DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR’s national series tracks announced Thursday that they are asking fans to refrain from displaying the Confederate flag at races following the deadly attack at a South Carolina church two weeks ago.
The facilities vowed to have the most “welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment.”
The statement was signed by International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. — which own most of the tracks in the Sprint Cup Series, stretching from Florida to New York to California — as well as 30 specific tracks. It also includes independent tracks such as Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Pocono Raceway and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
“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,” the statement read. “This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate flag at our facilities and NASCAR events.”
The move follows NASCAR’s statement last week reiterating that the flag is banned from official use at its events. And it comes ahead of Sunday’s race at Daytona International Speedway — the first in the South since the mid-June attack that left nine black churchgoers dead in Charleston. The suspect had embraced Confederate symbols, including the battle flag.