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 HamptonRoads.com.

"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 HamptonRoads.com. "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. fan

    Bob f who the fukk cares what you think

    February 16, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. LarryD

    I can say as a vet that every time I see one of those cars it gives me a good feeling.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    It's a waste of tax payer dollars – they already send military members to high schools, colleges, have ads on television, etc. I don't watch NASCAR so I didn't even know they threw money at it. Take the money and buy our troops some better armor or give it back to us.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      Tom. Would you buy 40,180 pounds of bananas to save ONE PENNY? (at $0.49/lb). That's the savings scale you're asking for here. There are far, FAR bigger places to achieve savings.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Adam

    Party at fan's double wide tonight! bring your own sister to kiss cause he'll be busy with his own family!

    February 16, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. fan

    Palinwit you can pour oil down your fathers azz and make your mom drink it

    February 16, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. jorge washinsen

    I think that would be fair to cut out sponsor ship of NASCAR and in the process cut out the perks that Congress gets that will make them do anything to to get elected.They should live by the same pension, same health care they bestow on us who have paid the bill for 50 years.I don't think Mama Obama needs as much help as she is reported to have at the White House.There are millions of things that are pure waste.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. nascar fan

    I think that this stupid bytch needs to give up her pay and start paying out of her pocket to keep that seat she has in congress

    February 16, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. palintwit

    fan's idea of a double date is to go out with his sister Bobbie Joe and his cousin LuLu at the same time.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. jorge washinsen

    Let Chev take those 4000.00 bonuses and donate to NASCAR.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. Noel

    N.A.S.C.A.R. = Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks

    February 16, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Floyd

      LOL Noel, you speak from a position of ignorance. Find me one "non-athletic" person who can fight a 3600 pound car for 3+ hours (you think they're easy to drive?) while travelling at 180+ miles per hour just inches from other cars, wearing a firesuit, strapped into a metal cage in 110+ degree heat? Racing at that level is EXTREMELY taxing, both physically and mentally. NASCAR drivers' level of fitness and conditioning is on par with or exceeds many other professional "athletes" in this country.

      FWIW, I'm not a NASCAR fan and could care less about whether the military sponsors the cars. But I did race semi-professionally in a different type of series for several years, and can recognize ignorance when I see it.

      As far as the sponsorship goes, I'll bet if they looked hard enough they could find about a million much more wasteful things that the government throws (wastes) money on, things that have far less ROI than reaching out to a segment of the population through sponsoring race teams.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Noel

      Wow, thanks for clarifying that, Floyd. I am not speaking from a position of ignorance, but rather... humor. The NASCAR acronym is actually referring to the couch potato fans, not the drivers. Sorry I touched a nerve.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tcat

    Government sponsored health care = bad. Government sponsored race cars = good.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Mom In MA

      Yeah the government shouldn't be using our tax dollars to help the poor or elderly who can't afford food or health care but it's perfectly fine that they use those same tax dollars to sponsor a sport? Give me a break.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • YOYO

      That is not fair for you to say gov't can spend my tax dollor to race car tournament and not help the needy ones. What was in your mind when you say this? well I will tell you what, just like you who paid your tax, I do also have a right to say, gov't ought to spend on healthcare than race car. How about that?

      February 16, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Hey, let's drop Obamacare and the NASCAR sponsorship.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      Keep the sponsorship, but sponsor real drivers! Jr can't even tell what is a left hand turn.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jtk812

      @Mom in MA: NASCAR's a sport? lol i never thought I would see the day when it was considered athletic for someone to get into a car and drive fast around an oval.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aeromechanic.

      For you guys trying to compare the Affordable Health Care Act to government sponsered health care, you need to brush up on some fact and history.

      As we speak, the federal government is paying 40 cents of every dollar spent on healthcare in this country. So please tell me how trying to rein in costs and get the insurance companies to honor the coverage they have sold people is a bad thing. Please.......I'll be waiting.

      As far as the point of this article, I would have to agree that in times of financial crisis, it does seem that the government/pentagon maybe shouldn't be using tax payer dollars to sponsor racing. Or anythng else for that matter.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • skytag

      It's just bizarre, isn't it? In the current political climate I can see this getting cut.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Better idea, let's take away all of the Military's recruiting money for advertisements. Why should they be supporting any sporting event or television show at all? Just another liberal spouting off without thinking again.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • skytag

      "Just another liberal spouting off without thinking again."
      Just another person on the right taking a pot shot at liberals.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Mom, it's called marketing. Ask any marketing exec and they'll tell you that NASCAR is a huge form of advertisement. Sponsors don't spend money just for the sake of a sport. It's because it works.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patriot

      Ok people, lets see how many of you are willing to put your life at risk to fight for our country. I'm sure that the congress woman that suggested this wouldn't nor put her son/daughter into the military, therefore she should keep her opinions to herself unless she goes out and joins the military today. This is not about wasting money, it is about showing your have love for your country and the people saving YOUR lives in a sport that is an american tradtion. You have no idea how many SOLDIERS watch NASCAR and they are even HAPPY that someone is supporting the military. SO STOP CRYING ABOUT THE ISSUE AND GO OUT AND THANK SOMEONE FROM THE MILITARY.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      ... $100 million? can I please have my money back so I can pay for my house and bills? none sense!! Looks like the govt still has plenty of money to throw away! no wonder we are broke because we cant seem to get the priorities straight!!

