By AMANDA VINCENT
Amid the recent and ongoing Confederate flag controversy, Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway has announced a voluntary flag exchange program for the July 3-5 Coke Zero 400 NASCAR race weekend. Fans at the track with Confederate flags will have the opportunity to exchange those flags for US flags.
According to track president Joie Chitwood, the exchange program will be implemented during the July 4 race weekend, because fans purchased tickets well in advance of the controversy and there was not a reasonable amount of time between the Confederate flag controversy and the race weekend to make reasonable changes track policy.
“We want to be inclusive to everyone, and the last thing you want is for anyone to come to a sporting event and really not enjoy that experience because of symbols that really represent things we’re not proud of,” Chitwood said Tuesday. “For us, we’re celebrating the American flag this weekend. It’s our nation’s birthday.”
Chitwood also seemed to hint a future ban of the Confederate flag at DIS.
“Going forward, we’ll really have to look at where that other flag goes, because it doesn’t have a place in our sport and we’ve got to take a thoughtful process on how we get to that place.”
Last week, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France released a statement saying that NASCAR wouldn’t use the Confederate flag, but stopped short of issuing any kind of ban on fans flying it in the infield during NASCAR race weekends.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCAR Examiner and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner