A rope shaped as a noose found in the garage stall of African American driver Bubba Wallace at the NASCAR race Sunday was directed at him, and therefore a hate crime.
In late June 2020, Bubba Wallace said he was the victim of a hate crime after finding a rope shaped like a noose in his garage.
On Sunday night, June 21, 2020, NASCAR announced that a noose was found in the No.43 team’s garage stall. Bubba Wallace, the only African American driver in NASCAR’s cup series, drives the No. 43 car. Once the noose was reported, an investigation immediately followed. According to AL.com, Town and Special Agent Johnnie Sharp Jr. released this statement about the probe: “On Monday, fifteen FBI special agents conducted 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 investigation revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in the garage stall assigned to Wallace was in that garage stall at least since October 2019. NASCAR released this statement on Twitter and other social media accounts: “The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the victim 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.” According to NASCAR, nobody outside of NASCAR officials could have known Wallace would have been assigned that garage stall until a few days before Sunday’s race at Talladega.
However, Wallace told NBC that he is still sure that it was a noose, even if it was not directed at him. He said: "I was relieved just like many others to know that it wasn’t targeted towards me. But it's still frustrating to know that people are always going to test you and always just going to try and debunk you and that’s what I'm trying to wrap my head around now."