Thunderstorms washed out the NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, an event further dampened Sunday night when news broke that a noose was found in Black driver Bubba Wallace’s garage stall.

Hours after Confederate flags were displayed outside the track — some flying from pickup trucks — in protest of NASCAR’s Wallace-led ban of the flags, the sanctioning body said it was made aware of the noose late in the afternoon.

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – JUNE 21: A view of storms rolling through the area prior to the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500at Talladega Superspeedway on June 21, 2020 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

“We are angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act,” NASCAR said. “We have launched an immediate investigation, and will do everything we can to identify the person(s) responsible and eliminate them from the sport.”

Wallace, the lone Black driver in the elite Cup Series, drives the No. 43 Chevrolet for racing icon Richard Petty.

“The 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 ow persistent we must be in the fight against racism,” Wallace said on Twitter. “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.”

HAMPTON, GEORGIA – JUNE 07: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 McDonald’s Chevrolet, wears a “I Can’t Breath – Black Lives Matter” T-shirt under his fire suit in solidarity with protesters around the world taking to the streets after the death of George Floyd on May 25 while in the custody of Minneapolis, Minnesota police stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 07, 2020 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Outside the track Sunday, vehicles waving and flying Confederate flags lined the boulevard running past the massive speedway, while a plane flew above the track pulling a banner of the Confederate flag that said: “Defund NASCAR.”

NASCAR has not stated how exactly it plans to stop fans from displaying the flag on track property and none of the instances Sunday at Talladega were inside the facility.

The race, which was pushed back to 2 p.m. CDT on Monday, is the first amid the coronavirus pandemic in which NASCAR opened the gates for up to 5,000 fans. Those in the grandstands were urged to seek shelter roughly 30 minutes before the scheduled start, leading to a two-plus hour wait.

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – JUNE 14: Local members of the U.S. military and their families watch the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on June 14, 2020 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

NASCAR allowed 1,000 military members to attend last weekend’s rain-disrupted race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The event was stopped several times for more than three hours of total delays.

Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing were set to run with an all-black paint scheme honoring the National Civil Rights Museum, with the museum’s logo on the hood. Sponsor FedEx won’t be displayed in the car.

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – JUNE 21: The #11 Drive for Change Toyota, driven by Denny Hamlin(not pictured), waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500at Talladega Superspeedway on June 21, 2020 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The flag ban is another statement for NASCAR.

Fan David Radvansky, who started coming to Talladega in the 1990s when his father parked cars at races, was among fans applauding NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flags.

“I don’t think there’s a place for it in NASCAR, to be honest with you,” the 32-year-old said. “That doesn’t sit well with all the good ole boys but it is what it is.”

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