Friday, September 22, 2023

Exclusive: Ray Ciccarelli Wants to Set The Record Straight About His ‘Misconstrued’ Facebook Post

Ray Cicarelli at Daytona International Speedway in February, 2020. Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy / Rubbings Racing Copyright 2020 – All Rights Reserved

Ray Ciccarelli says he hasn’t slept and is physically exhausted after a post on his personal Facebook page sparked a social media firestorm this week (click here to read Ciccarelli’s controversial Facebook Post), but he is preparing to contest the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the No. 49 entry for his CMI Motorsports team.

The 50-year old part-time NGROTS owner/driver fired off his opinion regarding NASCAR’s new protocols when it comes to kneeling during the national anthem and the ban of the Confederate Flag.

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In an exclusive interview with, the Maryland-native, who feels his thoughts were misrepresented, set his sights on setting the record straight.

“I wasn’t raised the way people are portraying me to be. That’s just not me,” Ciccarelli stated. “I am not that type of person. Just the attack — my wife, my family have been attacked and abused on social media. It’s just heartbreaking.”

In the wake of the backlash for his brash opinion, Ciccarelli doesn’t regret hitting the “Post” button on his now-deactivated Facebook page, rather he regrets how his opinions were misunderstood.

“I regret how it was misconstrued,” said Ciccarelli. “I don’t regret my feelings of believing in the national anthem and standing. I don’t like the fact that I was misconstrued about defending the Confederate flag. Because in no way shape or form was I defending the Confederate flag.

“Everything I was saying was the fact that I understand both sides’ feelings toward the flag. My viewpoint, all I was trying to say is how do you take (the flag) from one group and help support the group that it offends and then what do you do to the group that you took it from? Now, they get outraged.”

In addition to being upset that NASCAR potentially alienated some current fans by banning a symbol that carries a racist connotation for current and potentially new African-American fans, Ciccarelli, admitted that his gripe isn’t with the ban on the flag from NASCAR facilities. His gripe also isn’t with the fact that people are now allowed to kneel during the anthem, instead, the thing that, “triggered,” him was the fact that NASCAR is constantly changing their stance.

“I guess I was just sitting there. I had seen the news thing come through referring to, NASCAR now allows you to kneel during the anthem, It just irritated me some,” Ciccarelli explained. “I believe in standing for the national anthem, and I believe that if you want to kneel during the anthem , you should kneel. It just kind of triggered me, because we’re being told you can’t kneel, now you can kneel. It just set me off.

“We’re told one thing that we can’t do, then you’re told you can do. Just to go back, about two years during the (Colin) Kaepernick deal, NASCAR did release a statement stating that team owners should take action to any teammates that decide to kneel during the national anthem. It was not going to be condoned what-so-ever.”

Part of the frustration, Ciccarelli explains, is the fact that there was no warning from NASCAR before the changes in policy were enacted.

“(It) just came out of left field,” Ciccarelli said.

Part of what got Ciccarelli’s blood boiling in the fateful moment he constructed the Facebook post, which led to the little underdog racer being a trending topic on Twitter — for all of the wrong reasons — is that he knows many people who have fought to protect the United States flag.

“My family and friends have all been in the military and protect our country every day. That’s why out flag means so much to me, personally,” Ciccarelli expressed.

While Ciccarelli’s post led to outrage among many in the NASCAR and many more outsiders of the sport, he reiterates that he never meant any offense to anybody.

“I feel everybody has a right to their opinion. And that was my opinion. I believe people can kneel, and protest and do what they love and support and all that. I wasn’t trying to offend anybody. That’s not something that I wanted to do in any shape or form.”

Ciccarelli, who is honest about his lack of understanding of technology that isn’t related to a race car, just wants to get this situation behind him so he can keep living out a dream that he had of being a NASCAR driver when he was a young child.

“I just wanted to set the record truly straight so we can get this behind us,” he said. “This was a very educational learning experience.”

