Mike Valenti said that Thursday, while reacting to the Bubba Wallace situation where, as Valenti sees it, Wallace did nothing wrong. Valenti's comments came after NASCAR's Steve Phelps said on Thursday the noose was real, "as was our concern for Bubba."
“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,” Phelps said. “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.”
Valenti summed up public opinion as: "Someone has to pay for this ... This is a gross overreaction."
Valenti himself had a different take, saying, "If it's an overreaction, then so what? Why not check it out? That's not a garage tie ... That's a noose, that's just what it is."
Whether it was targeted or not is still unknown... But why does it mean we have to go after Bubba Wallace or NASCAR?
"Why can't we just look at it for exactly what it is in front of us?" Valenti asked.
He added that every action taken after the rope was discovered was spot on. It was discovered, the pit crew reported it, as they should have, the FBI investigated, as did NASCAR. "There doesn't' have to be a fall guy in all of this. There doesn't have to be a bad ending."
Everyone did the right thing. The situation was discovered, vetted, the community rallied around Wallace, and we moved forward. Everything about it was justified, and if "someone got away with it, they know." "The idiot that did that (if it was intentional) actually lost. He didn't scare Bubba from racing. he got the community to rally around Bubba Wallace... In many ways, if someone actually did that, if it was one awful, racist, pig, he actually helped things along."
Why can't it end there? Valenti asked.