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. Linton Dawson

    As that whackjob Michelle Bachmann says: "For them, government is the answer to every problem."

    February 16, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rsprings

    Given our current financial situation in the US, saving every dollar counts. So i can agree with stopping sponsorship. However, the real reason the Congresswoman wants to kill sponsorship is that NASCAR fans vote overwhelmingly for Republican candidates.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Julibear

      Killing military sponsorship is certainly not going to get NASCAR fans to change their vote. Are you saying she wants to remove the Army logo from race cars to punish NASCAR fans for being republican? Your statement is illogical and I fail to see your point.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Corey

    The military services including the Coast Guard are given budgets allotted through Congressional and military budget proceedures to 'advertise' their services to attract recruits. They choose to spend money on NASCAR, I believe the Coast Guard even afforded a Nationwide Series car for a while. If you prohibit the services from using NASCAR the money will just be spent on other advertising. If you want to save this money you have to cut the military budget for advertising.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. S M Parks

    Can't argue this one. Sounds like a no brainer to me!!

    February 16, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Doug

    I understand this is a complex issue to figure out, but we ARE IN A BUDGET DEFICIT AND FINANCIAL DEBT.

    When I run out of money, I don't magically print out some more. I CUT SPENDING ON WASTEFUL CRAP.

    Wasteful crap list:
    1. Advertisements that cost money to have, and cost more money for their intended purpose.
    2. Wars that are over, but we still have a few hundred thousand military members "holding down the fort" for.
    3. Tax cuts. Period. No company or corporation goes out and hires people because they have a lower tax burden. In fact, their tax burden is shouldered by the customer as it stands. Don't see many price drops after corporate tax cuts, do you? Don't say many new hires after tax cuts, do you? It's pocketed. Low income families pay taxes up front and get them back, so no change on that end. "Middle class" whatever the heck that is anymore, mostly don't pay taxes either.
    4. Waste. Pure and simple. If it serves no other purpose aside from making someone feel better about the fancy event they are at, it's waste. Flying four jets from Virginia to Texas for a six second showing at a sports event? WASTE!(especially considering the four identical jets 20 miles down the road).

    Of course, everyone wants to point fingers at everyone else saying "you get the better end of the stick". Bull. Just cut the crap, be honest about what you have, what you pay, and what you do. The lies and deceit cost this country more money and support than any number of wars.

    Of course, if we were all honest, we wouldn't be American, would we?

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

      Fine, but you're barking up an inadequate tree. Let's say we're at the grocery store. The *exact analogy* would be buying 40,180 pounds of bananas at $0.49/lb to save ONE PENNY. This is $10M on a budget of $820000M. There are far, far, bigger fish to fry.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bruce

    Yo're right Mom in MA. The government has no right to waste government dollars like that. They also don't have the right to waste trillions of dollars on the upcoming inept healthcare. They don't have the right to waste taxpayer dollars for a Dept. of Education, Dept of Urban Development, Dept of Energy, etc. Get my point? Funny how all you left wing libtards are consistently two-faced. Oh no, don't spend tax payer dollars EXCEPT for what you believe in. Yeah right. What a bunch of hypocrites. ALL of the government is a waste of tax payer dollars except for infrastructure and the military. turn it all over to the states and leve the federal government out of it. I'm sure the states could do a much better job of handling our money than someone from DC that doesn't give a damn about the American people and are only out for themselves. At least at the state level much more would be transparent if only because it is a lot closer to home.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Mom In MA

      Yes Bruce because it's a 'sport' ... period. Not a program that helps us .. the American People.. tell me do you work? Did you go to public school?? If so you can shut your double standard mouth because YOU are whining about programs that you yourself, your parents and your grandparents have taken advantage of. So YES Bruce there is a difference in what the government has a right to spend our money on and what it does NOT. I know you'd rather have Nascar jets then our future adults get to go to school but most of us don't agree with you, thank God.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julibear

