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“They will be banned from this sport for life,” Phelps said during a conference call. “There is no room for this at all and we won’t tolerate it. They won’t be here. I don’t care who they are, they will not be here.”
NASCAR launched an immediate investigation after learning about the noose late Sunday afternoon. Phelps said officials were in contact with the FBI and local law enforcement to identify the perpetrator.
The incident occurred just days after Wallace, NASCAR’s only black driver, successfully petitioned officials to ban the Confederate flag from all events and venues. A member of Wallace’s team found the noose.
Phelps did not say whether NASCAR has identified any suspects.
NASCAR has operated events with essential personnel only since returning to live racing after a two-month shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic. As such, only a limited number of individuals were supposed to have access to the area where the noose was found.
Wallace condemned the incident in a statement on Twitter.
"Today's despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism," Wallace wrote.
"Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry, including other drivers and team members in the garage. Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone,” he added.