US speedway owner under fire for advertising ‘Bubba Rope’ in wake of noose found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s stall
A North Carolina racetrack has lost some partnerships after its owner advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale online days after NASCAR said a noose had been found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the series’ only black driver.
- The issue of racism has been raised in US motor racing in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement
- NASCAR’s only black driver, Bubba Wallace, campaigned successfully for a ban on the Confederate flag at tracks
- A rope fashioned as a noose was found in Wallace’s garage stall at a track in Alabama, but it was found to have been there for several months
The controversy centred around Mike Fulp, the owner of 311 Speedway, a half-mile (800 metre oval dirt racetrack in Pine Hall, North Carolina.
Fulp made a post on Facebook Marketplace earlier this week that was later removed.
“Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great,” the post said.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported that a concrete company, Loflin Concrete, requested that all signs and references to the company be removed from the track.
The Carolina Sprint Tour responded, saying it had ended racing at the speedway for the year.
“After much discussion with our officials, a few drivers and teams we at Carolina Sprint Tour have made the decision to withdrawl (sic our events from 311 Speedway for the remainder of the 2020 season,” the series said on Facebook.
“We do not condone nor support the comments and posts that have been made the past week.”
Fulp’s post was also condemned by a spokesman for North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
“This incident of racism is horrific and shameful,” the spokesman said.
NASCAR officials released a photo on Thursday of the rope found on Sunday in Wallace’s garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama that prompted a federal investigation, which determined it had been there since October.
NASCAR released the photo in response to criticism that it had overreacted to the rope in Wallace’s stall.
“As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba,” NASCAR president Steve Phelps said.
The incident came less than two weeks after NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its venues and races at Wallace’s urging.