By now you likely heard of the NASCAR incident at the Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. Bubba Wallce, the only African-American driver in the league, allegedly found a noose hanging from his garage pit stall on Saturday. Now, as a NASCAR fan since 1998, I wanted to abide by the seventy-two hour rule for racial incidents, since so many of them seem to be contrived.
Here is ESPN’s ridiculous take:
To the one(s) who thought they could dip into the tired, old 1934 or 1964 racist playbook and elicit fear by placing a symbol of hate — a noose, for heaven’s sake — in the garage stall of a Black race car driver, I really need to make sure you are paying attention to what I have to say to you.
Oh, and the grown adult or adults who spent hundreds of dollars to fly a “DEFUND NASCAR” banner and Confederate flag behind a plane over Talladega, you should listen up too. Same for you rednecks who drove a parade of pickups around the perimeter of the racetrack with that same flag flying out of the beds of your 4x4s. Or even you, who wandered onto the property at Sonoma Raceway and hung “a piece of twine tied in what appeared to be a noose” from a tree.
Have their been legitimate racial incidents during NASCAR’s seventy-two year history? Of course. Are there still “rednecks” who attend races? Certainly. It the sport or the fan-base filled with raging racists? Absolutely not. I know, because I have been to many, many races at tracks across the country (Pocono, Dover, Richmond, Daytona).
I can also tell you every time I have been to a race, the fans have been nothing but friendly to everyone of every creed and color. I have never seen a fight at a NASCAR race. Ever. Can the NFL say that?
My initial reaction was while this incident may have happened, I sincerely believe this is either a misunderstanding, or an outright hoax…
Bubba Wallace is a very average race car driver. He drove a Black Lives Matter paint scheme last weekend, and he is very outspoken on social justice issues. I’m sure there are people and fans in the sport who hate him. Enough to put a noose into the garage stall? I sincerely doubt it.
As someone who’s been on pit road with a pass, security is ridiculously tight. You need valid ID, a hot pass or a cold pass, and there are certain areas you cannot enter – such as the garage stalls. So this effectively exonerates a fan, especially there were only 5,000 allowed into the track because of the Wu-Flu. No fans were allowed on the infield this weekend. None.
It likely wouldn’t be another driver or crew member, because most of them are as woke as Wallace is. They openly support his BLM nonsense, and every driver helped push Wallace’s car to the front of the line Sunday in a show of solidarity. Wouldn’t be the media, because they love Wallace and think NASCAR fans are rednecks.
So what happened? When commenting over at Ace of Spades this weekend, I noted most of the points I mentioned here. I said it could be a real incident, but my gut thinks it’s a misunderstanding as best, or a hoax at worst. You cannot deny Wallace is the most popular NASCAR driver right now, and you can’t buy that kind of publicity.
Which brings me to this. Is it possible Wallace, his crew, and everyone at NASCAR is this stupid?
Click the tweet, then click on the individual photos. Could the “noose” be the rope which opens and closes the garage door? A “noose” which has a hand loop? Also notice the pull rope in Wallace’s garage is cut, where the one next to it is not.
From an investigator’s point of view, I have a few questions. First, ESPN claims Wallace never even saw the alleged noose. It was allegedly found by a crew member. So they find a noose in the garage of NASCAR’s only black driver, and no one shows it to the alleged victim?
Second, it’s been three days, so why hasn’t a photo of this alleged noose been leaked to the media? There would obviously be cameras in the garage stalls, so why have we not seen footage of the perpetrator or the aftermath?
NASCAR and the state of Alabama asked for the Doj and FBI to conduct an investigation of this “hate crime,” and here are the results…
Since I am certain neither Wallace nor his crew will be disciplined for this racist overreaction, the least they can do is apologize to all the NASCAR fans they impugned with their disgusting race-baiting.