“This is not his first incident,” Desiree Wallace said. “If he gets into it with another driver, they’re quick to bring out the N-word.”
“There were video cameras but there were not cameras where the noose was hung. See, everybody thinks there are cameras around there, they know who’s done it. Unfortunately it's not that simple” she said, later adding: “It is an insider as far as NASCAR. I'm just praying that it's not one of his team members …”
In an extraordinary act of solidarity with her son, dozens of drivers pushed the car belonging to Bubba Wallace to the front of the field before Monday’s race as FBI agents nearby tried to find out who left a noose in his garage stall over the weekend.
The stock car series was left reeling and angered by the racist act that came less than two weeks after it banned the Confederate flag on its properties at Wallace’s urging. It has vowed to permanently bar the person responsible, but the investigation was in its early stages.
The 26-year-old Wallace was surrounded by all 39 other drivers in the moments before the race and they were joined by their crews in a march down pit road as they pushed his No. 43 to the front of the line. Wallace climbed out of his car and wept.
It was a stirring move to support Wallace at a track in the heart of the South where flags have flown for decades and were seen outside the superspeedway all weekend long by fans opposed to NASCAR’s ban.
Up to 5,000 fans were allowed into Talladega for the race — only the second race with fans since NASCAR returned from the pandemic-forced shutdown — but attendance was significantly lower Monday after the one-day postponement because of rain. Workers painted “#IStandWithBubbaWallace” on the infield grass before the race and Confederate flags were nowhere to be seen inside the sprawling facility that can hold 80,000-plus and usually sees dozens of RVs lined up across the infield.