From The Tribune staff reports
TALLADEGA — U.S. Attorney Jay Town said in a statement released Tuesday that a noose found in the Talladega Superspeedway garage used by the Bubba Wallace team had been there since 2019. Additionally, Town said the investigation revealed that there were no violations of federal law.
“On Monday, fifteen FBI special agents conducted numerous interviews regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway,” Town said. “After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed.”
In a joint statement released by Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr., the FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week.
The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019, according to the joint statement. 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, Town said.
“The decision not to pursue federal charges is proper after reviewing all available facts and all applicable federal laws,” Town said. “We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace, and everyone who cooperated with this investigation.”
NASCAR also responded to the conclusion of the investigation with a statement.
“The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime,” according to the NASCAR statement. “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.
“This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”