NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was defiant after the FBI said that a rope thought to be a noose had been there for months.
NASCAR first reported that a noose was found in a garage used by Wallace, the only full-time black NASCAR driver. The FBI investigated the incident and determined that no crime occurred.
The FBI said in a statement that it "learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week. The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019.”
"Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week," the statement said.
NASCAR celebrates finding:
“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."
Wallace rejected the FBI’s explanation in an interview with CNN.
“I’ve been racing all of my life,” he said. “We've raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that. So people that want to call it a garage pull and put out all the videos and photos of knots being as their evidence, go ahead, but from the evidence that we have – and I have – it’s a straight-up noose.”
"It wasn’t directed at me,” Wallace added, “but it was a noose.”