You heard about the noose over the weekend?
Not the one at Talladega.
The one found hanging from a tree on the property of Sonoma Raceway.
As if this year hasn’t been cruel enough to the picturesque road course at the gateway to California’s wine country with the wipeouts of its NASCAR, NHRA and IndyCar weekends, now this.
SR president Steve Page and his tireless staff have bent over backwards making their facility one of the most welcoming in NASCAR.
Diana Rose Brennan, the track’s public relations director, is merely the best at what she does in motorsports.
She could get California to vote for President Trump.
Under Page’s leadership, the former Sears Point Raceway has become a magnet for fans from 10 neighboring states.
The Toyota/SaveMart 350 which would have been run last weekend, has become California’s second-biggest one-day sporting event only to the Rose Bowl.
And now all anybody reads about is a noose.
Hopefully the headline of this noose incident being a hoax will get the same headlines that its discovery has.
Can we really say the same thing about the noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega?
The FBI dispatched 15 — FIFTEEN — agents to Birmingham to investigate the incident at Talladega Superspeedway.
Turns out, surveillance video shows the noose was in that same Talladega garage last October, when the No. 4 team of Kevin Harvick was decamped there.
It also became evident that several garage spaces’ lanyards to pull the garage door down to lock it at the end of day had loops tied to make the lanyard easier to operate.
There sure was a rush to judgment when the story broke.
People who know nothing about NASCAR raced to condemn the hopelessly redneck sport.
Isn’t it something, how stupid you can make yourself look when you reflexively think the worst of others?
Do a little homework, haters, and you’ll find that as far back as 2003 Joe Gibbs, Magic Johnson and the late Reggie White came together to found a sort of affirmative action for NASCAR.
A year later, NASCAR founded the Drive for Diversity, spending millions of dollars trying to attract non-white drivers, mechanics, officials and sponsors into its sport.
Joe Gibbs, remember, was the first NFL coach to start a black quarterback in the Super Bowl, with Doug Williams and the Washington Redskins in 1988.
In 2010, Joe Gibbs Racing hired a promising young talent from Mobile, Ala. as a Drive for Diversity developmental driver.
His name was Bubba Wallace.
It’s fair, and necessary, to ask why, after 17 years of the Drive for Diversity, the only minority drivers in the starting field of the Daytona 500 were Wallace, Japanese-American Kyle Larson and Mexican Daniel Suarez.
Let’s ask Brad Daugherty, co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing in the Cup Series, and a former North Carolina All-American and No. 1 pick in the 1986 NBA Draft who wore No. 43 as a tribute to his idol, Richard Petty.
“Owners are a little scared,” Daugherty said. “Corporate America just isn’t ready to take a lot of chances with their millions of sponsorship dollars on an unknown entity.”
They should be a little less scared after the show of racial unity at Talladega Monday.
Give Bubba a break. He’s not trying to be Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a firesuit.
Then again, when he made his first Daytona 500 start for Richard Petty in 2018 — finished third — he received a good luck text that morning from a fellow Mobile native.
Hopefully this week will get us closer to the day when the only race in NASCAR is the one with the green and checkered flags.