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. bigE4life

    This is insane. Im in the military and seeing the sponsors out there help keep me going. They may not of persuaded me to join, but growing up a die hard Nascar fan, it makes me even more proud to serve, and see all the people wearing the gear of the services race teams. People like Betty are why our country cant focus on real problems. Get over yourself Betty and find something better to do, I know people in Minnesota watch Nascar so you cant be speaking for many of the people you represent.

    February 17, 2011 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. bill

    "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

    Wow, another ignorant statement, from another ignorant politician wanna-be! I'd bet there's bunches of folks in today's military that were NASCAR fans, who saw the cars (etc) with the ads on them. This chief of staff is a fool, and a tool.

    February 17, 2011 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. It's Me

    Drop the ad then and bring back the draft. Then you don't have to worry about people being lured into the military ALL Americans would have to serve their country and we are saving the money spent on the ads. Problem solved. NEXT!!!!

    February 17, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ralph

    As a Marine Veteran I was fortunate enough to go throughout my whole deployment in Iraq without the proper armor, and I would have definitely taken the armor over seeing some car with "army" all over it go around a racetrack!!

    Seriously, what a waste of money!!!

    February 17, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ric

    Maybe we should run ads at the Congresswoman's country club.................

    February 17, 2011 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. USAF vet

    > "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.

    Odd, I don't remember any NASCAR fans when I was in the Air Force... probably because you have to break 36 points on the ASVAB to get into the Air Force.

    February 17, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. blank

    Congress lady do something usefull like create jobs, keep the streets safe and stop wining about NASCAR go find somthing better to do like WASH UR MOUTH OUT WITH SOME DAWN u crazy old turkey

    February 17, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ed

    #1 rule of advertising, know your target audience. When the military advertising with NASCAR, they fulfill that rule. Hey Democrats, stop complaining about this and cut the train project.

    February 17, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. someone

    Whom ever said to cut the military by 75% is a @#$%head the reason we have not had problems from other countrys is because of our military. Look at Russia everytime some group wants to take land from them Russia rolls over and lets them.

    Then again we are looking at becoming them since we give more and more money to people that don't work! Not say the ones that want to work and can't get a job but the ones that don't want to work. I have them in my family the 2 that come to mind both have 2 kids and have never had a job at age 25. Welfare check is what they do and they get houseing and money for food. I looked it up 1 day both make 75% of what I make and have never worked. I get up and go to work everyday so does my wife just so we have a roof over our heads and 10+ year old cars to drive. If you look at it from that view WHY do I want to work? I pay them to have kids that will never do better then mommy because why do I want to work when someone else will pay for me to live. So make it fun... if you want to be on welfare and have 1 kid we will make it so you don't have anymore your a burden on other people so cut the BS out and if you want government help you no longer have human rights of haveing more kids.

    1 thing I have seen from the government is that everytime they apply money to something the price goes up and jobs are lost.

    The govrnment only has to do 1 thing thats protect your sorry butt so get a job and be thankful of the people that fight for your family.

    But go ahead cut the military by 75% and wait for some group to move in and kill your family for it.

    February 17, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. 99sparky

    Hey Rep. McCollum I recall seeing a USPS team in the few Tour De France races – including Lance Armstrong's last couple wins with him in USPS team uniform. So why stop at the military – isn't the post office hemoraging money? Do they really need to advertise to that level? Just how much money has USPS sunk into TDF team sponorship? How much has the post office sunk into useless advertising overall themselves?

    February 17, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I voted democrat in the last election but will not be anymore. They want to create jobs but losing a sponsorship like the US Army or UAF will cost over 100 jobs within racing. I support NASCAR b/c they support America. First cut all types of aid to illegals i.e. health care, college aid, etc. Then we can talk about the Government spending 10 million a year on this b/c this must be the most expensive thing they spend money on.

