Bubba Wallace Discusses Donald Trump, Noose Incident, More on 'Jimmy Kimmel'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 8, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JULY 05:  Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 World Wide Technology Chevrolet, looks on from the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 05, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace went on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with guest host Anthony Anderson on Tuesday evening and discussed a range of topics including President Donald Trump's July 6 tweet about him, the noose incident at Talladega Superspeedway and NASCAR's show of support immediately afterward.

On June 21, a noose was found in Wallace's garage stall by one of his crew members, leading to the belief that the 26-year-old, who is NASCAR's only full-time Black driver, was the victim of a hate crime days after his charge to get the Confederate flag removed from the organization's events.

One day later, NASCAR drivers, staff and officials supported him in part by walking the No. 43 car up pit road with a horde of people trailing prior to the GEICO 500:

In the meantime, an FBI investigation was underway, and the organization soon determined that the noose was a garage pull that had been there since October 2019.

That led to a backlash against Wallace, even though he did not report the noose. Furthermore, a picture revealed that the pull was, in fact, shaped like a noose.

Wallace covered all these topics with Anderson, starting with his reaction to Trump's tweet.

"When I first read it, I was like, 'There's just so much more things going on in the world that I think he should be worried about.'"

Wallace then noted that the facts of the incident have "been there on the table" for two weeks.

"To be late to the party is one thing, and to be wrong on the factual information is another," Wallace added. He also said the one accurate part of the tweet was the reference to NASCAR's support.

Anderson then asked Wallace about how he learned about the noose.

Wallace said he went out to eat with some other drivers June 21 without any knowledge of what happened. He later received a call from NASCAR President Steve Phelps around 6:30 p.m. ET. informing him of the situation.

Wallace then found out June 22 that he could be talking to the FBI about it. He also didn't see a picture of the rope until June 23, after he spoke with the FBI a second time.

Wallace also discussed the show of support on June 22 when he was walked out:

"That was a powerful moment there. Obviously you can see the emotion. I tried to walk out before that moment, I had just a ton of positive energy I felt like, that moment right there broke me, just totally put me in my feels and just showed the power, and the unity, love, compassion and understanding we have for another."

Wallace said that all the drivers compete with one another, but that they "let their guard down" and showed "their human being side" with the unified show of support.

The Alabama native has finished 14th or better in four of his last six races. He has three top-10 finishes on the season and sits 19th in the Cup Series standings.

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