In a one-on-one interview with ESPN, Clements would not verbalize the specific comments he made, but when pressed for clarity about whether or not it was racial, he paused. Asked again, "Was it racial or not? Maybe not in context, but in term?" Clements replied: "Correct."
"When you say 'racial' remark, it wasn't used to describe anybody or anything," Clements said. "So that's all I'm going to say to that. And it really wasn't. I was describing racing, and the word I used was incorrect and I shouldn't have said it. It shouldn't be used at all."
Clements said he only said the word once. The remarks, he said, were made Saturday following the driver's meeting at Daytona International Speedway. Upon exiting the meeting, Clements said a female NASCAR employee who was escorting a reporter from MTV approached him.
According to Clements, the NASCAR employee asked him if he knew the location of driver Johanna Long's transporter. He did, and said he escorted the pair to the transporter personally.
"And while we're walking they started, he [MTV] started, asking me questions," Clements said. "And it wasn't recorded. We were just talking. So I said one remark about how I wouldn't ..."
He stopped short.
"I can't say that part," he said.
"That's pretty much how it happened," he continued. "And even after I said what I said, they still kept asking me questions. It didn't seem like it was a big deal at all. I didn't even think twice about it, like, after. I know I shouldn't have said it. Even when I did say it, I shouldn't have said it. But I didn't think it was going to be a big deal." (More at ESPN)
UPDATED: NASCAR Suspends Jeremy Clements for Using Racial Slur