NASCAR said they’d work swiftly and had no place for racism in their sport. Following a noose incident on Sunday at the Talladega Superspeedway where a Richard Petty Motorsports team member thought he saw a noose hanging from the garage, the team contacted NASCAR.
NASCAR then did a quick investigation and called in the FBI for help. The FBI was on the scene on Monday conducting their investigations. On Tuesday, their findings were released.
In a statement of U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, they stated that this was all basically a misunderstanding.
“On Monday, fifteen FBI special agents conducted numerous interviews regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway. After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed.
“The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week. The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019. Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.
“The decision not to pursue federal charges is proper after reviewing all available facts and all applicable federal laws. We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace, and everyone who cooperated with this investigation.”
NASCAR then issued a statement of their own.
“The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime. The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”
Phelps, wanted to be clear too, that the RPM team and Wallace did nothing wrong in this.
“I want to be clear about the 43 team – the 43 team had nothing to do with this,” said Phelps. “The evidence is very clear that the noose that was in that garage had been in the garage previously. The last race we’d had there in October, that noose was present; and the fact that it was not found until a member of the 43 team came there is something that is a fact.
“We had not been back to the garage. It was a quick one-day show. The crew member went back in there, he saw the noose, brought it to the attention of his crew chief, who then went to the NASCAR series director Jay Fabian and we launched this investigation.
“To be clear, we would do this again. The evidence we had — it was clear we needed to look into this.”
While this is great that no criminal act was found, it just goes to show how on edge everyone else in racial injustice.