NASCAR drivers and fans alike rallied to the defense of Bubba Wallace, the only black driver on the racing circuit after allegedly finding a noose hanging in his garage.
An investigation has revealed there was no noose, it was simply a garage door pull.
According to the Associated Press, the door pull has been there since last October, while federal authorities said there will be no charges filed.
From the AP:
U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. said an investigation determined “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 crew member for Richard Petty Motorsports discovered the noose Sunday at the Alabama race track. NASCAR was alerted and contacted the FBI, which sent 15 agents to the track to investigate. They determined no federal crime was committed.
The statement said the garage stall was assigned to Wallace last week in advance of the race scheduled for Sunday but held Monday because of rain. Through video confirmed by NASCAR it was discovered the noose “was in that garage as early as October 2019.”
According to NASCAR, the FBI report found that photo evidence showed the garage door pull was in place, in the same stall, back in October of 2019.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps called the outcome “a great conclusion for us” after he and Bubba Wallace spend the past 24-48 hours talking to media about the incident before the investigation had concluded.
The mystery began to unravel when a member of the crew for The Wood Brothers Racing recalled seeing the pull down rope last fall. This all comes as NASCAR was taking heat from those who sought to “defund NASCAR” over use of the Confederate flag.
It was a stirring scene on Monday when all 39 of his opponents helped push Wallace’s car to the front of pit road for the national anthem. He said “it’s been hectic, carrying this weight” and also told The View that anyone questioning the story were just “simpleminded people afraid of change.”