The FBI has determined that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a hate crime and that a pull rope fashioned like a noose had been on a garage door at Talladega Superspeedway since as early as October, NASCAR said Tuesday.

“The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall,” NASCAR said in its statement. “This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment.

“We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.”

“We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.

“I stand by Steve [Phelps, NASCAR’s president],” Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon. “I stand by NASCAR.”

The reaction to Tuesday’s FBI announcement by some is what angered Wallace, who said he had spent plenty of time reading things on his phone.

“This will not break me, none of the allegations of being a hoax will break me or tear me down,” Wallace told CNN. “Will it piss me off? Absolutely. But that only fuels the competitive drive in me to shut everybody up.”

Wallace said he has read people saying it was simply a garage pull with a knot in it, but he stressed that NASCAR and the FBI stated it was a noose.

“It was a noose that, whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose,” Wallace said. “It wasn’t directed at me, but somebody tied a noose, that’s what I’m saying. It is a noose.”