TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) – Authorities said Monday that the FBI is investigating the discovery of a noose found in the Talladega Superspeedway garage stall of Bubba Wallace and the governor of Alabama condemned the act against NASCAR’s only Black full-time driver.
Wallace two weeks ago successfully pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its venues, though the sanctioning body has not outlined plans on how it will enforce the restriction.
Disgruntled fans with Confederate flags drove past the main entrance to the Alabama race track prior to Sunday’s race, while a plane flew above the track pulling a banner of the flag that read “Defund NASCAR.”
Hours after the race was postponed by rain, NASCAR said the noose had been found. The sanctioning body vowed to do everything possible to find who was responsible and “eliminate them from the sport.” It has not offered other details.
Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore said NASCAR contacted the FBI, which was handling the investigation. The FBI field office in Birmingham did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press.
The incident has rocked NASCAR, which returned to racing just last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,” the series said in a statement. “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.”