Wednesday, February 3, 2010

NASCAR and Politics - Let's Not Mix 'Em

There are few things in this world that get folks riled up more than politics.

That's why I wasn't overly thrilled with today's announcement that the senatorial campaign of Kendrick Meek will be the lead sponsor of Mike Wallace's No. 01 car in next week's Nationwide race.

While I'm sure candidate Meek is a great guy with a lot to offer my home state, I'd rather not watch a car emblazoned with his campaign logo circle the Speedway at Daytona. Like lots of race fans, I view NASCAR as an escape. I don't want politics mucking it up.

I'm completely non-partisan in my anti-pol leanings, by the way. I'd also prefer Sarah Palin to stay away from the Daytona 500. Again, I'm sure she's a lovely person, but who wants to be reminded of the longest Presidential campaign in history and all of the vitriol that characterized the 2008 race?

Not me.

And this includes the President. Although Las Vegas Motor Speedway has extended an invitation to President Obama to give the start command at this month's race - spurred by the President's recent publicized remarks about the city - such an event is something NASCAR nation could do without.

Am I grateful that Meek and Palin support NASCAR? Yes. Do I wish more folks would put money into sponsorship deals to keep the sport financially secure? You bet.

But let's leave the politics inside the beltway and keep it off the track.

Let's stick to racing.

Photo: Mike Wallace will pilot the No. 01 Chevy for J-D Motorsports at the Nationwide Series race at Daytona Feb. 13


  1. Agreed! The faithful are drawn by the racin', not the politics, and introducing the ole red-and-blue splatter to the track diminishes greatly that roar which transcends all opinion ('cept us bloggers). Sarah Palin has been invited as a VIP guest to the Daytona 500, so I'm gonna have to keep an air-sickness bag next to my Lay-Z-Boy in case a camera pans to Digger or the skyboxes. The only politics I care for in racin' is between NASCAR and its rabble (us). NASCAR Nation don't need no spin from those grosser metaphysicians of the oval soul--like corporate wonks, or Hollywood stars who can't remember the National Anthem, or politicians ....

  2. This is NOTHING NEW. Political campaign sponsorships have occured repeatedly, and in the past have pulled one of NASCAR's top three series into the middle of some of the dirtiest campaigns in history. It's a regular thing at weekly tracks around the country in election years. I agree with you that the politicians should stay home and off the cars (trucks). But will it happen, sadly, no.

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