NASCAR Driver Quits After Confederate Flag Ban Announcement

NASCAR driver and team owner Ray Ciccarelli told his fans on Facebook that he was quitting NASCAR because it banned flying Confederate flags at races. He wrote: “Well it’s been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction NASCAR is headed we will not participate after 2020 season is over.” 

The statement is now missing but there was more: “I don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever flag they love. I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is f—–g one group to cater to another and I ain’t spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!”

Ciccarelli was a part-time NASCAR driver with zero wins

Confederate flags randomly seen at NASCAR event
Confederate flag ban NASCAR | Getty

Ciccarelli ran his No. 49 Chevy Silverado truck part-time in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. He sponsored his own race truck. He has raced in the series for three years with one top 10 finish in 2019. The 50-year-old driver had no wins and no poles according to his racing stats. 

With this year being shortened he has so far entered only two races in the Truck Series. He used a driver for those two and has not raced since last year. It appears that all of the race team’s social media has been taken down. 

Less than 24 hours ago NASCAR made the flag ban announcement

Confederate flags flying with American flags inside of NASCAR track
Confederate flag ban NASCAR | Getty

It was less than 24 hours ago that NASCAR made the announcement to ban Confederate flags at all future races. It’s a strong showing of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Traditionally, the last lap of every NASCAR race the Confederate flag is displayed. 

Monday in a CNN interview NASCAR’s only full-time African-American driver Bubba Wallace said that the racing organization should ban Confederate flags at all of its races. At the time he was showing his Petty Motorsports No. 43 Camaro race car with a #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme. Last night he raced it in a 200 lap race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. 

Wallace told CNN, “No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race so it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here.” In part, NASCAR said in a statement: “The presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors, and our industry.”

“To a large group of people, (the Confederate flag) is a sign of hate and oppression”

NASCAR fans walk past a pair of Confederate flags and a Trump flag as they make their way to the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race in Bristol, TN
NASCAR fans walk past a pair of Confederate flags as they make their way to the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race in Bristol, Tennessee | Getty

NASCAR Announces It Is Banning All Confederate Flags At Races

Today in the aftermath of the Ciccarelli decision Wallace told NBC, “I was kind of baffled by it honestly.” He said he understands that for some the flag is a sign of heritage and not hate. “But, to a large group of people, it is a sign of hate and oppression, just a lot of negative and bad things that come to mind,” he said. “We’re not saying you can’t ever fly it at your house. You can do whatever you want. When it comes to a sporting event – where we want all races and everybody to be included, inclusion is what we are trying for (and) unity.”