While we are setting the record straight, will Ciccarelli really sell off his CMI Motorsports team as he threatened in his Facebook post?

“That’s TBA,” he said.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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  1. Would he be ok with a Nazi flag flying in the grand stands? End of story. That flag should only be in history books. Its a traitors rag.

  2. I am pleased with the Ciaccarellli decision. I am really disappointed in the thinking of taking down statues and removing flags. History should stand as history.

    • The problem is its history that is still intruding on current day. The heritage not hate message isn’t not being echoed in how we act as a society and now its up to us to hold each other accountable. S.M. Moore, with respect, your views are wrong, outdated and reflect a childlike view of your role in the world around you.

  3. Aww. So Skinhead Ray wants to be a gaslighting white supremacist turd trying to make himself the victim?

    Who cares. Bye Bye Skinhead Ray, you were a joke in the sport and you’re even more of a joke now. Back to your trailer park.

  4. He regrets that his comments were misconstrued? “I cannot drive a car for a league that will not allow my special flag.” Those are his literal words. But his real intent was to gripe that NASCAR keeps changing their stance? It’s so funny, how could people not have got that sentiment from what he said?
    Hey Ray-if you’re reading this, did you know people fought for the American flag against the traitors who flew your special flag?

  5. What ray said is what everyone should say, everybody is catering to just one side. It should day all lives matter, and bubba should not be allowed to race for what he stated.

  6. 1st,,, WT Power, ur a loser,, that said the flag represents the country, the country isn’t racist,, people are. I don’t understand protesting the country. Doesn’t make sense.. when Nascar allows one group to voice their opinion (shirt or flag) but doesn’t allow groups that same freedom then their wrong. What’s equal with that rule.

    • The pendulum has to swing, it will go to the other side, then to the side your proposing, then back, then forth, this is how traction works in this country as pointed out by Dave Chappelle. Balance is something humans really just don’t do, so collectively as a society, you can’t expect we would be any good at it as a group. You know, if this is what a segment of our nation needs to heal then lets not be dicks about it. People deserve to heal. There is a time to argue and a time to shut up. This is a shut up time for white men if we ever want to be a beacon in the world for true Freedom.

      • You’re insane. Enough is enough. It’s like the 40 year old who blames their parents because their life is screwed up. Whites today did not hold slaves just as blacks today aren’t held as slaves in the USA. Now if you want to talk about slave trading and human trafficking it’s currently happening by the tens if not hundreds of thousands. All over the world this very second and we ignorant privileged USA citizens… Of ALL COLOR and background are so damn selfish for not addressing what’s going on TODAY. This is all about materialism and it’s a slap in the face to people who are being currently held against their will. I’m sure a person who has been held and abused and tortured if the only thing you had to comfort them was the Confederate flag they wouldn’t care. For those of you who thinks this great country is so bad why don’t you raise your hand and see if you can swap citizenships with someone who would give up everything they have to become a United States Citizen. How many would volunteer?

  7. Someone read my post earlier & sent a message saying all white men should just shut up, what a stupid racist remark, clearly he doesn’t want to race relations to improve…

    • Clint, that was me. First of all, I’m white. So cool it. You mis-understood or I didn’t communicate clearly but on this issue, what I meant was, white people need to take a step back, allow the greiving process to happen whatever that looks like so we can work to heal this problem in our country. You making assertion about me making stupid racist remarks and that I don’t want relations to improve is as you said… “stupid”.

  8. In our current climate if that flag stays the sponsors will go and that’s all NASCAR is thinking about right now. it’s not as if they’ve had a sudden Epiphany about how inappropriate the flag is or have become ultra sensitive about how people feel about it. This is a case of dollars driving decisions and regardless of which side of the issue you’re on you really can’t fault them for that. That’s my opinion anyway.

