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NASCAR President Steve Phelps Releases New Statement

a nascar all-star race on saturday

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 18: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #14 Toco Warranty Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, lead the field during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Moments ago, NASCAR released a photo of the noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage at Talladega over the weekend. After all of the ebbs and flows of this saga, most should be able to agree that it certainly looks like a noose.

Wallace's team discovered the noose in the garage over the weekend and reported it to NASCAR. The organization got the FBI involved. Eventually, it was discovered that the rope was tied that way dating back to 2019, and was not tied ahead of the 2020 race to target Wallace, who just happened to land that garage spot this year.

After the news first broke, some speculated that it may have just been a garage pull rope. There were plenty of calls for a picture of the rope in question. Now that we have it, how and for whatever reason the rope is tied that way, it is pretty hard to deny that it is a noose as described.

NASCAR president Steve Phelps apologized for how things were framed when this story first broke. Even so, it is understandable for the organization to be outraged, as it certainly appeared that Wallace was being specifically targeted. Even if this wound up being a really rough coincidence, you can see why there was so much concern.

Of every garage stall at NASCAR tracks, this was reportedly the only one tied like a noose. Only 11 ropes of 1,684 in total were tied in a knot at all.

After the last few weeks, it is very understandable why Wallace's crew and NASCAR were worried that he was being targeted by a racist threat here. Wallace successfully lead a push to get the confederate flag banned from races. The 26-year old is the only Black driver in NASCAR right now, and has been an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice causes around the country.

There are plenty of questions stemming from this whole situation now. Why was a garage pull tied like a noose at all, even if it happened last year? Who had access to the garage during that time frame? We'll see if we get answers to some of those questions. In any event, it doesn't invalidate anything that Bubba Wallace has done since NASCAR returned a few weeks ago. [

NASCAR president Steve Phelps says its own investigation has been completed. "In hindsight, I should have used the word alleged." But says the noose was real and the concern for Bubba Wallace was real. That was the only rope in the garage tied this way.

— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 25, 2020

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