NASCAR has concluded the investigation of the noose that hung in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace
Over the weekend, NASCAR visited Talladega Superspeedway. Rain washed out Sunday’s show at the 2.66-mile oval in Alabama.
The cars were then impounded in the NASCAR garage area. As Richard Petty Motorsports returned to the garage, they noticed what appeared to be a noose over their car.
It appeared to be a hate crime against NASCAR’s only African-American driver. This came at the same time of widespread protest regarding NASCAR’s ban of the Confederate flag.
The team notified NASCAR. NASCAR then notified local law enforcement and the FBI.
The incident drew national attention. The Governor of Alabama also spoke out on the alleged hate crime.
Steve Phelps, the President of NASCAR intended to exhaust all resources to figure out what happened. If they discovered who did it, a lifetime ban was promised.
The FBI was at the track on Sunday and Monday. They have since closed the case…
FBI statement on closure of noose case from Talladega Superspeedway
On Tuesday afternoon, the FBI released the following statement:
“On Monday, fifteen FBI special agents conducted numerous interviews regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway. After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed,” the FBI said in a statement.
“The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week. The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019.”
“Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.”
“The decision not to pursue federal charges is proper after reviewing all available facts and all applicable federal laws. We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace and everyone who cooperated with this investigation,” the FBI statement concluded.
NASCAR has declared that Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime. The series released the following statement following the conclusion of the investigation:
“The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime,” the official NASCAR statement read.
“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 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,” the NASCAR statement concluded.
Wood Brothers Racing
The Wood Brothers Racing team used the same No. 4 garage stall back in Fall 2019. Pictures surfaced from 2019 of the Wood Brothers #21 in the garage. The door pull rope was tied like a noose, even back in 2019 and before the Wood Brothers occupied the stall.
This type of knot is commonly seen on garage door pull ropes. It just makes it easier to pull closed, they can be found on many garages that don’t feature garage door openers.
The NASCAR team released the following statement on Tuesday:
“We are thankful that there was no one involved in perpetrating hate during this weekend’s race,” a statement from Wood Brothers Racing said.
“Just like the rest of the NASCAR garage, we were shocked and appalled to learn of the existence pf the rope fashioned like a noose. One of our employees alerted us yesterday morning that, without knowing the details of the incident, he recalled seeing a tied handle in the garage pull-down rope from last fall.”
“We immediately alerted NASCAR and have assisted the investigation in every way possible. What transpired over the past day plus is a unity that has only served to strengthen the bonds between each and every crew member, fan and non-fan alike.”
“The Wood Brothers organization is proud to stand with Bubba Wallace and the entire industry as we work to make every race fan a part of our NASCAR family.”
There were some mistakes made here, no question.
But, absent from any comments above is the fact that a noose was in fact hung from a tree at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday. It was tied out of rope and hung from a tree on the property.
Without knowing for certain, you can assume the team members in Talladega were alerted to the incident at the NASCAR track in California.
Until that point, they weren’t looking for a noose. Before that, the loop on the garage door is just a knot.
When the noose was discovered at Sonoma, the team returned to the garage at Talladega Superspeedway with that on their minds on Sunday. Assumptions were made, but it was also out of safety and caution.
That’s the only explanation for what’s gone horrible wrong here. At the same point, it is a relief to know a monster isn’t walking amoung the garage area.