  9. He knows people that fought for the flag? So, not freedom, but rather, the symbolic cloth of freedom? Makes sense.

  10. Someone posted saying history is intruding on the current day, lol. History teaches us how things were, good or bad, throw out history & not learn from it u’ll probably make same mistakes, also same person said hold each other accountable, that I agree with.. & I hold the people accountable for their behavior when they destroy personal or public property, its a shame the police doesn’t……

  11. Ray stand for what you believe in I love the confederate flag and the American flag and will continue to love them the flag has no ties to slavery but just the southern way of life PERIOD trust me you aren’t going to miss anything by leaving NASCAR it’s full of clowns now with no backbone just watered down young generation punks I’ll never turn it on my tv again and I knn no ow a plenty more that won’t it won’t be around 5 more years when the ratings go down the sponsors will leave and then maybe we can see if blacklivesmatter will be around to keep them going I stand behind you ray good job hold your head up don’t let anyone that’s insecure tell you you’re racist blacklivesmatter are the biggest racist in this country right now if you don’t like America go to another country just that simple

  12. How about we remove the media and let people live there life’s instead of them tell everyone how they should do it?????

  13. You want to fly your special flag, which happens to be the flag of an enemy of the United States And the flag of an army that fought for the continued enslavement of other humans. The only thing misconstrued was your hatred being misconstrued by you as acceptable.

  14. So what you’re saying is it’s okay to demoralize, demean and oppress a race by standing by a flag that represents that? No. That is exactly why all these “historical” statues, flags, songs or any other representation of making one race superior to other races must go. I am as white as it gets. I still know that these things are very hurtful reminders of how blacks are percieved by whites as lesser because of melanin. I’m sure I wouldn’t want triggers of painful past and being thrown in my face with the piss poor excuse that my “heritage” is an appropriate reason to make someone feel beneath me. White people need to grow up and learn empathy. This nation would be better for it.

  15. The new statue to replace the confederate statues will be a pacifier on top!!!
    What a bunch of insecure crybabies!!! NASCAR was started in the south piss on Bubba Wallace and the rest of the liberal troublemakers that are ruining this great country!! Go to another country and see how you will change the way it is. It won’t happen! You are not oppressed just way overpaid! When nascar is done you can get out of your big house and go back to work like the rest of the normal human beings that once paid your bills! You couldn’t have made it when the pioneers of nascar started it you show up at the shop later in the week I’m sure and have never turned a wrench. Just keep playing your virtual games! I stand behind Ray 100% Keep it up!! Don’t let these clowns discourage you!! Nobody in this country is oppressed if you look you can see people everywhere sitting home while hardworking true Americans work and pay taxes to keep their EBT cards filled up so they can weigh 400 pounds! Open your eyes Americans these race car drivers do t care anything about you or what you think black on black are killing everyday but you don’t hear about that why not it won’t fuel the media!! It’s time for the media to be abolished and troublemakers like Bubba Wallace wouldn’t have a chance to bully people around!! Stop taking up for these overpaid people

    • Hey folks, have you ever wanted a time machine? Would you like to go back in time and see what a racist segregationist from the 60’s sounded like? You don’t need a time machine! You just need T Mac! Check out his racist bullshit drivel above!

  16. Nobody’s oppressed get over it josh it’s the truth I’m not a racist I have plenty of black friends that agree with me replace the statues with pacifier monuments and you can join them sucking the pacifiers just bring the confederate statues to my land I’ve got plenty to put them on too many crybabies history is history get over it Americans can’t keep giving their freedom away stand for the American flag keep the Confederate flag flying if you want to also get a Trump 2020 flag under that one he’s going back in 2020 get used to it NASCAR sucks and that bothers me being a big Earnhardt fan in the past it’ll be dead in five years mark it down too many babies racing bring the old time racing back where the drivers work on their own cars and don’t pout and whine and actually have some morals and I may watch again if they put the liberals in their place
    Boycott NASCAR
    Boycott NFL
    Boycott MLB
    Boycott NBA

  17. I guess if I’m not politically correct I’m racist more black folks see it like I’m saying than you think I’m fine with the way I feel I know I’m right thanks

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