NASCAR has opened an investigation into a noose found into Black driver Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Sunday’s race at the Talladega Speedway in Alabama, two weeks after the auto racing organization banned Confederate flags at race venues.
Wallace is the only Black driver in NASCAR’s elite Cup Series.
NASCAR has vowed to rigorously find who put the noose in Wallace’s stall, at the rained-out GEICO 500 race, and “eliminate them from the sport.”
“We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,” the organization said in a statement.
“As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”
“The despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.”
“As my mother told me today, ‘They are just trying to scare you,’ ” he wrote.
“This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”
The flag ban took effect before last week’s race near Miami, but there were only about 1,000 military members admitted into that venue, according to the Associated Press.
At Talladega, as many as 5,000 fans were allowed inside the speedway. No flags were spotted inside, but cars and pickup trucks were outside on roads, the wire service also reported.