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NASCAR President Says Whoever Put Noose in Bubba Wallace’s Garage Will Be Banned ‘for Life’

A ”very small number of people“ had access to the area, Steve Phelps says

NASCAR will hand down a lifetime ban to the person responsible for putting the noose in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall on Sunday.

“They will be banned from this sport for life,” NASCAR president Steve Phelps said Monday during a conference call with reporters. “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.” The call was light on specifics, with Phelps explaining that it was still very early in their investigation. 

On Sunday, a noose was found in the garage of Wallace’s racing team at Talladega Superspeedway. Both NASCAR and the Alabama District Attorney launched investigations into the incident. Phelps said that only a “very small number of people” had access into stall on Sunday, though cautioned it’s “too early to determine” exactly who was in that area during the incident.

“We have a very small number of people that are in the footprint, only essential personnel who was there,” he said. “We’ll review the entire list with the FBI about who had access at that particular time. We also use something called compartmentalization. We’re looking at who has that particular area, and we’ll be able to narrow that down.”

Phelps said it’s not likely there was any kind of security breach. “Security is very tight getting in and out of the footprint,” he said. “I can’t speculate whether there would [have been] a breach or not.” The Geico 500 race was scheduled for Sunday at Talladega, but weather has delayed the event to Monday. Phelps confirmed that Wallace will have additional security around him.

Earlier this month, Wallace called for NASCAR to ban the confederate flag at its events. The league complied with that request.