Joie Chitwood offered his comments on the Confederate Flag ahead of this weekend's race, which coincides with America's Independence Day.
Daytona International Speedway will not ban the use of the Confederate Flag by fans during this weekend's annual 4th of July night race (scheduled for July 5th), celebrating the birth of the United States of America.
They will however, offer an incentive not to fly the controversial symbol with a flag swap - Fans will have the opportunity to exchange what they have for an American Flag to celebrate Independence Day. Since the race is almost upon us, the speedway felt it would be too close to the event to have a change in policy regarding the Confederate Flag and its use within the infield.
'We're celebrating the American Flag'
“For us, we’re celebrating the American Flag this weekend. It’s our nation’s birthday," said DIS President Joie Chitwood. We’re going to have a flag exchange opportunity. So fans who would like to fly the American Flag, we’ll trade with you on whatever flag you have. We want you to celebrate that flag this weekend.
Chitwood added that the speedway wants to be 'inclusive to everyone,' saying “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 that we’re not proud of.
“Going forward, really have to look at where that other (Confederate) flag goes because it doesn’t have a place in our sport. We’ve got to take a thoughtful process on how we get to that point.”