Authorities are investigating an apparent noose that was discovered at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday morning, the same weekend that one was found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega.
“On Saturday, a Sonoma Raceway staff member discovered a piece of twine tied in what appeared to be a noose hanging from a tree on raceway property,” said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager, in a statement.
“Our staff, on-site business tenants and local law enforcement have been contacted and asked to share any information they may have. The incident is under investigation by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. Sonoma Raceway takes this incident very seriously and is dedicated to operating a facility that is welcoming to everyone.”
Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Orlando Rodriguez told NBC Bay Area that those responsible could potentially be charged with a hate crime.
“We take it very seriously,” Rodriguez said. “That’s why we’re out there with the violent crimes unit, (to) put every effort into making an ID on this.”
Wallace’s fellow NASCAR drivers rallied behind the sport’s only Black competitor in display of solidarity prior to the start of the rain-delayed Talladega race on Monday. The Cup series was scheduled to run at Sonoma this month, but the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.