Specifically, Ray says he does NOT necessarily support the confederate flag ... he just supports people being allowed to fly whatever flag they want at races.
"In no way shape or form was I defending the Confederate flag," he said. "Everything I was saying was the fact that I understand both sides' feelings toward the flag."
"My viewpoint, all I was trying to say is how do you take [the flag] from one group and help support the group that it offends and then what do you do to the group that you took it from? Now, they get outraged."
Ray says his comments on kneeling during the national anthem were also twisted a bit ... saying he has NO issue with protestors there as well.
Ciccarelli claims he just has a problem with NASCAR implementing rules on both matters "out of left field."
"I had seen the news thing come through referring to, NASCAR now allows you to kneel during the anthem, It just irritated me some,” Ciccarelli said. “I believe in standing for the national anthem, and I believe that if you want to kneel during the anthem, you should kneel."
"It just kind of triggered me, because we’re being told you can’t kneel, now you can kneel. It just set me off."
Ciccarelli says he's hopeful his clarification on his comments will get critics off his back, saying, "This was a very educational learning experience."
He also added he's "TBA" on whether or not he'll go through with his quitting threat now.