In a statement released on Sunday night, NASCAR revealed that a noose was found in the garage stall of Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. and the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team at Talladega Superspeedway.
Wallace is in his third full-time season at the top level and is the only Black driver competing in the cup series. He has shown a commitment to fighting racism in the industry and beyond.
On June 10, NASCAR heeded Wallace’s call to ban the Confederate Flag from all races and events. On the same day that NASCAR banned the flag Wallace organized a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme at Martinsville Speedway.
There was of course, some resistance to the change. For instance, group of protestors gathered to wave the flag outside an Alabama race track following the news.
NASCAR’s statement indicates that they do not yet know who the culprit is.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act. We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport. As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”
Wallace responded to the news on twitter.
“Today’s despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism. Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry including other drivers and team members in the garage. Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone. Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate. As my mother told me today, ‘They are just trying to scare you.’ This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”