Fact Check

Did NASCAR Say a Serpentine Belt, Not a Noose, Was Found in Bubba Wallace's Garage?

Rumor and confusion abounded in the wake of a disturbing discovery in a NASCAR garage.

Published Jun 23, 2020

Updated Jun 23, 2020
TALLADEGA, ALABAMA - JUNE 22:  Fans cheer for Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, after the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on June 22, 2020 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Image Via Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Claim:
NASCAR announced that Black driver Bubba Wallace mistook a serpentine belt for a noose in his stall.

In June 2020, NASCAR announced that it was opening an investigation to find out who was responsible for placing a noose in the garage of Bubba Wallace, the sport's only full-time Black driver. Shortly thereafter, a social media post started to circulate that claimed the investigation was over because NASCAR discovered Wallace had actually mistook a serpentine belt for a noose.  This is not a genuine news story — Wallace did not mistake a serpentine belt for a noose, and the included statement in this post from NASCAR is completely fabricated. This statement does not appear on NASCAR's website nor any of its social media profiles. In a June 21 statement, NASCAR said that it was "outraged" by the incident and that whoever was found responsible would be expelled from the sport: Wallace also released a statement: This incident occurred a few weeks after NASCAR announced that it was banning the display of the Confederate flag at all of its official events. In the wake of this decision, we've seen several junk news stories and hoaxes about NASCAR. For instance, the sport is not banning the national anthem, prayer, military flyovers, or MAGA apparel

Update 6/23/20 3:34 p.m. PT: After this story was published a joint statement from federal authorities announced that their investigation found the noose had been hanging in the Talladega Superspeedway garage since as early as October 2019 (long before it was assigned to Wallace) and no federal charges would be pursued.

Sources

Garrand, Danielle.   "NASCAR Drivers Rally Around Bubba Wallace at Talladega: "We Want to Stand With Our Friend."     23 June 2020.

Updates

Updated to include new information about investigation.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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