"We are angry and outraged," NASCAR said in a statement

By Lindsay Kimble
June 21, 2020 11:51 PM
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A noose was found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace's garage at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, on Sunday.

"Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team. We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act," NASCAR said in a statement shared by several reporters on social media.

An "immediate investigation" has been launched, and NASCAR said the racing organization "will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport."

The statement continued, "As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all."

Bubba Wallace
Slaven Vlasic/Getty

Wallace, the only black driver on the circuit, issued his own statement in response, sharing it on social media.

"Today's despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism," the 26-year-old wrote.

He continued, "Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry, including other drivers and team members in the garage. Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone."

"Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate. As my mother told me today, 'They are just trying to scare you.' This will not break me, I will not give in, nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in."

Earlier this month, Wallace raised awareness for Black Lives Matter during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. He was the first full-time black driver to race in the Cup Series in nearly 50 years.

Bubba Wallace
Steve Helber/AP/Shutterstock

For the race, Wallace's car — which is owned by Richard Petty Motorsports — was painted all black and featured the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag along its rear quarter-panels. The words "compassion, love, understanding" appeared on the hood along with a painting of a black hand clasping a white hand.

Wallace also spoke out and pushed for the banning of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events, which the organization promptly did.