NASCAR sending Clements to sports psychologist

AVONDALE, Ariz. — NASCAR is sending suspended Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements to a sports diversity expert after he made insensitive remarks during an interview.

NASCAR officials are hoping to get Clements back on the track soon, but the 28-year-old will have to work with Dr. Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida, before he’ll be allowed back in his car.

“No secret we did suspend Jeremy. We believe strongly that we made the right move,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell said Saturday from Phoenix International Raceway. “Our go-forward plan with Jeremy is to quickly engage Dr. Richard Lapchick to work with Jeremy as soon as possible and get Jeremy back in the race car as soon as possible and as soon as we deem fit.”

Clements was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday for violating the sanctioning body’s code of conduct for making what O’Donnell said was an “intolerable and insensitive remark” during the course of an interview before last weekend’s Nationwide race at Daytona.

MTV News reported that Clements made a racially insensitive remark to one of MTV’s bloggers during the interview.

Clements issued an apology for his remarks on Facebook earlier this week.

“It’s really unfortunate that he chose to make that decision at that time to use that language,” Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt said. “I don’t like it and there’s no room for that in my life. It’s just unfortunate that had to happen to him. I hope he can get that sorted out. It just looks bad on the sport. One person’s mistake looks bad on a lot of people and looks bad on the sport.”

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