NASCAR tracks ask fans not to display Confederate flags

NASCAR tracks are asking fans to refrain from displaying the Confederate flag at all races and racing facilities, the tracks said in a joint industry statement on Thursday.

\"As members of the NASCAR industry, we join NASCAR in the desire to make our events among the most fan-friendly, welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment,\" said a statement signed by all 30 racetracks with a NASCAR national series race. \"To do that, we are asking our fans and partners to join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events.\"

NASCAR has been under scrutiny as part of the national conversation surrounding the Confederate flag because while it does not use the flag in any official capacity, it has not banned fans from flying it while camping at the racetracks.

NASCAR chairman Brian France and drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon have spoken out against the flag, calling it offensive to an entire race and saying it belongs in the history books.

Now the tracks are joining in, too.

\"We are committed to providing a welcoming atmosphere free of offensive symbols,\" the tracks said. \"This is an opportunity for NASCAR Nation to demonstrate its sense of mutual respect and acceptance for all who attend our events while collectively sharing the tremendous experience of NASCAR racing.\"

NASCAR returns to Daytona International Speedway this weekend for its first stop in the South since the shooting at a South Carolina church brought the Confederate flag issue back into the national spotlight.

Earlier this week, track president Joie Chitwood III said DIS would give a U.S. flag to anyone turning in a Confederate flag as the venue wanted to celebrate America's birthday and ''we want to make sure (fans) wave our nation's flag.''

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