On Tuesday, the investigation into the apparent noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall came to an end after the FBI and NASCAR released joint statements saying that driver Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps also provided a statement to reporters defending the investigation into whether or not someone placed a noose in Wallace’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway.
“To be clear, we would do this again. The evidence we had, it was clear we needed to look into this,” Phelps said during a teleconference.
He also said that this is the “best result” NASCAR could hope for. He also made sure to shut down any rumors that the 43 team “pulled a Jussie Smollett” and fabricated the story.
Even though the FBI might be done with their investigation, Phelps stated that the investigation is not fully complete as they look into why the pull rope was in the shape of a noose during the 2019 Talladega event, as well as in 2020.
“The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime,” NASCAR said in a statement on Tuesday. “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 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.”
Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit, has been an outspoken advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and the corresponding protests against racism and police brutality.