expelled from NASCAR forever - a move NASCAR President Steve Phelps insisted would happen should they be caught.

The race on Monday, which was delayed a day by rain, was won by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Of the few fans in the stands on Monday, Luke Johnson said he is against the flag ban.

"All the NASCAR tracks need to keep on flying them," he said.

As for the noose left for Wallace, he said: "I thought it was funny myself."

Another fan, Robert Chaisson, said he didn't have a strong opinion on the fla ban but he certainly did on what happened to Wallace.

"That was messed up. I hope they charge that guy with a hate crime," Chaisson said.