A remarkable scene unfolded at Talladega Superspeedway today before the start of the Geico 500 NASCAR race, as drivers and crew members from nearly every team stood in support of Bubba Wallace.
Less than 24 hours after NASCAR said a noose was found in in the garage stall of the top series’ only full-time Black driver, almost all of the other teams pushed Wallace’s car to the front of the staging line and stood behind the driver for the National Anthem and other pre-race activities.
Someone had also spray-painted the infield grass with #IStandWithBubba, and NASCAR tweeted out the image in support. This came just 12 days after NASCAR moved to ban confederate flags on its race track properties.
Earlier in the day, Wallace’s team owner, NASCAR legend Richard Petty, spoke out against the noose placement.
“I’m enraged by the act of someone placing a noose in the garage stall of my race team,” Petty said. “I believe in my heart this despicable act is not representative of the competitors I see each day in the NASCAR garage area. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Bubba, yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day forward.”