NASCAR drivers show support for Bubba Wallace after noose incident

The sport's lone Black driver was targeted after his successful effort to ban Confederate flags from races

Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, stands by his car before qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on February 29, 2020 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Bubba Wallace became emotional after his fellow NASCAR drivers pushed his car to the front Monday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

READ MORE: FBI, NASCAR investigating after noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage

#IStandwithBubba trended on social media as the other drivers and their crews displayed unity by pushing Wallace’s No. 43 car down to the starting line. Wallace, the lone Black driver in NASCAR, was greeted with hugs after he got out of the car. Wallace could be seen crying as he was surrounded by other drivers pushing his car along.

NASCAR had Wallace’s car checked before the start of the day’s proceedings. On Sunday, a noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall. The FBI has since launched an investigation.

“The news has disturbed us all and of course we want justice and know who and why,” said seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. “And we want to stand with our friend.”

Wallace maintained that he would not let the incident “break me” in a statement released.

“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 said. “Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate.”

READ MORE: Who Is NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace?

Racing legend Richard Petty who once said he didn’t support anthem protests, stood next to Wallace during the national anthem, making an appearance to offer his support. Wallace drives for No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports. Petty, 82, said he stood by the racing sensation “yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day forward,” as the industry has rallied alongside him.

“I’m enraged by the act of someone placing a noose in the garage stall of my race team,” he said. “This filthy act serves as a reminder of how far we still have to go to eradicate racial prejudice and it galvanizes my resolve to use the resources of Richard Petty Motorsports to create change. The sick person who perpetrated this act must be found, exposed and swiftly and immediately expelled from NASCAR.”

As theGrio previously reported, Wallace, 26, led NASCAR in removing their Confederate flags from arenas and openly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

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