In a recent turn of events, it appears the noose that was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall and sparked a huge anti racist movement within the sport, was a misunderstanding, after NASCAR and the FBI have finalised their investigation.
The pulldown rope was fashioned in a manner which resembles a noose. What follows is a joint statement from US Attorney Jay E. Town and Johnnie Sharp Jr. who was the FBI Special Agent In Charge for the case:
“On Monday, fifteen FBI special agents conducted numerous interviews regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway. After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed.”
It’s great that both the FBI and NASCAR were able to conclude their investigation so swiftly, it still begs the question as to why the noose was there in the first place. The statement continued:
“The FBI 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.”
A strange kind of inside joke at the track or something else? Who knows. But what we do know is there is an extreme feeling of relief for Bubba Wallace and NASCAR that this was not an intended hate crime. The FBI concluded:
“The decision not to pursue federal charges is proper after reviewing all available facts and all applicable federal laws. We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace, and everyone who cooperated with this investigation.”
On Tuesday, NASCAR released an official statement regarding the investigation confirming that the noose was present long before Bubba Wallace’s assignment to the stall:
“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.”
While it is still unclear as to why the pulldown rope was fashioned like a noose in the first place, it did spark an incredible movement for Bubba, NASCAR and the Black Lives Matter movement. NASCAR’s statement continued:
“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.”
One of the key pieces of evidence pertaining to the case was photographic evidence showing the rope (which resembled a noose once again), hanging from the same garage door when Wood Brothers Racing team were assigned the stall back in 2019. Wood Brothers posted the following statement on their twitter:
STATEMENT ON THE COINCIDENCE OF OUR STALL FROM 2019 AND THE INVESTIGATION pic.twitter.com/SJgKus8o8T
— Wood Brothers Racing (@woodbrothers21) June 23, 2020
Bubba Wallace’s team, Richard Petty Motorsports, released the following statement on their social media, detailing their handling of the situation and their thanks for the swift and positive resolution to the case:
— Petty GMS (@PettyGMS) June 23, 2020
We’re extremely glad at Grand Tour Nation to hear that the rope was not intended for Bubba Wallace or any of the Richard Petty Motorsports Team. Why it was fashioned as a noose? We still don’t know, we’d assume that given it was a pulldown rope to the garage stall shutter, it was fashioned as such to help the user grab and pull easier.
Wallace is yet to make an official statement, we will keep you updated as and when anything develops.