Authorities investigating apparent noose incident at Sonoma Raceway

An apparent noose was discovered by an employee at Sonoma Raceway in California on Saturday, prompting an investigation, as racing deals with the aftermath of another noose being found in Black driver Bubba Wallace's garage at Talladega Supersweedway on Sunday. 

Sonoma Raceway general manager Steve Page said in a statement that an employee found a piece of twine fashioned in the shape of a noose on a tree on the track's property Saturday morning. 

“On Saturday, a Sonoma Raceway staff member discovered a piece of twine tied in what appeared to be a noose hanging from a tree on raceway property," the statement read. "Our staff, on-site business tenants and local law enforcement have been contacted and asked to share any information they may have. The incident is under investigation by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department.  Sonoma Raceway takes this incident very seriously and is dedicated to operating a facility that is welcoming to everyone.”

"You can reasonably interpret (it) to be a noose," Page told NBC Bay Area. 

"(The employee) was understandably very upset about it.

"To have something like that show up on our property is disgusting."

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office told NBC Bay Area that the perpetrator, if arrested, could be charged with a hate crime. 

"We take it very seriously," sheriff's spokesman Orlando Rodriguez told NBC Bay Area. "That's why we're out there with the violent crimes unit, (to) put every effort into making an ID on this." 

The NASCAR community rallied around Wallace in a moving show of support prior to the rain-delayed race at Talladega on Monday. 

On June 10, NASCAR permanently banned the Confederate flag and its imagery from all races and events. 

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