In an interview with Fox News, Trump says he didn’t expect the strength of the backlash against his comments to be quite as severe:
I knew it was going to be bad because I was told this. All my life I have been told this: If you are successful, you don’t run for office.I didn’t know it was going to be quite this severe, but I really knew it was going to be bad…It seems like I’m sort of the whipping post because I bring it up. And I don’t understand whether you are liberal or whether you are conservative or whether you are Republican, Democrat — why wouldn’t you talk about a problem? The crime is raging. It’s violent, and people don’t want to even talk about it. If you talk about it, you are a racist. I don’t understand it.
For the people who say I’m doing it for my brand – this isn’t good for my brand. I think it’s bad for my brand…You know, maybe I’m leading in polls, but this is certainly not good. I lose customers, I lose people. I had one of the top shows on television, The Apprentice, and I decided not to do it because I wanted to do this. I give up hundreds of millions of dollars of deals where I’m doing this. Then you hear about NASCAR, and you hear about NBC, and you hear about, you know, different people that drop Trump because Trump wants safety in the United States. If you think of it, what am I doing? I say let’s make our country safe, and people are offended. It’s incredible to me.
NASCAR is exchanging fan’s Confederate flags with American flags at the Daytona race this weekend. Daytona President Chitwood announces the race will not ban Confederate flags since fans had already purchased tickets for races, but anyone wishing to part ways with their Confederate flag will be offered an American replacement.
For us, we’re celebrating the American flag this weekend. It’s our nation’s birthday. 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.
France reiterates the sport’s policy preventing the use of the flag in any official capacity:
In all areas that NASCAR controls on a given race weekend, the flag has no presence,” France said. “We have been clear in support of this position throughout our industry and to those across the country who have called for the eradication of the Confederate Flag.
He also says the sport is looking into how it can reduce the flag’s presence among fans who might fly it in the infield.
We will be as aggressive as possible to disassociate NASCAR events from an offensive and divisive symbol. We are working with the industry right now to achieve that goal.
NASCAR lifts its suspension of Busch, although he will remain on NASCAR probation. He is eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. After missing the first three races of the season, Busch will return to the No. 41 car at Phoenix International Raceway.
We appreciate the steps Kurt Busch has made while following NASCAR’s process for reinstatement. He has taken this path seriously, which allowed him to return to our race team.
As we stated last week, the elimination of the possibility of criminal charges removed a significant impediment to Kurt Busch’s return to full status as a NASCAR member. We therefore have decided to move him to indefinite probation and waive the Chase requirement. He has fully complied with our reinstatement program during his suspension and the health care expert who conducted his evaluation recommended his immediate return.
Team Xtreme’s stolen race car is found abandoned in in a wooded area near Loganville, Georgia. The discovery is too late for Kvapil and the team to compete in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kvapil:
It’s really bizarre. You can handle maybe getting a flat tire, or getting caught up in a wreck, or a blown engine, something that actually happens on the race track. Or you don’t qualify, because you don’t have enough speed. But to not even get a chance … that’s pretty disheartening.
A trailer containing the No. 44 Team Xtreme Racing Chevrolet being driven by Kvapil is stolen from a hotel parking lot in Morrow, Georgia. Team Xtreme is forced to withdraw from the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kvapil tweets photos of the trailer and car.
NASCAR Xfinity Series driver and Lilly Diabetes ambassador, wins at Daytona International Speedway. This is Reed’s first championship race.
For every kid that gets diagnosed with diabetes, or anything that says you can’t do something, just go out there and overcome it and do it.
NASCAR suspends Busch indefinitely after a family court judge in the state of Delaware rules that Busch abused his ex-girlfriend Driscoll.
Given the serious nature of the findings and conclusions made by the Commissioner of the Family Court of the State of Delaware, NASCAR has indefinitely suspended driver Kurt Busch, effective immediately. He will not be allowed to race nor participate in any NASCAR activities until further notice.