Jeremy Clements, the Nationwide Series driver who was suspended by NASCAR Wednesday, used the N-word in a conversation with reporter.
The conformation comes from a MTV news report that reporter Marty Beckerman was having a conversation with Clements in the presence of a NASCAR official when the driver used "a phrase that used the n-word." The incident occurred before Saturday's season-opening Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway.
"I was there to do a fish-out-of-water story about going to NASCAR and having a wild, crazy weekend," Beckerman said according to MTV News. "And, we were doing interviews with many of the drivers, and I was on the way to another interview -- we were looking for [driver] Johanna Long's trailer -- and the NASCAR publicist called Mr. Clements over and asked him for help finding her.
"He walked us toward where she was, and on the way over, I explained to him that Guy Code is rules for guys, how you treat your friends, how you treat your ladies, things like that. I was there to do a humor piece, so I asked him what would be Guy Code for race car drivers, and he blurted out [a phrase that used the n-word]."
Beckerman goes on to say that Clements wasn't directing the comment to any specific driver, but meant it in the context of "if you drive roughly, you'll be treated roughly."
NASCAR on Wednesday suspended Clements indefinitely for what was deemed "an intolerable and insensitive remark" along with violating its Code of Conduct. Though the sanctioning body refused to disclose what Clements said to warrant a suspension.
In a statement Wednesday night, Clements apologized for his comment but also didn't elaborate on what he said.
"I apologize and regret what I said to the NASCAR writer and to NASCAR, my sponsors, my fans, and my team," Clements said. "NASCAR has a Code of Conduct that everyone must follow and I unintentionally violated that code. I will not get into specifics of what I said but my comment to the writer was in no way meant to be disrespectful or insensitive to anyone or to be detrimental to NASCAR or the NASCAR Nationwide Series. I will do what I need to do in order to atone for my error in judgment."