A noose was found at the Sonoma Raceway in California on Saturday. The track general manager, Steve Page, said an employee noticed it hanging from a tree.
"Piece of twine, probably there for a while, but somebody had fashioned it into a shape you can reasonably interpret to be a noose. [The employee] was understandably very upset about it ... To have something like that show up on our property is disgusting," Page told NBC Bay Area.
One day later, NASCAR reported a noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage at Talladega Superspeedway ahead of the Geico 500 in Alabama. Wallace is the only Black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Sonoma Raceway hosts a NASCAR Cup Series annually. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office is investigating the issue and reviewing video. The person(s) found responsible could face a hate crime charge and a felony.
"We take it seriously; that's why we're out there with the violent crimes unit. Put every effort into making an ID on this," Sheriff's spokesman Orlando Rodriguez said.
Page notified all staff and tenants of the incident, emphasizing that the raceway is a space that welcomes all.
"I can't imagine it's anyone that works here at the track," Sonoma Raceway tenant Tom Fallon said of the potential culprit. "I think it's someone who is pissed off at NASCAR. This is a NASCAR track."
Wallace has been outspoken about banning the Confederate flag at events and making sure races are a place where all feel welcome. Since his comments, NASCAR has banned the confederate flag at all official events.