Bubba Wallace is not happy.
Hours after an investigation that revealed the “noose” found in the garage of the NASCAR driver at Talladega on Sunday was a garage door pull, the Mobile native appeared on CNN with Don Lemon late Tuesday night.
“The image that I have and I have seen of what was hanging in my garage is not a garage pull,” Wallace said. “I’ve been racing all of my life,” he said. “We’ve raced out hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that, so people who want to call it a garage pull and put out all the video of knots as their evidence, go ahead. From the evidence that we have, that I have, it’s a straight-up noose.
“The FBI stated it was a noose over and over again. NASCAR leadership has stated it was noose. I can confirm that. I actually got evidence of what was hanging in my garage, over my car, around my pit crew guys to confirm that it was a noose. Never seen anything like it.”
Even with all of that said, Wallace doesn’t believe it was directed at him.
“It was a noose,” he said. “It was a noose, whether tied in 2019, or whatever, it was a noose. It wasn’t directed at me, but someone tied a noose that is what I am saying.”
Wallace was adamant the backlash will always be there.
“It doesn’t matter if we provide 100 percent facts and evidence, photo evidence, people are going to photoshop to make me look like the bad person in the end of the day. I will always have haters. I will always have the motivators to go out there and try to dethrone me from the pedestal I’m on.”
Wallace also took sometime to speak on how he heard the news from Phelps.
“I don’t know what time it was about 5:30, 6 o’clock on Sunday evening after the race had been called,” Wallace said. “The garages are closed. … I was about to go out to dinner with a fellow couple competitors. … I get a phone call – I’m in my motor home – from president Steve Phelps, and it is a phone call I’ll never forget. It was one of those phone calls where you can automatically tell in the first couple of seconds something is wrong.
“Immediately made me think, ‘What did I do? What am I getting suspended for? What did I say wrong in an interview?’
Phelps came to where Wallace was to speak to him in person.
“The conversation I had with Steve Phelps – and I’m speaking for him – was probably the toughest thing he ever had to tell somebody. Tears rolling down his face, choked up on every work he was trying to say. The evidence he brought to me was that a ‘hate crime’ was committed.”
Wallace said he was “taken aback” by the news.
“I’m pissed,” he said. “I’m mad because people were trying to test my character and the person I am, my integrity,” Wallace told Lemon. “They’re not stealing that from me, but they’re trying to test that.”