Jeremy Clements hopes his suspension from NASCAR for using a racial slur in an interview will not adversely affect his career, but he said it’s too soon to tell.
Clements, a regular in the Nationwide Series, returned to competition Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. His suspension was lifted earlier this week after he successfully completed a class with Dr. Richard Lapchick, the founder and director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.
“I made a remark that has no place in our society, kidding or not. I want to apologize to NASCAR, the reporter, my team, my family, my sponsors and of course all the fans out there,” Clements said. “I didn’t mean to offend anybody at all. I’m sorry I let you all down. It doesn’t represent who I am or how I was raised.”
Clements said he paid the $2,500 for the class himself and had one sponsor pull out of his team after he was suspended.
“It’s been extremely difficult time. At first it really hit me hard. (NASCAR) called me and asked me if I did say that remark. I was honest with them and owned up for it, which I think anybody should have done,” Clements said.
“I took my punishment and I have done everything I can to make it right and try to move on and make all this better. But, it’s been very tough on me. I’m just so happy to be back and just be able to race again.”