      February 17, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • nghusker

      Yes, the post office is losing money. But the post office is losing money because the rely on their own revenue. The armed forces can spend $$$ however they like. As far as losing jobs if the military drops sponsorship – I thought NASCAR was so huge that there would be sponsors lining up around the block. As far as the idea that NASCAR fans support America and the military more than non-NASCAR fans – BULLS&!% !!!! I would like to see the cost of these military flyovers at sporting events included in this bill. How much is spent every year to put these planes in the air so they can buzz a stadium for 4 seconds ? What happens if one of these planes has an accident while doing a flyover ? If a recruit says I joined the military because I saw the ad on a race car or I joined the military because a few fast planes went over my head while I was waiting to see an ad for the military on fast cars going in circles – do you really think this recruit would pass the required tests to get into the military ?

      February 17, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • m

      hey will you please give me a summary of the story above?

      February 17, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. thedude

    if jr and martin were winning this wouldn't be a conversation

    February 17, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. dgensler

    I love how everyone is so quick to cut funding for the military that they don't stop to think what actually happens. Funding gets cut, the first thing that happens, some Joe who has served his country for the last 10 to 15 years expecting to retire from Active Duty service gets a pink slip and told your services are no longer needed. People can complain all they want about weapons programs and NASCAR sponsorships but at the end of the day it is the guy who chose to make serving his country a career who gets cut not the sponsorships.

    February 17, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Michelle Wood

      This isn't about cutting the funding for the sponsorships. It's about not allowing the military to pay millions of dollars for unnecessary advertisements. If anything, this will prevent a pink slip or two.

      February 17, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Justblue2

      dgensler, you are correct. My Dad got RIF'ed after Vietnam. The Forces were paying $ 200 for a Hammer and $ 1000 for a Phillip's Head Screwdriver, but they cut thousands of men/women out of jobs.

      He was a Major and Pilot in the AF, had to"rejoin" as a SSG and become a "Safety" guy who ran up and down the runways in a jeep, picking up s*$t so the jets he used to fly would not get it into their engines.

      All this JUST to get his Retirement after Serving for 21 Years as an Officer, plus 4 as a SSgt.

      February 17, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • jarhead

      the military (not the soldiers) is the most bloated thing in the US economy....all together equaling healthcare and social security costs per year. At least people are benefiting from social security and medicare/medicaid.

      February 17, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      I'm a big nascar fan, I love Ryan Newman the driver of the US Army car. My husband is retired Navy, My son is in the Army and I'm a GS DoD employee. My pay is frozen for the next two years. My husband retirment got decreased! My son makes less than $30,000 a year and has been deployed to Iraq for a year Where they lost people in their group! It is sad when your military families income is so low they qualify for food stamps and low income housing!!! They fight for our freedom, they go to war. They should be among the highest paid in the country not the lowest!

      Like I said I like to watch nascar, but I think if the government has to cut and freeze the pay of their employee's then they need to make cuts in some non essential areas as well. They sponsor the cars for recruitment pruposes. I think they can recruit just fine without sponsoring those cars. They need to put the money back in their Military personnel's and civil service personnel before they put in in a race car. If the USPS have a sponsorship program it needs to be cut as well.

      February 17, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Matt

    So she is fighting to keep funding for NPR and cut funding for NASCAR. I dont know the answer but I bet NASCAR has more fans.

    February 17, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      If you think Nascar has more fans than NPR you would be wrong.

      February 17, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      And if NASCAR does have more fans, it's just another big, big problem in America...

      February 17, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Patty

    The NASCAR Drivers and families and the Fans are some of the "few" left in this country who respect the National Anthem and Always have a prayer before the race!

    February 17, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • cindy


      February 17, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • GoUSNR


      February 17, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • RocketJL

      I will say that when folks talk about 'America' as a whole, they can say the 'American Flag'. they can say 'We the people', and for those of us in the know, they can say 'NASCAR'. Say these things and we know you are talking about all Americans. Say Congress, the President, democrat, or republican and all that surfaces in the minds of Americans is a few crooks liars and thieves. Get you knowledge and priorities straight. I hope this bimbo understands that NASCAR does not help people join the military to go overseas, that's where the stupid politicans send them after they join.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • drew

      another HUGE problem, people assuming that if you dont pray to a christian god you're less of an american. these nascar fans are the same idiots who think the rebel flag isn't a sign of hatred and bigotry. they also throw the N word around regularly. i live in the south, i hear it constanly.

      February 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mIcah


    February 17, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
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