The great NASCAR Noose Incident fizzles out

Yup. It looked creepy, and the assistant was right to report it. And the investigation showed it was completely harmless. All’s well that ends well.

And it wasn’t a a spliced loop. It was something that sure looks like a noose-knot, in this fuzzy photo I managed to find on twitter:

Yes, I’m pretty sure this is what happened. I used to tie noose knots. It’s sort of a fun knot to tie, and I imagine someone was bored and screwing around. Or maybe someone had some general racist thoughts as he tied it, but there’s absolutely no way to know that, and I’m going to assume “bored” unless some contrary evidence emerges. But either way, it was directed against anyone in particular. It wasn’t a threat. It was just bad luck that someone tied a noose into the pull rope eventually assigned to the one black driver.

I just want to point this out:

It looks like a noose. In a subsequent tweet, Pockrass states:

So it didn’t look like any other rope in the garage and looked like a noose. I think it’s fairly reasonable for someone on Bubba’s team to contact NASCAR. Though NASCAR should have not made a public statement until the FBI finished their investigation (then again, it is the sort of the thing that would have gotten out anyways, I’d imagine).

Also this:

So ONE pull rope had a noose like knot, and from the interview I saw with Wallace, the team member checked nearby garages before reporting it- and none that he saw, or apparently ANY other pull ropes, were tied that way. So it’s not “normal” to tie pull ropes in that fashion.

Tensions are high right now, and it was absolutely the right thing to report it for investigation.

Wallace was interviewed by Trevor Noah on The Daily Show last night. I’m sure he’s been interviewed other places as well, but this is the interview I saw most recently. Just to be clear about it, Wallace himself did not report the incident to NASCAR. That was done by the crew member who found the rope. The first Wallace knew about it was when the president of NASCAR came to tell him about it. “With tears in his eyes,” as Wallace described it. Likewise, neither Wallace nor his crew member had anything to do with getting the FBI involved. That was NASCAR’s decision.

As mentioned above, no other pull ropes in any of the other garages were tied in that way. It’s not some “standard” way to tie a garage pull rope. So it’s certainly not something that anyone would look at and say, “Oh, that’s no big deal. Just a pull rope.” It was quite proper to investigate. It turns out to have been nothing in this case, but it might easily have been something more serious. The only way to know is to investigate it.

I can’t see that anyone involved in this situation has acted inappropriately in any way. Pretty much everyone, from the crew member, to NASCAR, to the other drivers, to Wallace himself, has responded just as they should.

Given your fury at people who make wild allegations based on flimsy evidence, what would be an appropriate consequence for your wild, irresponsible allegation about Wallace?

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There’s a picture of the rope - and that’s a hangman’s noose. I can’t see how anyone could think of it as anything else. It may have been being used to pull down the door, but someone very carefully tied it in a hangman’s knot.
Supposedly, it’s been hanging there for months; how many people walked under it, I wonder.
I will say, it’s the sort of thing I might do, due to my weird sense of humor. I can also say I can understand why someone working for a black driver would be rightfully…concerned.

Ike Witt, calling someone a horrible person is a personal insult, a violation of the board rules. If you feel the need to insult other posters, do so in the Pit. This is an official Warning.

This is 100% noose. Big surprise that UltraVires jumps all over it being a hoax…

I’m just thinking that since UltraVires thinks Wallace deserves punishment for acting on unseen evidence- since UV advocated punishment without even seeing the actual NOOSE what kind of punishment is best for that?

He put forth the position that it was made up, before seeing the noose! Surely as deserving of punishment.

UltraVires opening his mouth before actually reading what happened, and refusing to pay attention when other people correct him with the facts? Never happens!

I imagine all the prosecutors of West Virginia love seeing him as opposing counsel.

I see I’ve been jumped on a bit for this remark.
But today I saw a photo of the noose distinctly clearer than photos I had seen before. No shit, it’s really a noose.

I rescind the above comment.

See, UV? That’s how you show integrity!

It was definitely a hangman’s noose, and they definitely did NOT find any other nooses in any other hangers.

My reactions to this incident went from:

“Damn, wish we didn’t live in a time where that crap still happens.”


“Dang, wish we didn’t live in a time where people were so sensitive to everything.”


“Holy crap! That’s actually a hangman’s noose, and it looks like it’s made out of rope strong enough to reliably hang someone!”

I’ve tied hangman’s nooses (it’s one of the easier knots to learn, really). There’s no overt racist tone to the knot itself, it was the way the law usually killed folks in large parts of the world for quite some time. Hell, it seemed like England was willing to hang someone for looking at you funny at some points in history. But I’ve almost always tied one out of something that was either too flimsy or the result was way too short to actually be tied to anything and used. To tie one and leave it around where it could actually be used if you just blocked the garage door is still pretty screwed up, even if it doesn’t rise to the level of a racist act.

Wouldn’t a noose, by it’s nature as a knot meant to be tightened when pulled, be a bad knot for a door pull? The reason I say that is that someone said, oh, it’s just someone being bored and tying a slightly more complex knot, but it’s still just a door pull.

Hard to say the motivations of the person who tied it. Unless they were very good at predictions or had access to information that I don’t know if it actually existed at the time, the motivation was not to put it in the garage of a black driver.

OTOH, it was in bad taste, no matter how you look at it. A noose is a symbol of death, and in a sport as dangerous as NASCAR, you really don’t want to attract any more attention from the Reaper than absolutely necessary.