NASCAR Drivers Push Bubba Wallace's Car to the Front Amid Noose Investigation

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2020

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA - JUNE 22:  NASCAR drivers push the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, driven by Bubba Wallace, to the front of the grid as a sign of solidarity with the driver prior to the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on June 22, 2020 in Talladega, Alabama. A noose was found in the garage stall of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway a week after the organization banned the Confederate flag at its facilities. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

The entire field of NASCAR drivers participating in Monday's Geico 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway pushed Bubba Wallace's No. 43 car to the front of the pack a day after a noose was found in his garage stall. 

NASCAR on Fox shared video of the moment: 

Wallace shared a photo of the field behind him and his car:

On Sunday evening, NASCAR released a statement saying a noose had been discovered in Wallace's driver stall and that it was investigating the act of hatred and racism. It also said the person found responsible would be banned from the sport for life.  

United States Attorney Jay E. Town also said that the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Alabama, the FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are investigating the incident to see if it violated federal laws.

Wallace released the following statement after a member of his racing team found the noose:

Wallace, whose win on the truck series at Martinsville in 2013 made him the first Black driver to win a NASCAR event since Wendell Scott in 1963, had advocated for the sport to remove the Confederate flag from its events.

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"No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. It starts with Confederate flags," he said on June 9, per Amir Vera and Steve Almasy of CNN. "Get them out of here. They have no place for them."

NASCAR heeded his advice, banning the flag from its events and tracks a few days later. But before Sunday's weather-postponed Geico 500, racing fans nonetheless displayed the Confederate flag outside of the racetrack. 

Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's chief racing development officer, referred to anyone who flew the Confederate flag over the racetrack as a "jackass" in a tweet.