NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace says "people are trying to test my character" after the FBI determined that the noose in his team's garage was a door pull that had been in place for months. "I'm pissed," NASCAR's only black full-time driver told CNN's Don Lemon on Tuesday. "As a person ... that doesn't need the fame, doesn't need the hype, doesn't need the media, I could care less," he said, before admitting he was "reading too much" about the incident on social media. "People are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity," he added. "People that want to call it a 'garage pull' will put out old videos and photos of knots as their evidence," but "the image that I have ... seen of what was hanging in my garage is not a garage pull ... We've raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that."
Wallace, who'd helped bring about a ban of the Confederate flag from future events, said he "wanted to make sure we weren't jumping the gun." He hadn't seen the noose in person, but "I actually got evidence of what was hanging in my garage, over my car, around my pit crew guys, to confirm that it was a noose," he said. The FBI said Tuesday that the noose found Sunday in Wallace's garage stall at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway, used as a door pull, had been seen as early as October 2019. NASCAR noted "this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba," who was assigned to the garage last week, per CBS News. Per USA Today, President Steve Phelps says NASCAR's governing body will continue its own investigation "to try to determine why there was a rope fashioned into a noose." (More Bubba Wallace stories.)