The FBI said Tuesday it had determined that the noose found in Wallace's garage at the Talladega Speedway in Alabama was a pull rope that had been placed there in October, long before the stall was assigned to Wallace.
"The FBI stated it was a noose over and over again. We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace, and everyone who cooperated". "I'm mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity". "The best medicine for me will be Saturday and Sunday when I'm in the race vehicle and can get away from all the madness for a few hours", he said.
U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. said the investigation determined "nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned" to that same stall. He said on "Today" that the Federal Bureau of Investigation isn't sure of the intent either, but it's skeptical of someone taking the time to fashion a noose (albeit a non-functioning one) as just a normal garage pull. Wallace, the only black member of team 43, stirred up controversy and negative reaction from numerous sport's fans earlier this month when he called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from its properties earlier this month, which it did on June 10.
In its report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined the noose had been in the garage since October 2019, when nobody could've known Wallace would be assigned that particular stall last week.
Bubba Wallace, is relieved that the noose wasn't targeted at him, but still believes it was a noose. "We've raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that, so people who want to call it a garage pull and put out all the video of knots as their evidence, go ahead".
Bubba Wallace, the driver, was informed of the purported noose by NASCAR after a member of his pit crew found it and reported it to NASCAR officials as a possible hate crime. "'Are we sure this isn't something we're taking out of context?' They backed my team up and reiterated that if you were to see this at this time, you would stand with your team right now for why they were so alert", Wallace said.
Until this week, a noose had been hanging in the Talladega Superspeedway garage since at least October 2019, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "We had that one circled on the radar with everything going on". Wallace said. "Both of them said in their heart of hearts that it was done over night". The last race we had had there in October, that noose was present, and it was -- the fact that it was not found until a member of the 43 team came there is something that is a fact.
Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR's top circuit, has been an outspoken advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and the corresponding protests against racism and police brutality. Phelps added that NASCAR would continue to investigate the matter.
NASCAR quickly lined up behind Wallace, while other drivers circled his auto and escorted him to the front of the line in Sunday's race.
NASCAR saying it had found a noose stunned the stock vehicle series as it takes an active position in a push for inclusion.
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