NASCAR has launched an immediate investigation and vowed to “eliminate” racists after a noose was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega on Sunday.

Wallace is the only full-time African-American driver in the Cup Series and has been one of the most prominent figures in motorsport’s call to action over racial inequality. He raced with a Black Lives Matter paint scheme at Martinsville.

NASCAR series officials said they were made aware of the incident in a statement released on Sunday evening, adding there “is no place for racism” in the organisation.

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“Late this afternoon, NASCAR was made aware that a noose was found in the garage stall of the 43 team,” the NASCAR statement read.

“We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act.

“We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person[s] responsible and eliminate them from the sport.

“As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR, and this act only strengthens our resolve to make the sport open and welcoming to all.”

Access to the paddock area is extremely limited due to the COVID-19 hygiene protocols, with the only people granted access to the garage areas Cup team members, NASCAR officials and track and safely workers.

In a statement posted on social media, Wallace said: “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.

“Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry including other drivers and team members in the garage.

“Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone.

“Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate.

“As my mother told me today, ‘they are just trying to scare you’. This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down.

“I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”

Two weeks ago, Wallace was successful in his bid for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from being displayed at any events.