Wallace briefly extended his middle finger to someone off camera during an interview with reporter Jamie Little after his second-place finish in the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
NASCAR investigated but put the brakes on penalizing Wallace, Fox Sports reporter Bob Pockrass reported on Monday.
“It is NASCAR’s understanding he was gesturing to a friend and while inappropriate, it wasn’t done malicious[ly],” the NASCAR reporter wrote on Twitter.
Some reports suggested Wallace’s gesture on Fox Sports 1 was related to fans jeering him at the track or a breach on his team’s radio channel.
Wallace, the NASCAR Cup Series’ only full-time Black driver, responded to boos during his pre-race intro with mock-crying, Mediaite reported.
Wallace “already had unhooked radio & didn’t hear” the comments, reporter Pockrass wrote on Twitter.
Officials are reportedly looking into that incident as well. NASCAR did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
In 2020, a noose was found in Wallace’s garage at a track but the FBI later determined that the driver, who lobbied NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag, was not targeted for a racist attack. The noose had been there months before Wallace used the garage and was serving as a garage-door pull-down.
Wallace is currently 15th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. He has three top-five finishes so far this season.