NASCAR’s Wallace Upset People Trying to “Test My Integrity”
After the FBI concluded that a 'noose' found hanging from a garage door in the #43 car stall at Talladega last Sunday was door pull handle, driver Bubba Wallace ranted to CNN that it was "bulls**t." The FBI said the handle had been there since the latter part of the 2019 season.
According to The Blaze online, Wallace said he is "pissed" that people are "trying to test my integrity" over the issue. NASCAR issued a strongly worded statement Sunday night after the alleged noose was found in Garage Stall #4, but after an FBI investigation and photos from a number of fans and surveillance images, the item in question was said to be a door pull handle.
Wallace insists, according to his CNN interview that:
"But from the evidence that we have, um, that I have, it's a straight-up noose . The FBI has stated it was a noose over and over again, NASCAR leadership has stated it was a noose. I can confirm that I actually got evidence of what was hanging in my garage over my car around my picker, guys, to confirm that it was a noose, and never seen anything like it." (CNN via The Blaze.com)
The question(s) now become; what is and where is this evidence? Did anyone take pictures of it when it was discovered? Who and where are the crewmen he speaks of? Why at they not speaking out? Where's the official statement from Richard Petty Motorsports? These are questions being asked by fans all over social media and online about this issue.
He went on to say he's been to hundreds of tracks, and claims he's never seen a door pull like that. To even beyond the casual fan, there are gaping holes in his theories. All we can go off of is what the FBI said. Otherwise, it's he said-she said.
Under the strict COVID guidlines, which were featured weeks ago on FS-1 (Fox Sports 1) during one of the first races back, the wide open garage areas are now separated by partitions and other health safety equipment. Security has been stepped up, no fans have been allowed, and teams are not permitted to enter other teams garage stalls without some sort of clearance or official reason.
Many fans are upset neither Wallace not the 43 team have issued any kind of official apology or statement following the FBI results.
Wallace began his pro career in 2010 in the K&N NASCAR Series for Joe Gibbs Racing as part of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, designed to encourage more minorities and women drivers to enter the sport. Wallace had a lot of early success in ARCA, and lower level regional NASCAR Series races.
After a promising start in the NASCAR Truck Series, where he won four races in 2014 alone, he moved up to the Xfinity (formerly Busch) Series full time in 2017. He had been running trucks and Xfinity both for several seasons. In 2018, 2019 and this year he has been running in the Monster Energy Cup Series for Richard Petty Enterprises in the #43 car.
After a decent showing in the trucks (6 career wins), his success has fallen off. In 85 career starts over four years in the Xfinity Series, he has 6 top five finishes, -0- wins. Since the beginning of 2018 in the Monster Energy-NASCAR Cup Series in the #43 car he has 89 starts, 2 top five finishes, -0- pole positions won, and -0- wins. His average finish in those 89 starts is 23rd.
Aric Almerola, who made 208 starts in the 43 car from 2012 through the end of the 2017 season, was released to make room for Wallace. Almerola had 10 top five finishes, his average finish was 19th, and he gave Petty it's only victory (2014) in the last 39 years including up to present day.
Petty Motorsports is not considered a top tier team anymore such as Joe Gibbs, Stewart-Haas, Hendrick or Penske Racing; some of it due to questionable hires, and sponsor-funding issues.
Almerola is now driving for Tony Stewart's "Stewart Haas Racing", and won a race the next season after leaving Petty (2018).