Bubba Wallace’s fellow Nascar drivers pushed his car to the start-line for the Geico 500 at Talladega, Alabama, to show their support for him a day after a noose was found in his team garage.
The 26-year-old, who is the sole black full-time driver, was overcome with emotion by the show of solidarity.
On the racist incident, Nascar chief Steve Phelps said: “We’re going to use every effort to find who has done this.
“They will be banned from this sport for life.”
The latest round in the Nascar series was moved to Monday from Sunday because of rain. The American, who races for Richard Petty Motorsports, posted a selfie on social media in front of his car with his fellow Nascar drivers standing in unison in the background.
And just before the driver began his race his team communicated to him: “Let’s go shut these haters up.”
The incident involving the noose – a symbol connected to lynching and America’s slave history – is being investigated by the FBI and the US Justice Department.
Meanwhile, Phelps said security had been stepped up at the Talladega Superspeedway, which had already had restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus.
“This is a family that needs to take care of one of its family members whose been attacked,” he added.
Wallace has received plenty of support with the hashtag #IStandWithBubba trending on Twitter. Basketball great LeBron James also tweeted: “Sickening! @BubbaWallace my brother! Know you don’t stand alone! I’m right here with you as well as every other athlete.”
Wallace is a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter campaign and was instrumental in getting the Confederate flag banned from Nascar races.
Nascar banned the flag last week, however a plane towing a Confederate flag was spotted flying over the Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.
It has been a common sight at Nascar circuits but for many it remains a symbol of slavery and racism.