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. AGeek

    $10M a year on a budget of $820000M doesn't even qualify as a rounding error. FIND A REAL PROBLEM TO FIX, McCollum!

    These congresspeople are tip-toeing around the f–king elephant and nobody's willing to do something about it!

    February 16, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Recruit

    This really wasn't one of the things that helped me decide to join, but I understand the reasoning. But its the Service Branches decision on how to recruit individuals that need to be addressed. All congress does is decide how much money should be allocated to the Branches. Each of the branches then decides how much should be allocated to recruitment and the type of recruitment. If Congress starts deciding how a Service Branch can recruit people whose to say that some idiot in the future will decide that recruiting in schools is a waste of money as well and want to ban that.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. TKyler

    Hey congress stop wasting our $$$ on flying the planes u use to spray chemtrails in the air effecting our climate. Then we'll talk NASCAR.........Go Junior88--National Guard!

    February 16, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. tomcat

    Clean up on aisle #4 Congresswoman with panties in a wad. Give me a break....quit worrying about NASCAR and just do your job.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. tammy

    Take that 100 milliom give the troops a raise given them back free medical Nascar is a joke the races are fixed and our troops deserve more

    February 16, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • JeepOnRock

      There are about 1.5M people in the military and another 1.5M in reserves... So, let's cut the recruiting budget and give them each a $3/year raise.

      That sounds like a GREAT idea. Or wait... maybe we could give them a bigger raise by cutting the $440M/year that goes to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. That would be 44x as much, so about $11/mo. Still not much, but a WAY better start.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. SouthernOhio

    I'm glad I'm not in her district! In my opinion it's not about recruiting in order to send our soldiers to war, but to pay tribute to those serving and to those who have served. I have attended multiple NASCAR races and there is something special about seeing the U.S. military cars out there on the track. NASCAR is a sport for blue collar america.....the same demographics that make up a lot of our armed services. LEAVE THEM ON THE CARS!!! If they want to save money, maybe they should take a look at the money wasted by our congress men and women. Using the whole 'saving money' angle is pretty sorry my opinion.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Army of usa

    Da man(the lil boy) and rhonda obumma lee are both idiots,they are just mad or peefizzeld , because we b not havin dem der bruthers n dem der cars,u know y,cause they cant install radios and 22's ,and they would cruise at 10 Mph eating chicken,,go watch ur over paid africans do something else

    February 16, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    Time for this woman to pull her head out of her backside. It's positive publicity for the Army. And I am a Democrat.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jim

    And Gozieboy, the private sector DOESN'T sponsor those things. That's why the have fundraising telethons all the time.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. JR

    Could we send that money on the brave troups who fight our battles and make them a bit safer.. Maybe a better bullit proof vest?

    February 16, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nascar Fan & Veteran

    The Armed Forces need to advertise to maintain recruitment levels. They all use advertising agencies to get their message out there and those agencies have decided that NASCAR is a tremendous marketing tool... it is target marketing that reaches people most likely to serve in the military.

    I am Nascar fan, a veteran, college educated, and a c-level executive. The stereotypes that some of you present regarding Nascar fans are simply not true.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Deb

    I am amazed at all the ignorant people who would rather our goverment spend money on NASCAR over providing for the American peoples needs. I have never been to NASCAR nor do I want to so why should my tax dollars go to support it. I would feel the same way about any sports even though I do attend some games. Let the big Corporations support things like that.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Rachel M

      You may not watch NASCAR, but do you benefit from the protection provided to you by the armed forces?

      February 16, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      Ok, Deb. At $0.49/lb for bananas, you'd need to buy 40,180 POUNDS to save ONE PENNY on your total bill. That's the scale of the savings we're talking about with $10M on a $820000M budget.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I agree, especially as the majority of NASCAR fans vote Republican!

    February 16, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Nascar Fan & Veteran

      And so do a majority of military members.

      February 16, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. gary

    They are worried about a sponsorship of nascar when you have a president that passes a stimulus package that has done NOTHING and his wife that spends more than opra its not just a recruiting tool it also reminds folks of our soldiers that r fight overseas everytime they see those cars billboards comercials etc. People need to wake up and really look at what is important

    February 16, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. Onesweetguy

    I think dear ole Betty needs to just sit back and look at every single dollar the US Gov't waste. The Gov't spend money like it is water flowing over endless bank account. The money being spent on NASCAR is only pennies compaired to other items they spend money on. Like why does every member of Congress get free health care for life. We have to pay, so should she. I think she is trying to free up some more money for earmarks. I am sure the $450,000 earmark she pushed through Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota was not enough. Betty McCollum sponsored or co-sponsored 14 earmarks totalling $8,677,000 in fiscal year 2010. So from the looks of those numbers she is no one to be talking about how to save the government some money. Maybe she should focus on the real issues.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
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