Confederate flag leads NASCAR to reject Bubba Watson's 'Hazzard' car

Confederate flag leads NASCAR to reject Bubba Watson's 'Hazzard' car

Credit: The Charlotte Observer

Confederate flag leads NASCAR to reject Bubba Watson's 'Hazzard' car

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by JIM UTTER / The Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on February 17, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 17 at 4:06 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla - At least pro golfer Bubba Watson's tenure as an honorary NASCAR race official made it into a press release.

That's about as far as it will go, however.

Plans have been scrapped to have Watson drive a parade lap around Phoenix International Raceway in the original General Lee car from the show "The Dukes of Hazzard" prior to the start of the March 4 Sprint Cup Series race at the track in Avondale, Ariz.

The problem is not Watson or his car, but the Confederate flag image on its hood.

"NASCAR, International Speedway Corp. and Phoenix International Raceway officials discussed this and decided it was not in the best interest of our sport," NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Friday.

"The image of the Confederate flag is not something that should play an official role in our sport as we continue to reach out to new fans and make NASCAR more inclusive."

PIR officials planned to release a statement about the decision later Friday.

On Thursday, Watson posted the following message on his Twitter account:

"Sorry to say @nascar won't let me drive The General Lee at the @PhoenixRaceway !!! #dreamcrushed"

News releases about Watson's appearance at the track had already been removed from the track's Web site by Friday morning.

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