Though the FBI concluded that a noose found in Wallace’s garage in Alabama was a pull rope and not a hate crime towards NASCAR’s only Black driver, Bubba Watson said it was still a noose and he’s pissed people are creating conspiracy theories around the incident.
“The image that I have, that I have seen, of what was hanging in my garage is not a garage loop,” he said in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon just hours after the FBI conclusion. “I’ve been racing all of my life, we’ve raced out of hundreds of garages that have never had garage pulls like that.”
“From the evidence that we have — that I have,” said Wallace, “it’s a straight-up noose.”
The FBI said Tuesday that the noose found in Wallace’s garage had been there since the last big race at the Talladega Speedway in October 2019. Wallace said the FBI told him the rope had been turned into a noose although it wasn’t functioning, reports NBC News.
Still, the look of the rope didn’t sit well with Wallace, he said on CNN.
“It was a noose,” he said. “Whether it was tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. It wasn’t directed at me, but someone tied a noose. It is a noose.”
Wallace said NASCAR president Steve Phelps first told him about the noose. In a virtual teleconference, Phelps said NASCAR will continue to investigate why the rope was made into a noose in the first place.
“We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba,” NASCAR added in a statement.
The race car driver said he’s now “pissed” people are creating conspiracy theories around the incident, adding that he wasn’t the one who found it or reported it.
“I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity,” Wallace added. “And as a person that doesn’t need to fame or the hype or the media, I could care less. I give two craps about that. To sit and reading too much into it. Investing too much time.”
Wallace finished 14th in the GEICO 500 at Talladega on Sunday, which was a career-best for him. Fellow drivers and crew members helped walk his car up to the front of the pack in a show of solidarity.