An investigation has been launched after a noose was found in Bubba Wallace's garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway last weekend.
Wallace, who is currently the only black driver competing in NASCAR, has been an advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks, running a livery inspired by the movement at recent events and speaking out on social media.
NASCAR itself has been making changes in light of the movement, announcing the ban of the Confederate Flag at all events and openly supporting Wallace.
The series has received praise for its movements in recent weeks, and it has now condemned the finding of the noose, stating it is taking the “heinous” act very seriously.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” NASCAR said in a statement. “We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,"
"We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.
"As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all."
26-year-old Wallace, who has six top tens to his name including a second-place finish at the 2018 Daytona 500, says he is “incredibly saddened” by the new development.
"Today's despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism," Wallace stated on Twitter.
"Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry, including other drivers and team members in the garage.
“Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone.
"Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate. As my mother told me today, 'they are just trying to scare you'. This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in."
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