NASCAR President to Ban Noose Incident Perpetrators For Life

By , Sports Radio WFNZ

The FBI has taken over the investigation of a noose being placed in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace's garage stall Sunday night at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Wallace is the only black driver in the sport’s top circuit.

NASCAR launched its own investigation following the discovery but contacted the FBI to expand the search for who committed the act.

"We don't have a lot of answers at this moment," NASCAR president Steve Phelps said on a conference call Monday afternoon.

"We're going to use every effort we can to determine who has done this. All the resources to NASCAR, the FBI, the teams of all the drivers and anyone who has any access to this said they will help figure out who has done this vile act."

Backlash by some long-time NASCAR fans against Wallace was somewhat expected after the sport banned Confederate flags last week from all races in an effort to take a bigger stance in racial matters.

Wallace was the pivotal voice in getting the sport to make that decision concerning the flags.

While not wanting to speculate on who might have placed the noose in the garage, Phelps said access was limited to a small amount of credentialed crew and team members and that it would be difficult for someone without permission to be there..

"Obviously we will review the entire list with the FBI about who had access at that particular time," Phelps said. "We will look at who was in that particular area and we will be able to narrow that down. …

“Security is very tight getting in and out of the footprint."

Phelps also rejected the idea of NASCAR or Wallace staging the incident.

"I can't speak for those on social media, but I would say that is something that personally offends me," Phelps said. "This is a terrible, terrible act that has happened and for those who would think that this is staged, I don't even know where to go with that, frankly."

He added that when the person or persons responsible is found, they will "unequivocally" be banned from NASCAR for life.

"There is no room for this at all, and we won't tolerate it," Phelps said. "They won't be here. I don't care who they are, they will not be here."

The race at Talladega was postponed to Monday afternoon due to weather and drivers will stand with Wallace at his car before the race.

"(Wallace) has handled it with the grace that he has handled everything that's happened over the last few weeks," Phelps said. "This is a family that needs to take care of one of its family members who's been attacked."

NASCAR legend Richard Petty, the owner of Wallace’s No. 43 car, will attend The race for the first time this season. “There's absolutely no place in our sport or society for racism,” Petty, who is the sport’s all-time leader with 200 wins, wrote on Twitter. "This filthy act serves as a reminder of how far we still have to go to eradicate racial prejudice and it galvanizes my resolve to use the resources of Richard Petty Motorsports to create change.”

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