      February 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • JeepOnRock

      Greg... Where would you like your money sent? But first, do the math... $10,000,000/350,000,000 million people equals about 2.8 cents. The average taxpayer forks out about $10,000 (and considering half don't pay ANYTHING, maybe we should call that $20k). Maybe cutting PBS through the CPB would be better... that would be $440M/year. How about the Department of Education... that would be $70B/year (and it doubled in the last 10 years). Test scores have stayed static, or gone down, so that is obviously another failed experiment from the Carter years.

      February 17, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. palintwit

    That's what's wrong with this country. We don't have enough nascar in our daily lives. Or baby jesus. Or guns. We need more nascar ! More jesus ! More guns ! Yehawwww !!!

    February 16, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • mesa mick

      What does NASCAR really stand for? N on A thletic S port C reated A round R ednecks....

      February 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremey

      The sponsorship of these cars is not only for recruiting purposes, but also as a point of pride and morale of those in uniform.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harry Pelosi

      Don't forget to put your square libtard glasses on and go down to Starbucks for your $7 coffee and cry about how you are broke and the Government doesn't take care of you enough!

      February 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Swearengen

      and bacon and cheese woooeeee!

      February 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      @Mesa Mick- Most of those guys train physically all the time and many are in better shape than some athletes involved in other sports. Lets see how your arms hold up trying to maneuver car going 180+ mph for a few hours straight.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jtk812

      @ Mesa Mick: You're talking about something that was created by moonshiners in Georgia during the Prohibition Era. Of course it's centered around rednecks.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Rednecks? Budweiser, DuPont, Lowes, Shell, Home Depot, just to name a few that spends milions of dollars for rednecks? NASCAR is a billionare's playground. Half the drivers now are from the west coast. Leave to to the idiots to be clueless once again. Stick to stuff you know about like Apple products and latte.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Rednecks? Budweiser, DuPont, Lowes, Shell, Home Depot, just to name a few that spends milions of dollars for rednecks? NASCAR is a billionare's playground. Half the drivers now are from the west coast. Leave to to the idiots to be clueless once again. Stick to stuff you know about like Apple products and latte.'
      They are talking about the average fan. Stick to the stuff you can understand.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      I laugh at the fact that there are so many people commenting on somehting that they know nothing about. First of racing is actually one of the only true sports still around, not only can 90% of you not last 10 full speed laps in a car let alone drive one, but the physical exertion, heat, mental concentration are probably the biggest obstacles in sports today. Sports were created years ago, describing events in which the participants risked their lives or well-being when they stepped onto the feild of their sport (i.e. car racing, horse racing, bullriding, way back gladiators) and with the NFL's attempts to pretty much make it illegal to tackle someone it is qiuickly falling from the true meaning of sports. I love basketball, but in the truest sense of the word, it is not a sport, its a game. So grow up and if you want to speak on something, don't unless you've tried it yourself and know what you are talking about

      February 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. palintwit

    fan... you need to get yourself a roll of duct tape so you can fix up that Barcalounger of yours.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Exar Kun

    How about we end NASCAR entirely? It's a completely useless excuse for a "sport" that is watched only by ign'ant rednecks and that has its roots in law-breaking–which is probably why folks like MMinx (who have an IQ barely above that of a stalk of rhubarb) like it so much.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Speaking of completely useless. You probably watch the golf channel.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • YOYO

      I don't think that comment of yours is helpful in anyway. It is just racial and you should refrain from saying such things.
      I do like NASCAR and I am an African American. But I do not want my tax money to go to NASCAR when I see my fellow men on the street or walking homeless. how about commenting in a constructive way and making your concern heard?

