Bubba Wallace insisted "you're not going to take away my smile" as the NASCAR driver responded to a noose being found in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway.
Wallace is the only full-time black driver in NASCAR and has spoken out about racial injustice amid protests in the United States in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody last month.
A noose was found in his garage on Sunday, but Wallace was at the centre of a united front prior to Monday's makeup race in Alabama – drivers and crew members walking in droves behind the car with the 26-year-old at the wheel.
After his 14th-place finish, Wallace – standing in front of fans – told FOX Sports: "This is probably the most badass moment right here.
"This sport is changing. The deal that happened yesterday ... I wanted to show whoever it was that you're not going to take away my smile. I'm going to keep on going.
"All in all, we won today. The pre-race deal was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to witness in my life. ... This is truly incredible, and I'm proud be a part of this sport."
Ryan Blaney won Monday's race and he told ESPN: "It showed how you're not gonna scare [Wallace]; you're not gonna scare him. He's really strong; he's gonna rise above it, and fight this.
"So we just wanted to show our support; I wanted to show my support for my best friend. He's just been someone I've really, really loved for a long time; and I'm gonna support him 100 per cent along the way for many years to come.
"I hope a lot of people will look at that and learn from -- everyone coming together and supporting each other; that's what it's gonna take to make things better."