On Tuesday, the FBI determined that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime, after investigating a rope that appeared to be a noose hanging on the garage door at the garage he used at Talladega Superspeedway. They determined through photographs that that rope had been there since October 2019.
Today, NASCAR released a photo of the rope in question.
“Given the facts presented to us, we would have pursued this with the same sense of urgency and purpose,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said Thursday, according to ESPN. “Upon learning of seeing the noose, our initial reaction was to protect our driver. We’re living in a highly-charged and emotional time. What we saw was a symbol of hate, and was only present in one area of the garage — that of the 43 car of Bubba Wallace. In hindsight, we should have — I should have — used the word ‘alleged’ in our statement. As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba.”
Phelps said NASCAR conducted a thorough sweep of all the garage areas in all 29 tracks in which they race, which encompasses 1,684 garage stalls. “We found only 11 total that had a pull-down rope tied in a knot, and only one noose – the one discovered on Sunday in Bubba Wallace’s garage,” Phelps said.