Daytona planning to have voluntary Confederate flag exchange for - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Daytona planning to have voluntary Confederate flag exchange for race

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By Dustin Long, NBC Sports

(NBC Sports) - Daytona International Speedway officials are working on a voluntary Confederate flag exchange program for this weekend's races there, NBC Sports has learned.

Track officials plan to announce more details later this week.

Daytona hosts the Xfinity Series on Saturday night and the Sprint Cup Series on Sunday night.

A spokesperson for International Speedway Corp., which owns Daytona International Speedway, said they did not have specific plans of the exchange.

The action comes in the wake of the June 17 slaying of nine African-Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Dylan Roof was arrested and charged with the murders. Images emerged of him posing with the Confederate flag and wearing symbols associated with white supremacy.

NASCAR Chairman Brian France told The Associated Press last weekend that NASCAR would “go as far as we can to eliminate the presence of that flag. I personally find it an offensive symbol, so there is no daylight how we feel about it and our sensitivity to others who feel the same way. We're working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag disassociated entirely from our events.”

NASCAR previously issued a statement that it supported South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's call to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds in Columbia. NASCAR also noted in the statement its “long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon both expressed last weekend their disapproval of the flag.

“I think it is offensive to an entire race,” Earnhardt said. “It really does nothing for anybody to be there, flying. It belongs in the history books and that's about it.”

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