A few photos of the noose a Richard Petty Motorsports team member found in Bubba Wallace’s car garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday have been shared on social media, but none as clear as the picture NASCAR released Thursday.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps said Thursday the photo was captured by NASCAR security as part of its investigation.
Wallace, 26 and the only Black driver in NASCAR’s three national series, has been taking heat for what was a misunderstanding on the part of his own Richard Petty Motorsports race team and NASCAR. The presence of a noose in his Talladega garage stall Sunday was investigated by both FBI and NASCAR, who determined that no hate crime was committed against Wallace. The noose, formed at the bottom of a pull rope attached to the garage door, had been in place since as early as last fall, the FBI said.
“I’ve been racing all my life,” Wallace said Tuesday night on CNN. “We’ve raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that. So people that want to call it a garage pull and put out all the videos and photos of knots being their evidence, go ahead.
“The FBI has stated it was a noose over and over again. NASCAR leadership has stated that it was a noose. I can confirm that I actually got evidence of what was hanging in my garage over my car, around my pit crew guys, to confirm that it was a noose. Never seen anything like it.
“I talked to my crew chief about it. I wanted to make sure we weren’t jumping the gun. I said, ‘This isn’t a knot, this isn’t just a regular old whatchacallit.’ He’s like, ‘Bubba, this isn’t something that can be done within a second of just tying a knot and being on the way. This is something that took time.’
“It was a noose. Whether it was tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. It wasn’t directed at me, but somebody tied a noose.”
Added Phelps regarding NASCAR’s decision to contact the FBI: “To be clear, we would do this again. Of the evidence that we had, it was clear that we needed to look into this.”
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