Ray Ciccarelli announced on Facebook that he will not return next season.
On Wednesday, NASCAR made headlines when they announced that they would be banning the Confederate flag from their events. But not everyone agrees with the policy change.
Ray Ciccarelli, who runs as a part-time driver in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Trucks Series, said that he won’t race another season because he disagrees with the direction that the league is heading.
“Well it’s been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction Nascar is headed we will not participate after 2020 season is over,” Ciccarelli wrote on Facebook. “i don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken 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—ing 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!!”
In his 18-year career, Ciccarelli had one top-ten finish and no wins.
NASCAR banned the Confederate flag, and now a driver has quit
Ciccarelli is far from the only voice in this conversation.
Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only Black driver, praised the league for its decision ahead of Wednesday’s race in Martinsville. “Props to NASCAR and everyone involved,” Wallace said. “It creates doors and allows the community to come together as one.”
Wallace has been very vocal in the wake of the anti-racism protests sweeping the nation. He wore a shirt that said “I Can’t Breathe” to Sunday’s race in Atlanta, he called on the league to ban the Confederate flag earlier this week, and on Wednesday night, he raced in a car that said “#BlackLivesMatter.”
NASCAR’s decision has received praise in other corners too, including from ESPN reporter Ryan McGee, who has deep Southern roots. “Spare me the arguments about what the flag really means,” McGee wrote. “It means pain. It means anguish. It means embarrassment. It means the most shameful blight on the pages of the history of the United States, and that’s no small achievement.”
“I am 100 percent confident that a real NASCAR fan has the ability to enjoy a weekend in the infield just as much while flying an American flag as they do under the flag of a misguided, defeated nation that hasn’t existed for 155 years,” McGee wrote. “If they can’t, then they’ve never loved NASCAR as much as they have always claimed. They certainly have never loved it as much as I do.”