ben_johnson.jpegFormer television actor and ex-Georgia Congressman Ben Jones doesn't see any problem with letting the “General Lee'' take a lap around the racetrack.

In a statement, Jones lashed out at NASCAR's decision to cancel a planned appearance by professional golfer Bubba Watson at Phoenix International Raceway next month.

Watson was going to drive a parade lap in one of the 1969 Dodge Chargers featured in the television series “The Dukes of Hazzard,'' known as the “General Lee,'' before the March 4 Sprint Cup Series race.

But NASCAR and track officials called it off because the car has a Confederate flag on its roof. The Confederate flag is regarded as an emblem of slavery in the U.S. South, and has been adopted by racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

“As a cast member of `The Dukes of Hazzard' and the owner of several `General Lees,' I can attest that the car and our show reflect the very best of American values, and that Hazzard County was a place where racism was not tolerated,'' Jones said.

“This action by NASCAR is a provocative and unnecessary overreaction to a problem that doesn't exist. It is a disgraceful and gratuitous insult to a lot of very decent people.''

Jones played mechanic “Cooter'' Davenport on the show.