Following an investigation into the noose that was found in the garage of Bubba Wallace, a Black NASCAR driver, the FBI has determined that no federal crime was committed. Their reasoning is that the noose in question has been in the garage since Oct. 14, 2019, and that nobody outside of NASCAR officials could have known Wallace would have been assigned that garage until a few days before Sunday's race at Talladega, which was ultimately rained out and ran on Monday.
NASCAR's statement about the incident adds a lot more color, noting that the noose was actually a garage door pull rope that was fashioned in a loop. The decision to tie the rope that way during a race at the track last year ultimately resulted in a rather misfortunate understanding, per the statement.
"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."
This information about the noose being around since 2019 was also discovered in NASCAR's independent investigation. Wood Brothers Racing, the team that had Wallace's garage during the Talladega race in Oct. 2019, released a statement of their own about the incident. Apparently an employee had remembered seeing the garage rope tied in that way and quickly alerted NASCAR about what the team refers to as "coincidence of our stall from 2019."
"We are thankful that there was no one involved in perpetrating hate during this weekend's race. Just like the rest of the NASCAR garage, we were shocked and appalled to learn of the existence of the rope fashioned like a noose. One of our employees alerted us yesterday morning that, without knowing the details of the incident, he recalled seeing a tied handle in the garage pull-down rope from last fall. We immediately alerted NASCAR and have assisted the investigation in every way possible. What transpired over the past day plus is a unity that has only served to strengthen the bonds between each and every crew member, fan and non-fan alike. The Wood Brothers organization is proud to stand with Bubba Wallace and the entire industry as we work to make every race fan a part of our NASCAR family."
Wallace received an outpouring of support from members all over the NASCAR community, including his fellow drivers, after the noose was discovered in his garage.
Despite all of the distractions that Wallace and his team were dealing with leading up to the race itself, Bubba put on one memorable performance as he led the race at one point and ultimately posted a career-best finish at Talladega in the end.