Referencing the noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway last month, Trump attacked Wallace, the sole Black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, for perpetrating a "hoax." He also criticized NASCAR for the auto sanctioning body's decision to ban the Confederate flag from all events and properties.
"Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!"
During its official investigation into the noose incident, the FBI ruled that Wallace had not been the victim of a hate crime and that the noose was actually a garage pull that had been in the stall since 2019, long before Wallace would've been assigned that particular garage at Talladega.
However, the incident is not considered to be a hoax. Following the FBI's investigation, NASCAR released a photo of the so-called garage pull, which was discovered by a teammate of Wallace's at Talladega's Geico 500. It appears to be fashioned like a noose.
In NASCAR's separate investigation, they looked at 1,684 garage stalls at tracks across the country. Investigators found 11 with pull ropes that had knots tied at the end, but the one in Wallace's garage was the only one that looked like a noose.
"As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba," NASCAR's President Steve Phelps said.
NASCAR released a photo of the noose that was found last weekend in the garage assigned to Bubba Wallace, the premier series's only black driver.
?As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba,? NASCAR's president said. https://t.co/6H73g6klOV
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 26, 2020
Also, as far as President Trump's "lowest rating ever" claim goes, that may not be true either, according to Michael Mulvihill. The Fox Sports executive vice president/head of strategy says NASCAR ratings have, in fact, been up, not down, as the president suggested in his tweet.
NASCAR viewership on Fox networks is up +8% since returning from its pandemic hiatus on May 17.
— Michael Mulvihill (@mulvihill79) July 6, 2020
Wallace, a 26-year-old Alabama native, has taken been a driving force behind NASCAR's push for racial equality.
Besides successfully lobbying for NASCAR's Confederate flag ban, he has worn a shirt saying "I Can't Breathe," referencing the death of George Floyd at the hands of a former police officer, and raced with a Black Lives Matter paint scheme at the Cup Series race in Virginia.