Bubba Wallace 'relieved' he wasn't target of hate crime, frustrated by blowback

Bubba Wallace said Wednesday he was "relieved" that a noose found in his garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama was not considered to be a hate crime.

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Wallace said in an interview on "TODAY" he was frustrated with some of the reaction he's received as a result of the FBI's investigation.

NASCAR NOOSE INCIDENT WASN'T HATE CRIME, FBI CONCLUDES

"I was relieved just like many others to know that it wasn't targeted towards me," Wallace said. "But it's still frustrating to know that people are always going to test you and always just going to try and debunk you and that's what I'm trying to wrap my head around now."

Wallace said that he and his team have photo evidence of the noose and added that federal officials told him it wasn't a functioning noose.

"The photo evidence I've seen and have in my possession [shows] it was a garage pull that was a noose. I don't know when we'll get to the point that we'll release that image … It's alerting and it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up," he said.

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"It was a rope pull for the garage door. It was attached … it was definitely in the shape of a noose. It wasn't a functioning noose."

The FBI determined that the noose in his garage had been there since last year.

Bubba Wallace waits for the start of a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, June 14, 2020, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

"The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week. The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019," the agency said in a statement Tuesday. "Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week."

"The FBI has completed its investigation at Talladega Superspeedway and determined that Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime," NASCAR said in a release after the findings. "The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall."

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Wallace is NASCAR's only African American driver on its top circuit. He recently led the way in NASCAR's decision to remove Confederate flags from the racetrack.