An FBI investigation into a noose found in the garage stall of NASCAR’s only black driver in the Cup Series, Bubba Wallace, has concluded that the rope was not part of a hate crime.
The investigation indicated that the noose was in fact a garage door pull, and had been present in the number four garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway since at least October of 2019.
NASCAR said in its statement released after the findings were made clear that it would uphold its policy against racism in the sport.
“The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime. The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall.
“This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”
Ahead of the race at Talladega on Monday after the discovery, NASCAR rallied around Wallace in a pre-race display of solidarity with the no43 driver.
Drivers encircled Wallace at the end of pit road for the pre-race ceremonies in what was the latest move by NASCAR in its fight against racism within the series.
The series also banned the confederate flag from all of its events in the build up to the Talladega race, while Denny Hamlin ran a National Civil Rights Museum paint scheme on Monday in efforts to further raise awareness and educate in the fight against racism.
Earlier in the month, Wallace ran a Black Lives Matter paint scheme at Martinsville Speedway, and at the preceding Atlanta race, a protest was held by all of the drivers ahead of the race commencing.
NASCAR drivers have also released videos calling for justice over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others in the black community.