Noose found in black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage stall; Gov. Ivey responds with apology
TALLADEGA — The race cars never made a lap on Sunday, as the race was postponed due to weather. However, Sunday turned out to be a pivotal day for NASCAR’s Cup Series.
Late Sunday, NASCAR issued a statement that revealed a noose was left in the garage stall assigned to the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet at the Talladega Superspeedway, which is driven by the series’ only black driver, Bubba Wallace.
NASCAR used very strong terms, calling it a “heinous act” and vowing an investigation.
“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.”
The incident comes as Wallace has been very outspoken on race issues and the culture of NASCAR, including the display of the Confederate flag, which NASCAR banned last week.
Wallace issued his own statement on Twitter.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 22, 2020
Early Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey also issued a statement, noting Wallace is a native of Mobile and apologizing for the incident.
“I am shocked and appalled to hear of yesterday’s vile act against Bubba Wallace in Talladega – there is no place for this disgusting display of hatred in our state,” Ivey’s statement said. “Racism and threats of this nature will not be condoned nor tolerated, and I commit to assisting in any way possible to ensure that the person responsible for this is caught and punished. While the important conversation of racial reconciliation is ongoing all over our country, it is clear there is much work to do.”
“Bubba Wallace is one of us; he is a native of Mobile and on behalf of all Alabamians, I apologize to Bubba Wallace as well as to his family and friends for the hurt this has caused and regret the mark this leaves on our state,” she added. “I ask the NASCAR family to rally around Bubba and his team as they compete today and I know that there are more people who are wishing him well today than ever before.”
Given restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only crew members, NASCAR officials and safety workers were permitted into that facility on race day.
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.