By Bob Pockrass
NASCAR has confirmed this photo of the garage pull-down rope in the formation of a noose that was hanging Sunday in the Bubba Wallace garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway.
A Richard Petty Motorsports crewman found the noose and notified Wallace crew chief Jerry Baxter, who took a photo of the noose before it was cut down.
NASCAR called the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday, and 15 agents went to the track to talk to crew members prior to the race, which had been postponed from Sunday because of rain. The FBI announced Tuesday that the investigation determined the noose was in the stall as early as October 2019.
A snapshot from a video I took Oct. 14 of that garage stall shows the presence of the rope.
Wallace is the only Black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, and concerns over his safety have increased in the last three weeks as he advocated for NASCAR to ban the Conference flag. NASCAR announced the ban June 10.
After the FBI’s announcement, Wallace tweeted a statement on Wednesday.
The new Cup garage at Talladega Superspeedway was built in 2019. NASCAR has said that other garage pull ropes it examined Sunday night were not tied in that formation.
“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,” NASCAR said in a statement Tuesday.
“This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate…