NASCAR: If hate crime is suspected, we'll do the same again

NASCAR president Steve Phelps says the organisation "would do the same thing" if evidence was presented that suggested a hate crime might have been committed within its environment

NASCAR: If hate crime is suspected, we'll do the same again

Speaking to media following the news that the FBI had learned that the noose discovered in the Talladega garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only African American in NASCAR, was a pull-down loop for the garage door, Phelps said NASCAR would initiate the same investigation if something similar is suspected in future.

"For us at NASCAR, this is the best result we could hope for," he said. "It was disturbing to hear that it was thought that one of our own had committed this heinous act. It is fantastic to hear from the FBI definitively that there was not a hate crime.

"I do want to make sure everyone understands that if given the evidence that we had was delivered to us [on Sunday], we would do the same thing. We would have done the same investigation. It was important for us to do. There is no place in our sport for this type of racism or hatred. It's not part of who we are as a sport."

Phelps went on to explain how the FBI and the NASCAR industry worked hard to reach the conclusion that no hate crime had been committed.

"I want to make sure that everyone understands that our portion of this with the FBI was something that was - we were very cooperative, as you would expect. We provided them with roster information, photographic and video evidence that aided them in their conclusions.

"Additionally, the industry was very supportive. Not just the members of the 43, and I want to be clear about the 43 team. The 43 team had nothing to do with this. The evidence is very clear that the noose that was in that garage had been in the garage previously.

"The last race we had had there in October, that noose was present, and it was - the fact that it was not found until a member of the 43 team came there is something that is a fact. We had not been back to the garage.

"It was a quick one day show. The crew member went back in there. He looked and saw the noose, brought it to the attention of his crew chief, who then went to the NASCAR series director Jay Fabian, and we launched this investigation.

"To be clear, we would do this again. Of the evidence that we had, it was clear that we needed to look into this."

Phelps also said he was proud of the way the sport reacted to the incident, as all Cup Series drivers, team members and officials rallied around Wallace to show their support before Monday's rain-delayed race.

"Yesterday to me as a sport was one of the most important days we've had," he said. "It's one of the most kind of indelible print on my mind until the day I die, seeing the support that Bubba had from not just the drivers but all the crews, all the officials who were down in pit road, anyone who was part of that footprint.

"Everyone wanted to show their support for a family member of NASCAR. We are one big family. We are one large community. And everyone's belief is that someone was attacking a member of our family.

"It turned out that that was not the case, but at the time that's what our industry thought, so drivers, crew, our officials, everyone supported Bubba Wallace and the 43 team, and that was a very powerful image in not just the history of our sport but I think in all sports."

shares
comments
FBI concludes noose in NASCAR driver Wallace's garage not hate crime

Previous article

FBI concludes noose in NASCAR driver Wallace's garage not hate crime

Next article

Blaney hopeful NASCAR Talladega win "opens the floodgates"

Blaney hopeful NASCAR Talladega win "opens the floodgates"
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Charles Bradley
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020