NASCAR released a photo from Bubba Wallace's race garage last Sunday, where a noose can clearly be seen as part of the garage door's release. Pool Photo-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

It may not have been a hate crime, but NASCAR provided photo evidence on Thursday that there was, indeed, a noose inside Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend.

NASCAR released a photo to the media that showed the garage pull inside Wallace’s garage stall, and the rope was clearly tied into a noose.

The rope led to an investigation involving both the FBI and NASCAR officials. It was initially believed that the noose had been tied as a racist message intended for Wallace, but it was later determined that the noose had been in the garage since last year. NASCAR president Steve Phelps discussed the incident on Thursday, saying the organization should have used the word “alleged” in its initial statement after the rope was discovered. Phelps also said Wallace’s garage was the only one of more than 1,600 across 29 race tracks that had a noose hanging inside.

Phelps said the investigation determined that the noose was tied at some point during a race at Talladega in October 2019. The noose was not there at the start of the weekend, but it was there after Wood Brothers Racing occupied the garage. It’s unclear what the intent was.

Photo evidence showed that the noose was hanging in the garage last year. While Wallace acknowledged this week that it was not intended for him, he seemed unconvinced that the noose was not an act of racism.

Wallace successfully lobbied for the banning of Confederate flags at NASCAR races. The 26-year-old is the only full-time black driver on NASCAR’s top three series.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.


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