An offensive message was broadcast on Bubba Wallace’s radio network Sunday at North Wilkesboro Speedway, and NASCAR opened an investigation Wednesday into how that surfaced on the racing team’s channel.
“Go back to where you came from, you a–hole,” the person said after Wallace finished as a runner-up, according to Motorsport.com. “You’re not wanted in NASCAR.”
According to the Associated Press, NASCAR spokesman Mike Forde said that Wallace didn’t hear the comment and the security and racing electronic teams started monitoring the radio channel comment.
“We certainly take that seriously, no doubt about that,” Forde said, according to the AP. “But we can’t have fans interfering with team radio and potential competition implications.”
The AP also reported that 23XI Racing — which Wallace joined in September under the ownership of Michael Jordan (No. 23) and Denny Hamlin (No. 11) — is “confident with [NASCAR’s] handling of the situation.”
It was part of an eventual All-Star weekend for Wallace, who also made headlines for discretely sticking up his middle finger during a post-race interview.
Wallace finished second in the All-Star feature race behind Kyle Larson and one spot ahead of 23XI Racing teammate Tyler Reddick.
“All in all, proud of the effort,” Wallace said following the All-Star race in a Twitter video. “… It just wasn’t meant to be. [Larson] was lights out, and we were the best of the rest, so I guess we can be proud about that.”
NASCAR revealed earlier in the week that Wallace wouldn’t be penalized, despite the fact that the gesture was captured during the live Fox Sports interview as the reporter turned to ask a question.
According to Fox Sports’ NASCAR reporter, “it is NASCAR’s understanding he was gesturing to a friend and while inappropriate, it wasn’t done malicious.”
Wallace was also greeted with boos from the crowd when he was introduced, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Wallace responded by mocking the crowd and pretending to wipe tears from his eyes.
Wallace, the lone full-time black driver in NASCAR’s top racing circuit, has endured years of harsh treatment from NASCAR supporters, especially after he helped get the Confederate flag banned from the races in 2020.
NASCAR famously investigated a “noose” being found in Wallace’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Jun. 2020, though it was later determined to be an unfortunately tied door pull.