BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr. released a statement Tuesday afternoon following the investigation regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway, saying no federal crime was committed.
Authorities say the noose found in Bubba Wallace’s stall was in that garage as early as Oct. 2019, according to video evidence. “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 reads, in part.
“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,” the joint statement reads, in part.
NASCAR released the following statement following the conclusion of the investigation:
“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.”
Bubba Wallace released a statement Wednesday:
Steve Phelps, NASCAR president, held a news teleconference Tuesday afternoon. He said NASCAR would have done the same thing as far as an investigation given what they learned Sunday night.
This is Phelps’ teleconference:
NASCAR and the Birmingham office of the FBI are investigating a noose found in the garage area of driver Bubba Wallace.
Wallace is the only African American driver on the NASCAR circuit.
Before the race started Monday, a number of NASCAR drivers came up to Bubba Wallace to support him including NASCAR legend Richard Petty. Wallace was emotional at the show of support.
“There is no place for racism in NASCAR and this act only strengthens our resolve to make sure the sport is open and welcoming to all,” said Steve Phelps, President of NASCAR.