A plan is in place for suspended NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements to return to the track.
On Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations Steve O’Donnell revealed that Clements must work with respected sports psychologist Dr. Richard Lapchick, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.
”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,” O’Donnell said to the media.
Clements was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday for making what O’Donnell called “an insensitive and intolerable remark” before the NNS season opener on Feb. 23 at Daytona International Speedway. According to Clements himself, he made the comment while escorting a NASCAR employee and a reporter for MTV toward the transporter of driver Johanna Long.
That particular reporter was Marty Beckerman, an associate editor for MTV’s “Guy Code” blog that was at Daytona to do, in his words, “a fish out of water story.”
“[Clements] 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,” Beckerman told MTV News. “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].”
Clements apologized for his remarks on Facebook shortly after NASCAR made the decision to suspend him.
Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.
The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.
“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.
“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.
“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”
The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.
Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.
Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.
McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.