We reported on Monday that NASCAR said driver Brandon Brown’s team had jumped the gun when it announced it had paired with a cryptocurrency that referenced the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant that has become popular in conservative circles as a sort of code for “f–k Joe Biden”.
Reports now indicate that NASCAR has rejected the sponsorship.
A while back, I penned a piece describing my mixed feelings about NASCAR running without fans during the pandemic.
Now, a few weeks on, I have a bit more clarity.
I was worried that even with NASCAR’s safety protocols in place, the coronavirus might spread among crew. I was also worried about contact between the safety crews and a driver after a crash that could lead to virus spread (this worry didn’t make the final edit).
By now we have a pretty good idea about the facts surrounding the noose that rocked NASCAR, although there is still more to learn.
We know that it doesn’t appear to be a hate crime directed at Bubba Wallace. We know Wallace never saw it (unless at least one of a group including him, an anonymous team member, and NASCAR president, Steve Phelps are lying). We know, thanks to a pic shared by NASCAR that the rope was definitely tied into the form of a noose, and we know it’s been there since at least October of last year.
Over the weekend, NASCAR incurred what was assumed to be a racist incident after a member of outspoken Richard Petty Motorsports driver Bubba Wallace’s team claimed someone had hung a noose in Wallace’s garage. Earlier in the month, the diver released a new livery on his No. 43 Chevrolet promoting Black Lives Matter, saying he and his team stood in broad support of the organization. He also requested NASCAR ban the Confederate flag from all future events — getting his wish and causing a minor ruckus within the community.
The context helped frame the noose that appeared in his garage on Sunday as a racist action and drew massive support from every corner of the sport. Richard Petty came out to said he would stand with Wallace and practically everyone walked with him down Talladega’s pit lane in solidarity. NASCAR President Steve Phelps likewise expressed his backing for Wallace on Monday, saying whoever committed the hateful act would be barred from the sport for life.
This was followed by Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Jay Town saying his office had launched an investigation along with the FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. The wheels of justice were put swiftly into motion, but it turned out that the noose was just a door pull someone had set up in 2019.
NASCAR officially banned the Confederate flag on Wednesday. It will no longer be allowed to appear in regard to any of its corporate properties and fans won’t be able to bring any iconography that might stoke racial tensions or a suspect “yee-haw” from the crowd.
For years, the sport has made unsuccessful efforts to broaden its appeal, so this is hardly a surprise given everything else that’s going on. In fact, an unofficial initiative attempted to ban the flag back in 2015. It never went anywhere, though, and fans continued to arrive with the Stars and Bars in roughly the same numbers.
This time around, the corporate stance is much stronger, and with more public support behind it. Additionally, NASCAR has decided that racing teams will no longer be obligated to stand for the American flag (the supposedly better one) during the national anthem.
I’m a relatively casual racing fan.
Daytona and Indy are appointment viewing for me each year, but the rest of the racing season, I sort of tune in and out as I please.
I used to follow NASCAR more closely, but over the years I’ve drifted away. I suspect that’s because the drivers I grew up watching got old and now either pilot a lounge chair in their living rooms on Sundays, or have a cushy broadcast gig.
The standard Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare are primarily remembered (and not seen) because they rusted as soon as the dew settled on them on a spring morning. While that makes standard examples sort of rare today, there’s a very special model which was very rare from the beginning.
It’s the 1978 Dodge Aspen Kit Car, and that’s its real name.
Chip Ganassi Racing officials have confirmed the organization’s split with NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (#42). Tuesday’s announcement comes less than two days after Larson was heard uttering a racial slur during an iRacing event held on Easter Sunday. Chip Ganassi Racing previously decided to suspend the driver without pay while it examined the situation. As that probably focused heavily on the public response, its decision to sever the seven-year relationship is hardly surprising.
While technically guilty of the same behavior every random teen with a gaming headset engages in during online play (until you mute them out of frustration), Larson made the rookie mistake of not being fourteen while also having a racing contract and enough NASCAR wins to be considered high profile. If he plans to keep racing within the sport, he’ll be required to attend sensitivity training. NASCAR has also issued an indefinite suspension, citing violations of the organization’s general procedures and member conduct guidelines.
American stock car driver and World of Outlaws Sprint car team owner Kyle Larson was caught uttering a racial slur via a hot mic on Easter Sunday. Larson (#42 in the the NASCAR Cup Series) was participating in an online racing event with other professional drivers, streamed via Twitch and eNASCAR, where he suffered a virtual off. Afterward, it seemed like he was having a difficult time with his headset or internet connection. Larson clearly asks whether or not another driver can hear him before casually tossing in America’s least-favorite racial slur, apparently unaware that he was broadcasting on an open channel.
As you might imagine, the response was swift and savage. By Monday, Chip Ganassi Racing had announced it was suspending Larson without pay while it investigates the situation. NASCAR said it would look into the matter before it decides how to act.
On Thursday, NASCAR announced the planned debut of the next-generation stock car is being pushed back until 2022. The new breed was originally expected to take the field at next year’s Daytona 500, but the COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly made that impossible.
“Due to challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic, the debut of the Next Gen car will be delayed until 2022,” John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation, said in a statement. “The decision was made in collaboration with the OEMs and team owners. We will continue to develop the Next Gen car, and a revised testing timeline will be shared when more information is available.”
Corey LaJoie might not have the most impressive stock car record in motorsport, but he will have the most recognizable car at Daytona 500 later this month. Go Fas Racing, along with its sponsors, have decided that the best livery for the No. 32 Old Spice car is a giant stretched version of its driver’s head. The end result makes those reoccurring dreams about your teeth falling out seem positively tranquil by comparison.
The team documented the process of wrapping the Ford Mustang they’ll be running in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series over the last couple of days. LaJoie’s face resides on the hood and bumper, with the teeth cut out to make an opening for the grille.
While we can’t say whether the new visuals will provide much of an edge on the racetrack, it’s difficult to imagine something scarier coming up behind you in the rearview mirror. Still, we doubt intimidation was on anyone’s mind when they dreamed this monstrosity up.
When Chevrolet rolled into last month’s SEMA show with a vivid, one-off Camaro SS show car, our attention was drawn to its new “concept” face. It seemed like the bowtie brand had read Matthew Guy’s mind, swathing the grille’s horizontal crossbar in body color and moving the Chevy emblem to its rightful, slimming place between the headlamps. Before this change, the refreshed-for-2019 SS looked a little homely next to its Camaro 1LE and RS brethren.
Who knows, we thought, maybe it’s not too late to fix a mistake. Our hopes remained guarded, however. Then came Chevy’s eCOPO Camaro electric dragster concept, also premiering at SEMA, which appeared with the same facial quirk. Now, we have the brand’s new NASCAR offering and, lo and behold, the front end is, again, just as we’d like it.