The President comments on the many NASCAR changes; Looks for Bubba Wallace to apologize
Three weeks ago at Talladega Superspeedway, Richard Petty Motorsports found a noose in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace.
That same day, a plane flew over Talladega with a large Confederate flag attached. Additionally, it pulled a ‘Defund NASCAR’ message. Sons of the Confederate claimed responsibility for the act.
The noose incident came just week after NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from all events and properties, a more originally encouraged by the NASCAR Cup Series’ only African-American driver, Bubba Wallace.
The team notified NASCAR. NASCAR had every right to take caution.
The FBI was called and they released 15 agents to the speedway. Both NASCAR and the FBI began investigations.
On raceday, every driver stood behind Wallace as together, they pushed the No. 43 to the front of the pit lane. It was a message to the world that NASCAR stood behind Wallace.
The next day, the FBI determined that the noose was not a hate crime. The garage pull was tied in that fashion since at least October 2019 when Paul Menard used the same stall.
Noose hoax claims: Supported by Donald Trump
It was a noose, no question. But, many have jumped on Bubba Wallace, claiming hoax.
“I’m pissed. I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am,” Bubba Wallace stated via CNN.
Now, the President of the United States has joined that group.
Donald Trump tweeted, “Has Bubba Wallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”
The tweet above was sent out on July 6, a day after the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bubba Wallace finished 9th, a fantastic finish for the underfunded team.
During the weekend at Indianapolis, two cars ran somewhat controversial paint schemes. First, the ‘We stand for the National Anthem’ car then Corey LaJoie and Go Fas Racing ran a ‘Trump 2020’ paint scheme.
It was a noose, the photo above show NASCAR acted in caution.
Community still has the back of Bubba Wallace
Nothing has changed sine the driver’s stood behind Bubba Wallace on the pit lane at Talladega Superspeedway. In response to the president’s tweet, many have offered comments.
Tyler Reddick (NASCAR Driver): “We don’t need an apology. We did what was right and we will do just fine without your support.”
The tweet above from Tyler Reddick was later deleted. He drives in the NASCAR Cup Series for Richard Childress Racing, an avid Trump supporter.
Michael Mulvihill (Fox Sports EVP): “NASCAR viewership on Fox networks is up +8% since returning from its pandemic hiatus on May 17.”
The tweet above from Mulvihill was sent about an hour after the President’s tweet.
The tv ratings remain mostly unchanged since a series of political events in the NASCAR world. Since the pandemic as a whole, the ratings are up.
Here’s the tv viewership numbers for every NASCAR race in 2020 so far.
Richard Petty Motorsports comments
The No. 43 team has issued a statement following the tweet from the White House.
“I find it hard to believe that the President would send out such a misinformed tweet,” Andrew Murstein, owner of Richard Petty Motorsports commented.
“Perhaps one of his staff did it without his knowledge or he doesn’t know the facts. After all of the information that has come out regarding the noose incident, such a late, misinformed, and factually incorrect statement seems completely unwarranted, especially after the photo came out.”
“I could of course go on and on, but a picture is worth a thousand words. Bubba has reacted in a truthful, professional, level headed and positive manner.”
“The NASCAR community and those in the know, all stand by him,” the statement from Richard Petty Motorsports owner concluded.
Richard Petty Motorsports previously stated the team has received significant interest in new sponsorship since running the Black Lives Matter car at Martinsville Speedway.
Currently, the team has funding from the U.S. Air Force, World Wide Technology, McDonalds and Victory Junction, among others.
Bubba Wallace has yet to comment following the tweet by the President.
Following the comment from the President, NASCAR issued the following statement:
“We are proud to have Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR family and we commend his courage and ledership.”
“NASCAR continues to stand tall with Bubba, our competitors and everyone who makes our sport welcoming and inclusive for all racing fans.”