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The NASCAR driver who is allegedly quitting at the end of the 2020 season over NASCAR’s Confederate flag ban has completed as many laps in a NASCAR race in 2020 as you have.
Not long after NASCAR announced that it would be banning fans from displaying the Confederate flag at tracks on Wednesday, a post from Ray Ciccarelli’s Facebook account said the Truck Series driver wouldn’t run any races after the end of the 2020 season and that his team’s equipment was for sale.
The post was signed by his wife Sarah Ciccarelli. It has since been deleted. You can view a screenshot of the post here. It contained adult language.
“Well it’s been a fun ride and dream come true but if that is the direction NASCAR is headed we will not participate after the 2020 season is over,” the post said. “I don’t believe in kneeling during anthem nor taken [sic] 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------ 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!! Sarah Ciccarelli.”
NASCAR made the move to ban the Confederate flag after it spoke out against racial injustice and inequality before Sunday’s Cup Series race at Atlanta. NASCAR president Steve Phelps acknowledged that NASCAR “must do better” to help rectify systemic racism.
A ban of the Confederate flag was a logical step for NASCAR after Phelps’ remarks. The sanctioning body had previously said in 2015 that it would like fans to stop flying the flag at races.
The attention that Ciccarelli, 50, is getting for the post from his account has far outweighed anything he or his team has accomplished in NASCAR. Ciccarelli has made 18 Truck Series starts over four seasons and has finished on the lead lap just one time when he was ninth at Michigan in 2019. He has not made a start this season after failing to qualify at Daytona and raced in nine of the 23 Truck Series events in 2019.
Ciccarelli’s team is a backmarker
It’s a bit curious why Ciccarelli and his wife wouldn’t say they were quitting NASCAR immediately given that NASCAR’s ban is already in effect. But his team also has guaranteed starting spots in NASCAR races for the foreseeable future if they want them.
The team’s main No. 49 truck failed to qualify with Ciccarelli at the wheel in Daytona and then with Bayley Currey driving at Las Vegas.
The team has made the last two races at Charlotte and Atlanta, but only because NASCAR expanded the Truck Series field from 32 to 40 so that small teams wouldn’t be disproportionately hurt by the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on race procedures. Ciccarelli’s main No. 49 truck started 39th and 40th in each of those two races and has a best finish of 28th with Currey behind the wheel.
The team has run its part-time truck the No. 83 in three of the four races with a best finish of 29th. Both trucks were entered for Saturday’s race at Homestead, but Ciccarelli withdrew himself and the No. 83 truck Thursday afternoon. Currey, the driver listed for his No. 49 truck, said he was no longer associated with the team.
As long as NASCAR continues to hold Truck Series races without qualifying because of the coronavirus and lets 40 trucks start the race, Ciccarelli’s team will be able to participate. If it so chooses, of course. But if NASCAR starts to hold qualifying again and cuts the starting field back to its normal 32, then both the team’s trucks could be in trouble. They likely won’t be fast enough if 35 or more trucks attempt to qualify.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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