PINE HALL, N.C. — A North Carolina racetrack has lost some partnerships after its owner advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale online days after NASCAR said a noose had been found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the top series’ only Black driver.
“It was a joke, man. Ain’t nothing racist,” racetrack owner Mike Fulp said.
A concrete company and a driver series ended their partnerships Friday with the half-mile, dirt track 311 Speedway in Stokes County, local news outlets reported.
The racetrack owner’s “Bubba Rope” post on Facebook Marketplace earlier this week sparked a backlash on social media and condemnation from a spokesman for Gov. Roy Cooper.
“Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great,” the post said.
A black church pastor went to the track over the weekend with members of his congregation and the Justice for the Next Generation Collation. They demanded answers.
Rev. Greg Drumwright streamed the meeting on Facebook Live. The video lasted nearly 1½ hours and it had nearly 120,000 views.
Drumwright said he was greeted with people carrying guns and was shocked the owner came out.
“I never imagined that Mike Fulp would come out and speak to us,” Drumwright said.
Fulp apologized and shook hands with the opposition.
“I made a mistake and I’m sorry,” Fulp said in the video. “I don’t want nobody hurt man. I don’t want nobody hurt, OK.”
Drumwright hopes Fulp learned a lesson.
“This is not a joking matter,” Drumwright said. “This is a matter of life and death for members of our community.”
“We do not condone nor support the comments and posts that have been made the past week,” the series said in a post online.
NASCAR officials released a photo Thursday of the rope found Sunday in Wallace’s garage stall that prompted a federal investigation, which determined it had been there since October. The incident came less than two weeks after NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its venues and races at Wallace’s urging.
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