Congresswoman wants to end military's NASCAR sponsorships
The National Guard logo is displayed all over popular NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car, cap and fire suit.
February 16th, 2011
08:24 AM ET

Congresswoman wants to end military's NASCAR sponsorships

A member of Congress wants to end the military's sponsorship of NASCAR race teams, saying it's a waste of taxpayers' money.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minnesota, is offering an amendment to the 2011 House budget bill to ban the sponsorships, which her office said has cost the military $100 million over the past 10 years, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The National Guard sponsors Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team, the Army sponsors Ryan Newman, and the Air Force sponsors AJ Allmendinger, according to

"I would challenge the Pentagon to give me one example of someone today in Iraq or Afghanistan who saw the Go Army car going around the racetrack and that's why they joined the Army," Bill Harper, McCollum's chief of staff, told "It may be the reason why they go to Home Depot but not necessarily Afghanistan."

McCollum is in her sixth term and serves on the House Appropriations and Budget committees.

"NASCAR fans are the kind of people who fight America's wars, which would put into question the wisdom of banning the military's ability to reach out to them," NASCAR spokesman Randy Poston said in the HamptonRoads report.

More than 400 amendments to the budget bill have been offered. To become part of the law, they must survive subcommittee and committee votes as well as passage by the full House and Senate, followed by the president's signature.

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Filed under: Auto racing • Politics • Sports
soundoff (703 Responses)
  1. cvguy

    "NASCAR fans are the kind of people who fight America's wars, which would put into question the wisdom of banning the military's ability to reach out to them," NASCAR spokesman Randy Poston said "

    Unintentionally hilarious and so so telling. Skull & Bones and Harvard grads to initiate the Empire building, Mouth breathers to do the dirty work like the unthinking knee jerk knuckle draggers they were trained to be by Federal Education. Americans have become sheep to the slaughter for their Corporate, Empire building National Socialist minders. Give the typical American food on the table and sports to watch after his religious indoctrination on Sunday and he'll happily march off to murder a guy he never met and who has never harmed him just because his "betters" told him he needed to. Suckers

    February 16, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • wonderwall

      I do find your Bush reference insightful, but the rest is just over the top.

      February 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Clyde

    Boy, do we elect some winners here in Minnesota....must be the sub zero temps slowing brain function. Ufff Da!

    February 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 22 Year Military Vet

    No amount of advertising makes someone join an organization that requires you to: degrade your living conditions below poverty level, be separated from your family for years at a time, endure daily life-threatening conditions, watch your friends get killed on a daily basis, and all for a paycheck that is basically close to minimum wage. That kind of dedication comes from a sense of honor and duty, not from a sticker on a shiny racecar.

    February 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Davey Jones

    What a waste, and look at the caliber of people who follow Nascar anyway.

    February 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clyde mean the people that build and fix stuff??? Yeah, who needs them?

      February 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. noleftleg

    NASCAR creates more jobs and pumps more money into the economy by far than those idiots in Congress ever will. I would say that $10Mil per year has more than been paid back and is money well spent.

    February 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tony

    I say we get rid of all military advertisements and start the draft back up. We could get rid of all bonuses. It could get everyones overweight and spoiled kids back in shape. We still have an all volunteer military, but the truth is the economy has to be bad for it to be successful, because when it wasn't we had to drop standards and allow non-citzens to join. Something noone ever wants to talk about. How sad have we become that we can't get enough of our children to serve and protect our nation that we have to intice non-citzens with a chance at citzenship to fill the holes. Start the draft, cut welfare just to start.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    I am interested to know why the National Guard Car is funded by the Federal Govt. Isn't the National Guard the "States" issue with each state funding them?

    February 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    I think this congresswoman is missing the fact that the amount of tv time and advertising the military is getting is much more than they are paying to sponsor the cars. For instance, Lowes pays out around 20-25 million a year to sponsor Jimmie Johnson yet received the equivalent of $60 million in TV time (advertising). I also want to know why she is limiting this to NASCAR as out military sponsors race cars outside of NASCAR such as drag racing.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. matt

    Well something that makes sense...finally.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tony

    Cut military spending! Start the draft! Ok, who's kids are up first! Don't worry we'll make sure you're trained.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Greg Kelly

    We can afford to pay NASCAR sponsorships. The first thing we ned to do is what damn near every working class american has done already but our stste represenatives and congress represenatives, and senators need to do what we already have done. TAKE A PAY CUT! Cut there BENEFITS. Reduce there retirement funds and only let them collect when they reach the age of 60!

    February 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Food4Thought


      February 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Estreet

    Those NASCAR fellows wouldn't have to drive so fast if they started a little earlier.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. randomguy

    I don't have a problem cutting funding, or cutting advertising. But why pick on NASCAR? This is simply a form of advertising and apparently effective. Why is this politician picking on NASCAR? Because those cars have been seen by millions and people know what she is talking about. Is NASCAR sponsorship an effective recruiting tool? Who knows, but it would seem logicial that it is as effective as any other form of advertising.

    If this politician had any credibility she would be arguing to cut all advertising and not just NASCAR. Comedians have been picking on this sport for years, stereotyping fans and participants as ignorant, alcoholic, rednecks. If you repeat a mantra long enough, people start accepting this as fact. This politician has simply jumped on the bandwagon and portrayed herself as "anti-redneck" . Typical Washington BS.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ken

    I was suprised to read that only $100 million over 10 years spent in Nascar because that number is rediculously low. If you know anything about racing it now costs a full sponsor of a top team in Nascar ~ a cool $15 to 20 million per season. So with a minumum of 2 top teams per season for the past 5 or 6 years plus as many as 5 in select races, I figure much more than a total of $100 million in tens years has been spent in NASCAR. In fact the militariy budget for 2009 was $200 million spent on all types of racing.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheogre

      @ KenFINALLY, someone who has some sense! I was just getting ready to post something like this. $100 million over ten years is a drop in the bucket for military spending! Divide that by ten! THAT IS ONLY $10 000 000 a year! While it may be a large number to us, that is NOTHING compared to the spending that the Pentagon does. True, it wouldn't hurt for them to cut back some and NASCAR to give back some, (AND CONGRESS COULD USE A PAY CUT AS WELL) but in the grand scheme of things, it's not all that much.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. RussH

    This is the same idiot that wanted to cut the budget on the VA. I guess she figures that there will not be anymore deaths, wounded, handicapped or crippled. I am ashamful from being from this State with this idiot in there. This is advertisement that our young men need to learn about the military, regardless of what service. I am a retired disabled veteran and as long as we have an idiotic government, republican or democrat policing the world we are going to need you troops and to be able to give them good health care

    February 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
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