North Carolina's 311 Speedway Loses Partnerships over 'Bubba Rope' Facebook Post

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJune 28, 2020

Bubba Wallace walks down pit row down before the start of a scheduled NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Pocono Raceway, Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Long Pond, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

A racetrack in North Carolina that bills itself as the "Daytona of Dirt" is losing a couple of partnerships after posting an advertisement for "Bubba Rope" following an FBI investigation into a noose found in the Talladega Superspeedway garage stall of NASCAR's only Black driver, Bubba Wallace.

Ethan Joyce of the Winston-Salem Journal reports 311 Speedway has lost its partnership with a concrete company that had sponsored the track, and the Carolina Sprint Tour will look to other tracks for two events originally scheduled at 311 this season.

A Facebook statement from Loflin Concrete strongly condemned the advertisement posted by 311 owner Mike Fulp:

"Standing for what you believe is often different than being known for what you are against. Sometimes just being against something in principle or belief is just not enough. Words must lead to action sometimes. This is one of those times. We have cut all ties with 311 speedway. There has been a request earlier in the week that all signage and reference of our company be completely removed from the track and all media. These words and actions are intended to show that we are more than against racism, but anti-racism. Whenever we choose to be anti anything, we don’t allow it in our midst and call it out to eradicate it. When we choose to listen but not condemn certain topics, we give the fire oxygen to survive. We stand in opposition to this form of hate we call racism, in hope that we can be part of making a difference to better our communities."

Fulp has since removed the post but said in another post he will sell the Confederate flag during "Heritage Night" after NASCAR has banned it at all events and venues.

After an FBI investigation, the noose in Wallace's garage was determined not to be a hate crime, concluding the unit's pull rope had been fashioned into a noose prior to October 2019. A NASCAR investigation further noted that out of all garages at every one of the tracks it uses, this was the only instance of a pull rope tied into a noose.

"Our ultimate conclusion for this investigation is to ensure that this never happens again, that no one walks by a noose without recognizing the potential damage it can do," NASCAR President Steve Phelps said in a statement. "Going forward, our efforts are best spent on making sure every competitor feels safe and every guest feels welcome. I would also like to reinforce that what we did see at Talladega in pre-race on Monday, our drivers, crews and officials proudly demonstrated that we are united in the belief that there is no place for racism in our sport."