‘You’re Not Wanted in NASCAR’: Bubba Wallace’s Radio Apparently Hijacked During Race
Over the weekend, the team radio channel for, Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top racing series, was apparently hijacked by someone who took the opportunity to tell Wallace he’s “not wanted in NASCAR.”
As Motorsport.com reports, the incident occurred during the race Sunday, May 21, at the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina. Someone was apparently able to tap into the radio channel Wallace uses to communicate with his team, and could be heard saying, “Go back to where you came from asshole. You’re not wanted in NASCAR.”
NASCAR and its security operation are reportedly investigating who may have hacked the channel and how. According to someone at Wallace’s racing team, 23XI Racing, the driver neither heard nor acknowledged the comments during the race. (NASCAR and 23XI did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s requests for comment.)
As of publication, Wallace hadn’t commented publicly on the incident. He did share a video after the race, expressing disappointment at finishing second in the winner-takes-all All Star Race. “All in all, proud of the effort,” Wallace said, adding: “It just wasn’t meant to be. Five [winning driver Kyle Larson] was lights out, and we were the best of the rest, so I guess we can be proud about that.”
As NASCAR’s only Black driver, Wallace has been unafraid to take up an activist mantle in recent years. In 2020, after the murder of George Floyd and the uprising against racial injustice and police brutality, Wallace wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt and put a #BlackLivesMatter sticker on his car. He also helped spearhead a successful campaign to ban the Confederate flag from all NASCAR events.
“I still don’t see it as being political,” Wallace told Rolling Stone in a 2020 interview. “I just see it as basically right versus wrong.”
Also in 2020, a member of Wallace’s racing team discovered what they believed was a noose hanging from his garage at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. An FBI investigation ultimately found no evidence of a hate crime, saying the noose was actually a pull-down rope for a garage door that had been hung in 2019. It was also noted that while 11 other garage doors were outfitted with pull ropes, only the one in Wallace’s garage was tied with a hangman’s knot.
This story was corrected 5/22/23 @ 5:50 p.m. ET to reflect that Bubba Wallace is the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top Cup Series.