June 23 (UPI) -- NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace said he "won" at the 2020 Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway despite a fuel shortage, which caused him to finish in 14th place.
The driver of the No. 43 Chevrolet cried on his steering wheel before the race after all of his fellow drivers surrounded and pushed his car in a show of solidarity after a noose was found Sunday in Wallace's garage.
Federal authorities and NASCAR have launched an investigation into the incident. Wallace -- the only black Cup Series driver -- recently led a successful push to ban the Confederate flag from NASCAR events and facilities.
"All in all, we won today," Wallace said Monday in Lincoln, Ala. "The pre-race deal was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to witness in my life, from all the supporters, from drivers and crew members and everybody here.
"It's truly incredible, and I'm proud to be a part of this sport."
The Geico 500 was scheduled to run Sunday before the event was postponed due to rain. Ryan Blaney won Monday's race in overtime. Wallace led the field on lap No. 161, but had to make a late pit stop for more gas and couldn't climb back into contention.
"I know I should have won that race," Wallace said. "We ran out of gas. The stars just didn't align for us."
Wallace jumped out of his car after the race and walked to the catch fence on the edge of the track and greeted fans in the stands. Several of them wore Black Lives Matter shirts.
"It has been tough," Wallace said. "It has been hectic carrying this weight. The sport is changing. The deal that happened [Sunday]. I wanted to show whoever it was that you aren't going to take away my smile. I'm going to keep on going."
Wallace will race in the Pocono Organics 325 at 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. He ranks 21st in the Cup Series standings with a pair of top-10 finishes in 13 starts.