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Bubba Wallace’s competitors pushed his car to the starting grid ahead of Monday’s race at Talladega and stood with him as the national anthem played.
The show of solidarity came after a noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall on Sunday, when the rain-delayed race was originally scheduled. Wallace is the only Black driver who races fulltime in NASCAR.
In the minutes before pre-race ceremonies began, Wallace’s fellow competitors escorted his car down pit road with team members from other teams following behind.
Wallace had to compose himself after drivers pushed him to the front. He was in the car as it was rolled down the grid.
Wallace’s car was pushed to the front of the line as drivers and the crew members then stood with him for the anthem and pre-race prayer. He got a selfie with everyone behind him.
It’s the second show of solidarity for racial inequality over four weeks for NASCAR. Drivers filmed a video standing up for social equality ahead of the June race at Atlanta and NASCAR held a moment of silence before the race, which came less than two weeks after George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps said in a news conference ahead of the race that NASCAR and the FBI were still searching for those responsible for the noose. Phelps wouldn’t comment about the specifics of the garage-based camera system at Talladega.
Wallace’s car owner Richard Petty came to Monday’s race for the first time since NASCAR started racing during the coronavirus pandemic. Petty, 82, has been staying away from the track since NASCAR resumed competition on May 17 but flew in Monday to support Wallace.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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