NASCAR Cup Series drivers and mechanics expressed their support to Bubba Wallace on Monday prior to the race at the Talladega Superspeedway. A noose was found in the pit box of the only black rider in the largest American racing class on the night from Sunday to Monday.
Wallace's car was pushed to the front of the grid by his fellow drivers just before the start. The emotional American then got out and thanked the riders and mechanics for the gesture. While playing the national anthem, 26-year-old Wallace remained the center of the ceremony.
At the request of Wallace, the controversial confederation flag was recently banned. On Sunday, a plane flew above the circuit in Alabama with such a flag behind it and a call to sponsors to withdraw from the largest American racing class.
The Alabama race was moved to Monday on Sunday due to rain. Five thousand fans were welcome to the event, who incidentally do not have access to the courtyard of the circuit. Only team members, media and officials are allowed to enter this area, which also contains the garage boxes.
NASCAR Cup Series drivers and employees surround Bubba Wallace and his car while playing the national anthem. (Photo: Getty Images)
NASCAR wants to suspend offender for life
When NASCAR can track down the culprit, the person will be suspended for life, NASCAR President Steve Phelps announced at a news conference ahead of the race.
"There is no place for racism in NASCAR," said Phelps. "This act only reinforces our determination to make this sport even more open and welcoming to everyone. The perpetrators will be banned from this sport for life."
The race on the Talladega Superspeedway started on Monday at 9:15 PM (Dutch time).
Why is the confederation flag so controversial?
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