NASCAR launches investigation into Wallace’s hacked radio channel during All-Star race
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR has opened an investigation into how a derogatory message was broadcast on Bubba Wallace’s race team radio channel during last weekend’s All-Star race.
Wallace, NASCAR’s only black driver in the Cup Series, had just finished Sunday’s race at North Wilkesboro Speedway when a non-23XI Racing person said on the radio: “Go back from where you come,” then added another expletive racial no.
NASCAR spokesman Mike Forde said Wednesday that the series immediately asked its security and racing electronics teams to review the hack. He said Wallace didn’t hear the remark.
Forde said NASCAR is trying to determine who hacked into Wallace’s radio communications and how it was done, as well as the best method to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Forde said the investigation was ongoing and would have taken place regardless of the nature of the comment.
“We certainly take this seriously, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “But we can’t let the fans interfere with team radio and the potential implications of the competition.”
Wallace’s 23XI Racing team said Thursday it has been in touch with NASCAR and feels “confident in its handling of the situation.”
NASCAR had already said earlier this week that it had no plans to penalize Wallace after he appeared to make an obscene gesture on camera before a live interview with Fox Sports.
Wallace, an Alabama native, successfully called on NASCAR in 2020 to ban the Confederate flag at its events.
He hasn’t been shy about using his rig, but it’s come with detractors and scrutiny, including a noose found in his Talladega Superspeedway garage stand after his call for a Confederate flag ban.
The FBI ruled that the garage pull was indeed shaped like a noose, but that it was a coincidence that it was in Wallace’s stall and that he was not the victim of a crime of hate.
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