After feeling as though his family was wrongly harassed following a controversial Facebook post, Ray Ciccarelli has said he has received a lot of positive support, allowing him to increase his CMI Motorsports team into a full-time operation in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
In an exclusive follow-up interview with TobyChristie.com, Ciccarelli talked about the next steps for himself and his organization after making national news just weeks prior because of a Facebook post he believes was ‘Miscontrued’.
“[We are] just trying to keep moving forward.” said Ciccarelli. “We’ve decided to — with all of the support we’ve gotten through all the craziness I went through we decided instead of part-time, we’re going to try to run the entire 2020 season.
“We’re excited about that. We’re looking for sponsors of course. Right now we fund everything ourselves. But after all of the love and support we have received and all of the craziness I went through, we had decided to go ahead and run the whole 2020 season.”
The irony in the situation can’t be ignored, as a Facebook post made by Ciccarelli that outlined plans for CMI Motorsports to cease operations, created an uproar that presented Ciccarelli the opportunity to bring the team full-time in 2020.
In addition to revealing his full-time aspirations for the team’s No. 49 truck, Ciccarelli was able to confirm to TobyChristie.com that Tim Viens will drive the team’s No. 83 Silverado in the series’ sixth race of the season at Pocono Raceway, along with the possibility of some additional races as the season progresses.
“I think we are looking at four races with [Viens], to try and get him on the track, unlike what he has been accomplishing” explained team owner Ciccarelli. “I’ve been down that road, so I would like to try and help the guy out. That’s part of the reason that I started my own team because I got screwed on several occasions. I wish I could have put him in one of my trucks in Miami because I felt terrible for the guy.”
Ciccarelli mentioned that the team was looking at Kansas, Texas and Kentucky as the other three races that Viens will pilot the No. 83, but mentioned that races beyond Pocono were not totally finalized at this time.
When asked about Viens’ situation with Mike Affarano Motorsports, Ciccarelli was critical of Affarano, saying:
“I’ve been down that road. I’ve seen what happened to him at Daytona with the truck ending up in the ditch and then the whole Miami thing — it’s terrible man. It’s guys like that — owners like that, that really make a bad eye on everybody else in the sport. Just a bad thing to do.
“You can’t send a race car to the track that doesn’t have a legal splitter, the seat is out of date, the seat wasn’t mounted right. That’s just terrible, man. I wish I could have helped him at Miami. I’ll be honest with you, if I didn’t have Springrates, a loyal sponsor, on the truck, I would have taken myself out of the No. 49 to help the guy out. But Springrates have been high on me since day one, and I couldn’t do that to them.”
As for Ciccarelli, he will be driving the team’s primary No. 49 truck in a myriad of races this season, but is open to sharing driving duties with other drivers, if they are interested and able to bring funding to the table.