(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

NASCAR Completes Its Talladega Bubba Wallace Investigation

NASCAR has completed its investigation of a reported noose in the Talladega Superspeedway garage stall of Bubba Wallace found last weekend, NASCAR announced today, June 25.

The announcement comes following the FBI’s revelation it had completed its own investigation on Tuesday, June 23.

The rope was discovered by a Richard Petty Motorsports crew member last Sunday in Wallace’s garage stall. The crew member alerted NASCAR officials, who in turn contacted management.

NASCAR said it fully cooperated with FBI agents, providing them with names, photos and other resources. It determined no hate crime was committed against Wallace because the noose had been in that garage stall since at least last October.

“As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said in a Thursday press conference. “With similar emotion, others across our industry and our media stood up to defend the NASCAR family. Our NASCAR family. Because they are part of the NASCAR family, too. We are proud to see so many stand up for what’s right.”

Because of the emotions and current events, NASCAR said it felt it was important to release a statement Sunday night, which it did.

“Upon learning of and seeing the noose, our initial reaction was to protect our driver,” Phelps added. “We’re living in a highly charged and emotional time. What we saw was a symbol of hate and was only present in one area of the garage and that was of the [No.] 43 car of Bubba Wallace. In hindsight, I should have used the word ‘alleged’ in our statement.”

Upon its discovery, NASCAR had track officials at all its tracks check all garage stalls. Only 11 of them were found to have a pull-down rope tied with a knot, and only the one at Talladega had the noose.

NASCAR has extensively talked with Wood Brothers Racing, the team occupying that garage stall in the last race at Talladega in 2019.

When questioned why the noose went so long without being noticed, Phelps stressed NASCAR and its teams need to do a better job policing the garage for these kinds of sensitivity matters.

“All of our employees in our industry broadly need to go through sensitivity and bias conscious training,” he emphasized. “It’s an important thing to do because I’m sure some — I’m not sure; odds are that someone saw it and didn’t react negatively to it.  So we need to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future.  So we can sweep garages for nooses, which we will do, but we need to be better as an industry.”

Phelps reiterated that neither Wallace nor anyone at Richard Petty Motorsports did anything wrong.

“I want to thank Bubba Wallace and everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports,” Phelps said in his closing remarks. “Specifically thank Bubba for his leadership over this past three weeks. Bubba has done nothing but represent this sport with courage, class and dignity and he stood tall for what he believes in. And we all need to stand with him, I know I’m going to.”

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Mark joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is an Eagle Scout & a proud University of Dayton alum. He also writes about NASCAR for Beyond the Flag.

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16 comments

  1. Avatar

    There is no need to tie a garage pull down like that. Just 11 of 1648 garage stalls across the NASCAR tracks were tied this way. NASCAR made the right moves with the wrong words.

    • Avatar

      only 1 door pull was tied this way. 10 were tied at all, but this was the only noose. 1637 had no ties at all.

  2. Avatar

    It’s a hoax. Read this: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/06/23/fake-noose-the-nascar-bubba-wallace-rope-noose-was-a-purposeful-hoax/

    There are even pix from last October’s race when Ryan Blaney had the #4 stall and its there in the picture. There was also one in the #5 stall. So, NASCAR is just trying to save face after 15 FBI agents concluded it was a false positive. Fifteen; not one or two, but 15 FBI agents investigated, but NASCAR is making this claim today? I call BS!

  3. Avatar

    People are overreacting Not to brag, but I suspected that this “noose” was a pull-chain the whole time.

  4. Avatar

    Dammit, this makes a sane person insane! They are doubling down on bullshit and trying to justify their disgusting actions. Their contempt for people who think logically is pretty obvious. “Bubba” and NASCAR a union made in hell, that will be forever linked…because that “R” word is always smoldering on the surface just waiting to pounce!

    • Avatar

      KB, get some anger management help… Holy crap, if it upsets you so much, why do you follow the sport?

    • Avatar

      One north Carolina racetrack owner was advertising bubba rope for 9.99 but post since taken down. Google it, true story. I ordered some for KB, probably cancelled though.

      • Avatar
        David Russell Edwards

        And just when people were perhaps beginning to believe that maybe all of this was an overreaction.
        Would that track owner have taken it down if the Governor hadn’t put pressure on him?
        This past couple of weeks has really exposed a lot of things. Not for the beter unfortunately.

  5. Avatar

    The mechanic who bubba said found the rope just happens to be a full blooded African American for Petty. mmm.

    • Avatar

      Why isn’t this RPM mechanic getting his 15 minutes of fame as a hero or whistle blower? Is he keeping under the radar on purpose? Wouldn’t he be the one the media would want to interview? Or is all this being controlled by NASCAR public relations?

  6. Avatar

    A noose by any other name is a garage door pull-down handle. Or…a garage door pull-sown handle by any other name is a noose.

  7. Avatar

    LOL! I can’t believe people still watch NASCAR after they tried to ban the Confederate Flag a few years ago. They hate you guys. Pathetic white people who like to be disrespected. And now this. LOSERS.

  8. Avatar

    I’m sorry but that picture of the rope is not in garage stall #4 (Bubba’s stall) There is a wall there to the right of the rope and all the pictures I have seen of stall #4 were wide open. So, what’s the deal with this pic? Also, when was this pic taken? Doesn’t look like alot of personnel are around, which makes me think its after the race when most teams have left. Since Nascar has already doubled down on the original lie, what gives me reason to believe that this was the actual rope in question and it is in fact in Stall #4?

  9. Avatar

    This reaction is just pathetic and sad.

  10. Avatar

    “Bubba has done nothing but represent this sport with courage, class and dignity” How in the hell can NASCRAP President Steve Phelps make this comment, when Bubba was on every major television network making the comment that anyone who was skeptical of this story was “SIMPLE-MINDED” ? Most NASCRAP fans are “skeptical” of just about anything that NASCRAP says, or does, so Bubba was patronizing very, very many fans. Have been a Bubba fan since he arrived – guess that would make me “SIMPLE-MINDED” also. No longer a fan.