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NASCAR weekly: The noose that wasn’t one and the Talladega races

Credits: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

The FBI has solved the noose case in Bubba Wallace’s garage in Talladega – No hate crime was committed – Ryan Blaney and Justin Haley win in Alabama

NASCAR Cup Series

The NASCAR Cup Series race weekend at Talladega started with rain showers, which meant that the race had to be postponed from Sunday to Monday. But racing was not the focus of attention at all: In Bubba Wallace’s garage a noose was found by a team member, which was interpreted as racist message for the only African-American driver of NASCAR – but that wasn’t the case.

NASCAR cooperated with the FBI, which immediately began investigating. Before the start of the race, the drivers and teams demonstrated solidarity with Wallace, who has been heavily targeted since his clear positioning in the “Black Lives Matter” movement. He was also one of the initiators of the banishment of the Confederate Flag in NASCAR.

However, the supposed noose turned out to be a harmless and simple operating rope for the garage door. This device in the form of a noose has been in existence in Talladega since 2019, as a Wood Brothers team member told the investigators. NASCAR and Richard Petty Motorsports are “relieved” in their statements that Wallace has not been the victim of a hate crime.

Ryan Blaney wins lively race

The race at the Talladega Superspeedway became really interesting after the rain breaks. The first stage win went to Tyler Reddick, who delivers a great performance as a rookie for Richard Childress Racing in 2020. Stage 2 went to Superspeedway specialist Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who, like Reddick, won his first race segment in the 2020 season.

The race win was ultimately secured by Ryan Blaney, who thus drew his ticket for the 2020 playoffs. The Penske driver, who was close to win a race this season for several times, beat Stenhouse Jr. in an exciting final phase of the race. During the finish there was a crash, which is why Aric Almirola crossed the finish line with the rear ahead, securing third place. Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones completed the top 5 ahead of Chris Buescher.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

In contrast to the Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series race was held on Saturday as planned. And once again the decision in the fight for victory was only decided in the last meters. A few laps before the end of the race another crash happened. The consequence: Red flags! At the following restart Jeb Burton was in front, but Justin Haley took the lead with the help of Ross Chastain and defended it until the finish.

The 21-year-old has now won races in all three national series of NASCAR. Chastain, on the other hand, should not be too upset about finishing second, after all it means winning the $100,000 Dash-4-Cash bonus. In addition to Chastain and Haley, Jeb Bruton and Austin Cindric will try to clear the Dash-4-Cash bonus in Pocono this weekend.