After a short investigation into reports of a “noose” found in the garage of NASCAR’s lone black full-time driver, the FBI has determined that what was at first believed to be a noose was actually a pull rope.
Agents determined that the rope had been in place there since at least last October.
As the AP reports:
U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. said its investigation determined ‘although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.’
A crew member for Richard Petty Motorsports discovered the noose Sunday at the Alabama race track. NASCAR was alerted and contacted the FBI, which sent 15 agents to the track to investigate. They determined no federal crime was committed.
The statement said the garage stall was assigned to Wallace last week in advance of the race scheduled for Sunday but held on Monday because of rain. Through video confirmed by NASCAR it was discovered the noose ‘was in that garage as early as October 2019.’
The agencies said the evidence did not support federal charges.
Why the agents continued to refer to the rope as a “noose,” after determining there is no hate crime and no way anyone could have known Wallace would use that stall, is unknown.
“NASCAR said in a statement that ‘the FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall, the AP reports. “This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment.”
Wallace made headlines recently by asking NASCAR to remove the confederate flag from league events. He has also driven his No.43 car with a Black Lives Matter paint scheme.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn