Bubba Wallace said President Trump should focus on other things than NASCAR after the commander-in-chief demanded the racecar driver apologize after he assumed a garage pull that was found in his garage stall last month was a “noose.”
“When I first read it, I was like, ‘Man, there’s so much more things that are going on in the world that I feel like he should be worried about,’” Wallace told guest host Anthony Anderson on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Tuesday, referring to the president’s Monday tweet.
Wallace, 26, the sole black driver on the NASCAR circuit, needled Trump for getting the facts wrong about the rope that was found last month.
“But it’s hard to get people to understand, especially when the facts are delivered on the table and they’ve been there for two weeks now. So to be late to the party is one thing and to be wrong on the factual information is another,” Wallace said.
He said Trump got one thing correct: “The great officials that continue to stand behind me, NASCAR drivers and officials have continued to stand behind me through it all. He got that part right. It’s a great sport that I’m proud to be a part of.”
A member of Richard Petty Motorsports, which employs Wallace, found the noose in the garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway on June 21 and alerted Wallace’s crew.
The FBI launched an investigation the next day.
Wallace said he wasn’t the one who reported it to the FBI.
“Wasn’t brought to my attention. It was brought to me hours later after the investigation was already going through. And then I woke up Monday morning to find out that I could potentially be talking to the FBI about it because it was in their hands now,” Wallace said.
“So not once did I report it. I didn’t even see the picture of the noose, the garage pull, until Tuesday after the race after I’m already home after my second phone call with the FBI. So did not report it. Just was told about it,” he continued.
In his tweet, Trump called the incident a “HOAX.”
“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?,” Trump wrote in the posting. “That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”
The FBI determined that the rope, shaped into a noose, had been in the stall since at least October 2019.