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. Scot B

    I think a more reasonable approach that would not encroach on the military's autonomous recruiting decisions would be to cut their budgets at the top, then let the military decide which programs they are going to cut back or eliminate. If they are confident that sponsoring racing teams is effective marketing, then they can choose to cut something that is less effective. Numbnuts #342 in Congress likely is not informed or qualified enough to make those decisions for the military.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ryan

    I am a Nascar fan and I fully support the military. I think the values of the two groups mesh very well. However, the country is broke and needs to cut all non-essential spending. We are over $ 14 trillion in debt that the government admits to. Our unfunded liabilities are actually in the $100 trillion range. The gutless wonders in congress need to slash the budget, even if that includes Nascar sponserships which cost $ 5 – $ 20 million per year depending on the driver.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Blame that on Obama and the Dems.

      March 5, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. Vietnam&IraqVet

    Who is this Minnesota Representative to dictate to the military how their recruiting budget is spent? This is assinine. She, and Congress as a whole, need to spend their time on more pressing issues like, oh, I don't know, the Economy? Jobs? Health Care?

    February 17, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  4. wooville

    I have to agree, taxpayers should not be footing the bill for NASCAR sponsorship. That's a no-brainer! Not only because of the tax dollars involved in the sponsorship, but more so because of the amount of fuel used by NASCAR to power all these race cars, in a day when there is esculating gas prices at the pump, well over $3.00 per gallon and inching up daily, not to even mention what the cost of racing fuel is. And fly overs by Military jets is just real stupid. The average consumer is paying the price for this stupidty at the gas pump, grocedry store, etc. How can the goverment expect the consumer to conserve on energy when these practices continue.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      We have plenty of fuel right here if the morons will just drill.

      March 5, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. What a stupid statement...

    "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," This is the same stupid government mentality that implied that by my watching the Smoking Joe Camel race car, I decided to run right out and start to smoke Camel cigarettes. Or that by watching Tiger Woods advertise Buick...I had to go right out and by one. The funds spent are from recruiting funds, the same funds spent on TV commercials and billboards.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sgtpod

    On the aircraft fly overs, they are a by product of real live training. Pilots need to train to bomb ground targets, and on a tight schedule. So the stadium is the bombing target, and they have to be "ON Target" at just the right second. So this is not a waste of money, but a public affairs role tied into a already needed training.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. LMD

    This sponsorship,along with the sponsorship of the NBA by the Marines should be stooped. It is wasteful,at a time when budgets are being slashed all over the place.They add this into the budget,yet they have thousands of military families at the poverty level getting food stamps?! No logic there. Want to spend money,give raises to the military families,not to the pockets of advertising agents!!

    February 17, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. ruSERIOUS

    Really, 100mill for this hillbilly sport....oh my....That money could go to schools and food programs to feed those backhill, inbreed, toothless americans...
    Seriously folks arguing over sponsership money to a sport when it sould be used to school and feed your kids is just insane.
    This just in, dueling banjos sponsership funding has just been cut......that should start a riot in arkansas huh?

    February 17, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Now What?

      Maybe you should proof read your posts for spelling and grammar before you spew your stupidity about "hillbillies and rednecks" you ignorant moron.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      What a moron!

      March 5, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. ruSERIOUS


    Really, your going to switch your voting habits due to this...Not like your vote counts anyway does it?

    February 17, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. ugly78

    I want to know when Congress is going to take a pay cut. We should look at their retirement and do some cutting.

    February 17, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mtlhed

    Firing the Govt. is EXACTLY what this country needs!!!!! There are far too many politicians accomplishing nothing, wasting tax dollars on themselves and continuing to do so long after they have left office ! A 60% reduction in Govt. would only be noticed for it's monetary gains, not its inability to function. Most likely it would run smoother and more efficiently!

    February 17, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. James B.

    This kind of waste should be eliminated, but much more should be cut. We have more than 600 military bases in more than 100 countries around the world. It is time to make a whopping big reduction in that number. We should spend our defense dollars much more wisely. We spend more on our military than almost all the other nations of the world combined. That is insane.

    February 17, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. US Vet

    The military could spend this kind of $$$ more intelligently.

    If the intent is to recruit NASCAR fans, having served 20 years in the USAF, I'd say we really don't want those Rednecks in our ranks. Let them get their thrills by hunting possum.

    February 17, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      What makes you think all NASCAR fans are all rednecks?

      March 5, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. the military isn't paying...

    We are. Taxpayers. So the question is, would you hand over money from your paycheck to NASCAR to paint their cars and buy custom suits? No? Then neither should the government.

    February 17, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bama67Grad

    Uh, Congresswoman. Shouldn't you be asking the question...."How many men and women joined as a result of this ad?" ....before deciding that it is a waste of money?

    February 17, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
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