The owner of a North Carolina racetrack advertised ‘Bubba Rope’ for sale in a social media marketplace days after black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace found a ‘noose’ in his garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
Mike Fulp, the 55-year-old owner of the half-mile (0.8 km) 311 Speedway in Stokes County, posted what many have slammed as a racist threat on Facebook Marketplace Wednesday.
In the ad Fulp, who recently made a failed bid as a Republican for a Stokes County Commissioner’s seat, wrote: ‘Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great.’
Social media users blasted the ad, with spectators calling for a boycott of his track and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s office describing the incident as ‘horrific and shameful’.
Mike Fulp, the 55-year-old owner of the half-mile (0.8 km) 311 Speedway in Stokes County, posted what many have slammed as a racist threat on Facebook Marketplace Wednesday
311 Speedway in Stokes County. In the ad Fulp, who recently made a failed bid as a Republican for a Stokes County Commissioner’s seat, wrote: ‘Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great.
More critical comments sprung up on the speedway’s Facebook page Thursday.
Several self-described loyal spectators at 311 Speedway said they would stop attending events at his dirt track because of the post.
Ford Porter, Gov. Cooper’s deputy communications director, condemned the advertizement in the wake of mounting civil unrest and calls for an end to systemic racism sweeping the nation.
‘This incident of racism is horrific and shameful,’ he said. ‘North Carolina is better than this.’
Other social media posts from his account encourage fans to buy Confederate flags and Donald Trump paraphernalia while another reads: ‘White Lives Matter’
The offending ad was taken down by midday Thursday.
No one answered the phone at the speedway Thursday and the inbox couldn’t accept a message seeking comment.
The ‘racist’ post came after Fulp also announced on Facebook Monday that the speedway is sponsoring a ‘Heritage Night’ on Saturday.
In another post about the event, the track founder also encouraged fans to purchase a variety of items, including Confederate flags and caps as well as Donald Trump paraphernalia, and added, ‘don’t forget your 2nd Amendment Right, 311 Speedway.’
Another post from his account reads: ‘White Lives Matter.’
Wallace, the only black NASCAR driver, led calls for the Confederate flag to be banned from NASCAR venues and races
All 39 other NASCAR drivers rallied in support of Wallace before Monday’s restart (pictured) following the discovery of the noose, collectively pushing his No. 43 car to the front of the grid in a show of solidarity
In response to NASCAR’s ban, SCV had arranged for a small propeller plane to fly the Confederate Flag over the northern Alabama race track before Sunday’s scheduled race at Talladega while a caravan of cars (pictured) paraded the rebel banner in front of the entrance
NASCAR officials released a photo Thursday of the suspected ‘noose’ found Sunday in Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega.
The picture shows a long rope fashioned into a loop, but with one end coiled around the knot, bearing a striking resemblance to a noose.
Discovery of the rope on Sunday prompted a federal investigation to determine if it was a hate crime targeted at 26-year-old Wallace.
Wallace, the only black NASCAR driver, had only two weeks earlier led calls for the Confederate flag to be banned from NASCAR venues and races.
NASCAR agreed to ban the flag and both the company and Wallace faced a major backlash from their southern fans.
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
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 Menard
- June 9 – Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only black full-time driver on its top circuit, calls on the sport to permanently ban the Confederate flag
- June 10 – NASCAR bans the flag at all races after 70 years
- June 21 – Ahead of the scheduled start of the GEICO 500 in Alabama, a Confederate flag is flown over the Talladega track while a caravan of protestors drive rebel banners back and forth in front of the entrance
- June 21 – After the race is postponed by rain, someone from Wallace’s team discovers the suspected noose in his garage stall
- June 21 – NASCAR confirms the discovery of the ‘noose’
- June 22 – The FBI launches an investigation into the suspected hate crime
- June 22 – All 39 other NASCAR drivers rally in support of Wallace ahead of the GEICO 500 restart, pushing his No. 43 car to the front of the grid in a show of solidarity
- June 23 – The FBI reveals that the suspected ‘noose’ is a garage door pull-down rope that had been in use for at least a year
- June 24 – Wallace praises the FBI for its investigation and says he is ‘relieved’ that he was not the target of a racist gesture
- June 25 – NASCAR releases a picture of the door pull, showing a long length of rope fashioned into a loop with one end coiled around the knot
- June 25 – NASCAR reveals that of the 1,684 garage stalls across its 29 tracks, only 11 had knotted pull-down ropes, and just one of those had been fashioned into a noose – the one in Wallace’s stall
One driver on NASCAR’s truck series, Ray Ciccarelli, vowed to retire at season’s end over the move due to his objections while a group called the Sons of Confederate Veterans arranged for a small propeller plane to fly the Confederate Flag over the northern Alabama race track before Sunday’s scheduled race and a caravan of cars paraded the rebel banner in front of Talladega’s main entrance.
The discovery of the noose-like rope sparked fears Wallace was the targeted of a racist attack.
On Monday, NASCAR and the FBI both launched investigations, which revealed the rope was in fact a garage door pull-down rope that was previously used in the same stall by a white driver, Paul Menard, in 2019.
Footage from earlier years showed similar garage door pulls being used by other drivers, although none appeared to look exactly like a ‘noose’ in the same way the rope in Wallace’s stall did.
According to US Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent Johnnie Sharp Jr., nobody could have known that Wallace would be assigned that specific stall prior to last weekend’s race.
Circuit officials questioned representatives from every NASCAR track to learn exactly how many garage door pull-down ropes were tied in a similar manner.
Of the 1,684 stalls across 29 tracks, only 11 had knotted pull-down ropes, and just one of those had been fashioned into a noose – the one in Wallace’s stall – according to NASCAR.com.
It is not clear who tied the rope that way or when that person did so.
Before the FBI halted its investigation Tuesday and said it was not a hate crime, all 39 other NASCAR drivers rallied in support of Wallace at Monday’s restart, collectively pushing his No. 43 car to the front of the grid in a show of solidarity.
Wallace, an Alabama native, became overwhelmed with emotion and fought back tears as his car owner, NASCAR legend Richard Petty, gave him a hug in the moments before the race began.
Some people have slammed the investigation over the rope a ‘hoax’ and saying NASCAR had somehow overreacted over the shocking incident.
Wallace hit back at the accusations saying the whole experience was ‘just short of pure hell’ for him and that the ‘common denominator is racism’.