Bubba Wallace: NASCAR vow to ban individual who put noose in driver's stall
Wallace's fellow NASCAR drivers rally round to show their support for him
Last Updated: 23/06/20 6:24am
NASCAR president Steve Phelps has vowed to uncover the identity of the person responsible for the racist attack on Bubba Wallace and have them banned from the sport for life.
The only African-American driver in NASCAR's top series and a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter, Wallace was the target of a racial attack when a noose - a symbol connected to lynching and America's slave history - was left in his team stall.
NASCAR stepped up security around Wallace for the rain-delayed Geico 500 race at Talladega Superspeedway following Sunday's incident.
Wallace posted a picture of himself on Twitter in the build-up to the race, standing in front of his car and with the other drivers in the race in the background, with the word 'Together'.
His fellow drivers later pushed his No 43 car to the front in a further show of support.
Earlier on Monday, the US Attorney's office for the Northern District of Alabama said the FBI is reviewing the situation with regard to the noose to determine whether there are violations of federal law.
"We are going to use every effort we can to determine who has done this, whether it's a single person or multiple people," Phelps said during a conference call.
"I know that the director of the FBI has informed the Birmingham office to use all their resources to find it as well.
"Unequivocally, they will be banned from this sport for life. There is no room for this at all and we won't tolerate it. I don't care who they are, they will not be here."
Richard Petty Motorsport, who Wallace drives for, also promised to do whatever they can to find the person responsible and to bring about positive change to help end racism.
"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 Motorsport to create change," they tweeted.
The incident has put NASCAR on high alert for Monday's race which was already operating under tight security due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Only 5000 fans were allowed into the sprawling superspeedway and access to the infield and pit areas was also restricted.
"We want to make sure that Bubba is safe and we have stepped up security," added Phelps, adding he had personally told Wallace about the noose on Sunday.
"This is a family that needs to take care of one of its family members who's been attacked.
"We will firmly support as an industry, as a family and a community to make sure Bubba and everyone else in this sport is safe."
Wallace was also one of the loudest voices in the bid to have NASCAR remove the Confederate flag from its tracks.
Since the death of George Floyd on May 25, there have been calls to remove objects honouring the Confederacy, which defended slavery.
While some in the South see the flag as a source of pride and a remembrance of its soldiers who died in the Civil War, many Americans see it as a symbol of oppression and of a dark chapter in American history.
In a show of unity, the hashtag was painted on the infield at Talladega ahead of Monday's race.