On Sunday, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, before NASCAR’s race at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway — a race which was postponed until Monday due to rain — a member of Wallace’s team purportedly found a noose in the garage stall where his car was to be kept. Wallace is the only Black driver in NASCAR, and the noose is a symbol that recalls lynching — the practice of hanging Blacks from trees as punishment for crimes of which they were never convicted, or simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
On Monday, the postponed race resumed, and before the race, Wallace’s competitors showed the driver that they have his back. The show of solidarity came as the cars were entering the track — a number of drivers pushed Wallace’s car to the starting point, while other drivers and their teams walked behind. The hashtag #IStandWithBubba was spray-painted on the infield grass.
No words pic.twitter.com/ZorYccEjFo
— Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) June 22, 2020
Wallace, for his part, had a hard time keeping from tearing up as his competitors and their teams supported him.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 22, 2020
As the national anthem and pre-race prayer were conducted, drivers and their teams stood with Wallace. Afterward, he posed for a selfie.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 22, 2020
It had been expected prior to the race that Wallace’s fellow drivers would do something to honor their friend. Driver Corey LaJoie had hinted on Twitter that “the entire garage” — referring to all of the drivers and their crews — would be involved.
Also joining Wallace in support was his boss, Richard Petty. At 82 and in the age group that is most likely to develop complications from the coronavirus, Petty had been staying away from NASCAR races since the sport resumed competition, but specifically flew to Talladega so he could support Wallace.
Petty had earlier said in a statement that he was “enraged” by the “filthy” act and promised to use his team’s resources to “create change.”
Meanwhile, NASCAR has promised a thorough investigation as to how the noose got into Wallace’s stall. As access to those stalls is strictly controlled, the number of people who could have done it is limited.
Further, the United States Department of Justice has promised to investigate the incident to see if any crime was committed.
“This type of action has no place in our society,” said U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town said in a statement.