      February 16, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      While we're at it, let's dump the NBA too.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Heck if you want to look at it that way just end all sports. Im sure we can find people like you that dont like baseball, football, basketball, hockey and even the Olympics. Why let our kids learn to play any of them it dont do anything for them other than keep them in good shape, teach them to work together, and help keep kids that could be out getting into trouble busy, with another way to use that energy for good. Im not a huge Nascar fan, I have watched it before and even been to a few races and it was fun. Maybe instead of getting rid of sports that people think are useless we should teach people that seem to think they are superior in some way to not call others names like "Redneck" just because you dont have the same likes or dislikes, have you ever heard the statement " to each his own"? Well luckily in America that applies to everyone even people that are rude and call others names.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Acaraho

      I like your comment. In this day and age of dwindling resources we do not need cars wasting precious fuel driving in circles. If the NASCAR people were truly patriotic they would at least cut back on their sport for national security reasons.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberty

      Really, the bottom line to all of our differences boil down to race... Hint:It is a distraction from the powers that be to keep the less powerful, segregated and disorganized.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • 99fan

      If you took the time to learn anything about the sport, it's a very interesting concept to have to design and build cars for different types of tracks, and then adjust the way you drive to compliment the physical attributes of those tracks. the physics of it (the racing, the tactics and yes, the wrecks) are actually pretty interesting. But you probably thought it was just some dude in a fire suit making left turns for 2 hrs....

      February 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juanita

      Redneck I am not, Nascar fan I am. College degree, much smarter than you!!! And I would like to see you sit and go 180 miles and hour for 200 laps, with out a stop!! Racecar driving is a very great sport, and your a ingnorant person.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mindset

      I have a PHD and watch Nascar – what do you have? I own a business and my home is paid for, is yours. I take offense to your comment. I am not a redneck but a New York born and educated. Although I do agree that tax dollars should not be used to promote the services, I still prefer to know our National Guard, US Army and US Airforce is alive and well going around the oval. Better than filling the pockets of the Senators and Congress-persons. Lighten up and put your stereotypes in your pocket, save them for Career Day in the 6th grade.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • UConn

      Wait, hold on, let me speak on this.

      You're bashing NASCAR for being a useless sport for ignorant rednecks and criminals...

      and a Google search of your name shows that it comes from Star Wars, the bastion of overweight, pimply geeks in their mom's basement.

      Way to go.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • charlie

      NASCAR = Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks

      February 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jen

      @ Juanita – I believe you were going for "you're an ignorant person."

      February 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheogre

      When I see you get in that car, at those G-forces, on the track that is NOT flat but has banking that makes the handling of the car worse than the worse sheet of black ice you can think of, and do that for 500 miles, in a car with just air flow and NO air conditioning, with 43 other cars going over 170mph, all doing the same thing you are doing, and ACTUALLY FINISH the race, I will listen to your mindless dribble. Even if you don't watch the sport, and yes, it is a sport, you should at least respect what they do. If anyone would at least research, or really watch what they do, they would understand. I have been behind the wall, I have watched what goes on, and I understand the strategy and decisions that are made every minute of the race. It makes more sense to me than a football game, but you don't see me bashing that, I actually watch football occasionally, and appreciate what goes into it.
      Now back to the point,
      The sponsorship is just advertising, and for the military, it is probably more effective advertising than anything they get from commercials. Think about it...a "typical" NASCAR fan is going to be a bit more patriotic than the average person on the street, and I would say 60% of the time, they are pro-gun, and a prime target for recruitment, if the age is right. That would be their key audience. Why on earth would the government want to get rid of their prime advertising campaign??? If anything, get rid of some of the commercials! Sporting events, in general, are a key way to attract support for our troops, not just NASCAR. People who sit at home all day watching tv, that is NOT who we want in our military. I would say this congresswoman is just mad about the money being spent, and is out of touch with reality, at least in this department, and is not thinking through everything. And she probably hates NASCAR, like alot of the people responding on here...hopefully after reading what I wrote, someone will give it 2nd thought....even Shaquille O'Neill admitted that it took an athlete to handle one of those cars when he tried it, and got his butt kicked by Dale Jr, after 20 laps. I am sure the footage is somewhere on youtube.

      February 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      It's not only a sport, its an industry. Cut NASCAR, then more jobs are cut! Bottom line!

      March 5, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bruce

    MMinx wrote–
    I would rather support NASCAR than support another illegal immigrant and their 10 illegal babies. Let McCollum support the illegals and I’ll support NASCAR.

    What is an illegal baby?

    February 16, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Somethought

      How does dropping NASCAR advertising turn into an "illegals are taking all our money" debate? Study after study has shown that illegals get far less than people think they do (less than 0.5%).

      That is why the GOP turned the discussion away from social services and started attacking K-12 schools and colleges because there is actual proof there that illegals or US citizens of illegals are benefiting. I am willing to have the debate over the merits of spending $10M a year on educating poor illegals versus supporting NASCAR though. Which choice has does more good for man-kind? Which is a bigger waste?

      February 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Is there really an accurate percentage of what illegals receive? What about the ones w/ fake/stolen ss#'s are we counting those? They are illegal and get paid under the table (taking from the government by not paying in your fair share) to stay under the radar....I do not think you can go knock on their door and get a straight answer if you ask "are you illegal" and "have you used ANY government resources?"

      February 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tacjam

      Really...Cali spends $10.2b annually on illegals...and they have a $29B deficit.

      February 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      A dingle-berry!

      February 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
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