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Clements hopes for 2nd chance after suspension

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm •  Published: March 15, 2013

"I want to start out by saying I made a remark that has no place in our society, kidding or not," he began, explaining the entire incident has been particularly embarrassing because his grandfather, Crawford Clements, was crew chief for black driver Wendell Scott in 1965.

"I was raised to respect everybody," he said.

Clements was a little-known driver from Spartanburg, S.C., driving for his family-owned team before the suspension. He finished 15th in the Nationwide Series standings in 2011, and was 14th last year.

Clements was 33rd in the season-opening race at Daytona before he was suspended. He said he's lost only one sponsor because of the incident, and was at Bristol on Friday with St. Jude's Hospital on his firesuit. He said he's learned a lot about himself during his two weeks away from the race track, and from his course with Lapchick.

"You sit out here and talk to people all the time and make jokes and somebody could say something offensive and you might not say something," Clements said. "But from now on, I'm going to stand up and say, 'Man, that ain't something you should say' and try to pass along what I learned."