DAYTONA BEACH -- Every track that hosts a NASCAR national series race, including Daytona International Speedway, has asked its fans to refrain from displaying the Confederate flag at its events.
In a statement signed by International Speedway Corp., Speedway Motorsports Inc. and 30 tracks, the facilities vowed to have "welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment."
The full statement, released Thursday, said: "As members of the NASCAR industry, we join NASCAR in the desire to make our events among the most fan-friendly, welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment.
"To do that, we are asking our fans and partners to join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events. This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Bradenton Herald
"We are committed to providing a welcoming atmosphere free of offensive symbols. This is an opportunity for NASCAR Nation to demonstrate its sense of mutual respect and acceptance for all who attend our events while collectively sharing the tremendous experience of NASCAR racing."
The signatories include independent tracks such as Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Pocono Raceway and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
NASCAR Chairman Brian France has called the flag a symbol he personally finds offensive and said he wants to be as aggressive as possible in barring it from sanctioned events.
Daytona International Speedway will hold a voluntary flag exchange program this weekend in which fans can swap any flag of their choice for an American flag. The Coke Zero 400 runs at Daytona on Sunday, the day after Independence Day, so Speedway President Joie Chitwood said he wants the red, white and blue more prominent than any other flag in the stands on Fourth of July weekend.