      Agreed that ideally the states would be better to govern, but really, would you trust the states to run your truck off a cliff? CA, NV, FL, NY, MI are bankrupt and others are close to it! They were taken in by the bankers and mortgage lenders just like every one else and we're all going to hell in a handbasket. Federal or state, everyone's skrewed.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ysidero

      The healthcare plan saves billions of dollars in the long run, thats a fact. The right wingnuts need to stop lying about that and accept that they lost. A majority of Americans now support the healthcare plan since they know the true facts and not Republican spin.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. C130vet

    Hey, "Rev" has a great idea! " If NASCAR wants to sponsor the armed forces and put their logo on tanks, jeeps, planes or subs". I'll bet the troops would love it (in case you haven't guessed, I'm a veteran). Each NASCAR team could sponsor a regiment and paint the vehicles with their number and logos. You can bet that the troops will "race" each other to see who can flatten the enemy first! (And the Budweiser 24th Mechanized Infantry stops the Republican Guards cold, while that number 48 Lowe's 3rd Armored Cavalry comes in a close second, taking out the Iraqi 2nd Brigade on their left flank with a push from the A-10s of the GoDaddy 354th Tactical Fighter Wing! What a race, sports fans!!)

    February 16, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. AverageJoe

    It is 10 million dollars a year out of a Defense budget of over 500 billion dollars; It is not even a drop in the bucket. Additionally, it probably does more for recruitment, and costs less, than all of the silly commercials they put on TV. I am sure there are much bigger fish to fry in the Defense budget than this.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bruce


    So all white people that like NASCAR are racists. the only racist I see is you since you are willing to prejudge the whole white race. Because of people like you, there will always be racial tensions. You might want to go look in the mirror and reevaluate your own prejudices.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. COG8MAN

    This from a CONGRES"PERSON" that never served in the military or has any idea of the sacrafice given. These sponsorships are seen by millions of people and keep those serving in the forfront of peoples minds, they also give the active duty and veterans great pride and let them know they have not been forgotten for what they have done and been through.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. palintwit

    See if you can pick the one that doesn't fit... Babe Ruth, Gordie Howe, Dale Earnhardt, Arnold Palmer, Lou Gerhig.

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

      This would have had more impact if you had listed people who matter, like scientists, doctors, engineers, or important historical figures. You're comparing someone who's overpaid for what they do to other people who are overpaid for what they do. Sports figures get paid absurd amounts to put on a show for two hours, much like actors who live in fantasy land. Not exactly meaningful contributions to society.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bigdoglv

    Please people. The fools in DC spend more on parties to pat themselves on the back. The Congress are experts on inefficient spending. If this woman was really worried about spending, there are thousands and thousands of cuts that should be made first.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Goodwin

      If we are supposed to cut fuding to our most helpful social programs (as laid out by the GOP) like the EPA, DOD and others – yes, we need to consider wasteful spending like this. And frankly, since the GOP stayed CLEAR of actually reducing Dept. of Defense spending – at least this is one area of spending cuts we should ALL be able to agree on. Why is this so hard, folks?

      February 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Goodwin

      Sorry, meant to write DOE – not DOD.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. maf97

    It's a valid form of advertising and yes, even the Army and the other Armed services need to advertise. Where do you think the money for all those Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine commercials come from that play during football, basketball, and baseball games? The same funding source that is used to fund the Army car in NASCAR. The advertising budgets. From money paid by taxpayers. If the Army was sponsoring illegal dogfighting that would be an issue.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • bigdoglv

      Your are correct. I would bet it is advertising money well spent.

      "Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so." Ronald Reagan

      February 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The Old Patroon

    NASCAR spokesman Randy Poston said "NASCAR fans are the kind of people who fight America's wars…..”. Right. If we, the middle class taxpayer, stop funding NASCAR teams there will not be anybody to fight in wars. Now let me quote my dear departed mother, “What a horse’s ass”.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. john wiltshire

    linton dawson ,you are a compleat A– hole

    February 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Goodwin

      Why, because he/she doesn't agree with you? Grow up!

      February 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
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