Federal investigators determined earlier in the day that a noose found in the stall used by Wallace’s team at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, over the weekend had been there since October 2019 and wasn’t intended as a racist attack on him. The area was only assigned to Wallace last week.
“I’m pissed,” Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon, referring to baseless conspiracy claims that the noose was a hoax.
“I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity,” said NASCAR’s only top-level Black driver, who earlier this month persuaded the racing body to ban Confederate flags from its events.
“They’re not stealing that from me, but trying to test that,” he continued. “And as a person that doesn’t need to fame or the hype or the media, I could care less. I give two craps about that. To sit and reading too much into it. Investing too much time.”
Wallace explained he was informed of the existence of the noose by NASCAR president Steve Phelps, and said he didn’t initially see it or report it.
He also insisted that the noose, described by the FBI as a “garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose,” was definitely a noose. “Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose,” he said. “So, it wasn’t directed at me but somebody tied a noose. That’s what I’m saying.”
Lemon told Wallace only “knuckleheads” would accuse him of perpetrating a hoax. “Fair-minded people are not accusing you of doing anything wrong. You were reacting to what NASCAR, what the head of NASCAR told you happened.”
“None of the allegations of being a hoax will break me or tear me down,” Wallace told Lemon. “That only fuels the competitive drive in me to shut everybody up and get on the track next week and showcase what I can do behind the wheel under tremendous amounts of BS.”
“Whatever it is you want to say. It won’t break me or tear me down,” he added. “I will stand proud of where I’m at.”
Check out the full interview here:
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