TALLADEGA, Ala. — NASCAR’s last visit to Talladega Superspeedway, when a noose was found in driver Bubba Wallace’s garage stall, marked a pivotal moment in its evolving approach to social justice issues.
The series found itself at the forefront of the national civil rights push when Wallace began using his platform to implore change in a series with a complicated history with race relations. NASCAR banned displaying the Confederate flag at its events, Wallace competed in a car with a Black Lives Matter message, and many Cup drivers participated in a video addressing racism that aired before a race.
Pushback was most evident in June when NASCAR — one of the few leagues in competition during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic — arrived at Talladega. Protesters paraded past the main entrance of the track waving Confederate flags and a plane circled above the speedway pulling a banner of the longtime symbol to many of racism and slavery.
Wallace was assigned security…