The noose found hanging in the Talladega Superspeedway garage assigned to NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace had been there since late last year, federal agents said Tuesday afternoon.
Video confirmed by NASCAR indicated the noose in garage number 4 was there as early as October 2019, according to a joint statement from U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp.
“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 read.
Wallace is NASCAR’s only black driver in the elite Cup Series. He recently pushed for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at all of its racetracks and properties.
After the noose was found and prior to the race, NASCAR drivers and crews pushed his car onto the track in a show of support.
Authorities said they determined no federal crime was committed.
“The decision not to pursue federal charges is proper after reviewing all available facts and all applicable federal laws,” the statement read. “We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace, and everyone who cooperated with this investigation.”
FULL STATEMENT FROM THE FBI AND U.S. ATTORNEY:
“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.
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.
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.”
NASCAR released the following statement:
“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. 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.
Wallace came in 14th in Monday’s GEICO 500.
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