June 22 (Reuters) - NASCAR has launched an investigation after a noose was found in a garage stall at Talladega belonging to Bubba Wallace, the only African-American competing in its top Cup series.
“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” NASCAR said in a statement on Sunday. “We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act.
“We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.
“As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”
Earlier this month, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from all races as the sport moved to distance itself from a checkered past on race amid global protests against the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.
However, before Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega in Alabama, a plane flew above the track with the flag and a second banner that said “DEFUND NASCAR.” (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )