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NASCAR President Steve Phelps detailed Thursday afternoon via teleconference findings from NASCAR’s internal investigation into the noose found in the garage stall of No. 43 driver Bubba

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NASCAR has released a photo of the suspected 'noose' found in Bubba Wallace's garage stall at Talladega on Sunday that at was investigated by the FBI as a possible hate crime before being revealed to be an innocent garage door pull rope that had been in use for at least a year

Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend.

A photo of the noose was released by the sanctioning body earlier Thursday, one day after an FBI investigation concluded that no federal hate crime was committed against Wallace, who is Black.

“Upon learning of and seeing the noose, our initial reaction was to protect our driver. We’re living in a highly charged and emotional time. What we saw was a symbol of hate and was only present in one area of the garage and that was of the 43 car of Bubba Wallace,” Phelps said. “In hindsight, I should have used the word ‘alleged’ in our statement.

MORE: NASCAR statement on FBI investigation at Talladega Superspeedway

“As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba. With similar emotion, others across our industry and our media stood up to defend the NASCAR family. Our NASCAR family. Because they are part of the NASCAR family, too. We are proud to see so many stand up for what’s right.”

NASCAR officials asked each track to walk their respective garages following Sunday’s discovery. Across the 1,684 garage stalls at 29 tracks, NASCAR found only 11 total that had a pull-down rope tied in a knot and only one noose — the one discovered Sunday in the No. 43 garage stall.

A joint statement from U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. released Tuesday afternoon determined that the noose had been in Cup Series garage stall No. 4 — which had been assigned to the Petty No. 43 team last weekend — since at least last October and that no federal charges would be pursued.

“Bubba Wallace and the 43 team had nothing to do with this,” Phelps reiterated. “Bubba Wallace has done nothing but represent this sport with courage, class and dignity.”

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A Youtube video from 2019 showed a pull rope featuring a noose (circled) hanging from the garage door in the same stall used by Wallace and his team at Talladega earlier this week. At the time the video was taken, it was being used by a white driver, Paul Menar