Richard Petty will attend Monday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway to support driver Bubba Wallace after a noose was found in his garage Sunday, Richard Petty Motorsports announced.
Petty released a statement Monday afternoon to call out the "filthy act" and show his solidarity with Wallace.
"I'm enraged by the act of someone placing a noose in the garage stall of my race team," he said. "This filthy act serves as a reminder of how far we still have to go to eradicate racial prejudice and it galvanizes my resolve to use the resources of Richard Petty Motorsports to create change. The sick person who perpetrated this act must be found, exposed and swiftly and immediately expelled from NASCAR.
"...I stand shoulder to shoulder with Bubba, yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day forward."
Petty, 82, has not been at races since mid-March during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ahead of Monday afternoon's race, NASCAR is allowing the No. 43 team to check Wallace's car and make sure it was not tampered with overnight. NASCAR launched an investigation after the noose was found in Wallace's garage stall. Wallace, who drives No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports, released a statement in response, promising "this will not break me."
"Today's despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism," Wallace said. "Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate."
Earlier this month, NASCAR announced a ban on Confederate flags at all events, something Wallace had advocated strongly for. Earlier on Sunday, fans outside of Talladega Superspeedway displayed Confederate flags from the vehicles. A plane flew overhead with a Confederate flag banner, with a sign reading "Defund NASCAR."