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

NASCAR president Steve Phelps says the organization “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 FBI learning that the noose discovered in the Talladega garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only African American in NASCAR, was in fact a pull-down loop for the garage door, Phelps said NASCAR would initiate the same investigation if something similar is suspected of being a racist act 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.”

Read Also:

Phelps went on to explain how the FBI and the NASCAR industry worked hard to reach the conclusion that no 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.”

The Richard Petty Motorsports team tweeted tonight:

 

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 GEICO 500.

“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: Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime

Previous article

FBI: Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime

Next article

Have the "floodgates" now opened for Ryan Blaney?

Have the "floodgates" now opened for Ryan Blaney?
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for 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 Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

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

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

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 Cup
Nov 18, 2020