Story at a glance
- A noose was found hanging in a Black NASCAR driver’s garage stall the day of a race that was postponed due to rain.
- Before the rescheduled race the next day, other NASCAR drivers extended a gesture of support to Bubba Wallace.
- NASCAR has strongly condemned the incident that is now under federal investigation.
After dozens of NASCAR drivers and crew pushed Bubba Wallace’s car to the front of the field before the Geico 500, the first Black full-time driver in the league put his head down on the side of his car, overwhelmed with emotion.
Richard Petty, a former NASCAR driver nicknamed "The King,” stood next to Wallace, who drives for him, as the national anthem played at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Ala. The 82-year-old had not attended a race since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE GEORGE FLOYD CASE
After a scheduled race was postponed due to rain on Sunday, a noose was discovered in Wallace's stall. NASCAR swiftly condemned the incident, which followed its ban on Confederate flags and statements in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Federal authorities are now investigating.
“There is absolutely no place in our sport or our society for racism. This filthy act serves as a reminder of how far we still have to go to eradicate racial prejudice and it galvanizes my resolve to use the resources of Richard Petty Motorsports to create change,” Petty said in a statement. “The sick person who perpetrated this act must be found, exposed and swiftly and immediately expelled from NASCAR.”
The show of support was significant considering the outcry from some fans of the sport who turned out the day before to protest NASCAR's recent actions. But current and former drives were unified in their support of Wallace.
You’re my brother and always will be. Don’t let the people who are lower than life to try and bring you down. They won’t scare you because you’re strong. I stand with you pal. Forever. https://t.co/fiIALd9XCE— Ryan Blaney (@Blaney) June 22, 2020
Hope Bubba wins it tomorrow.— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) June 22, 2020
“I believe in my heart this despicable act is not representative of the competitors I see each day in the NASCAR garage area. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Bubba, yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day forward,” Petty concluded.
READ MORE ABOUT THE GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS