Sports

NASCAR Dads Seem To Be Really Sensitive About Politics…

|

…or maybe it's just the owners of NASCAR. From Politics:

Voters should not expect to see either John McCain or Barack Obama making appearances at NASCAR events in Daytona Beach Florida, or a dozen other speedways across the country before Election Day. According to officials from the International Speedway Corporation (ISC), which owns the Daytona International Speedway, as well as major facilities in both candidates' home states of Arizona and Illinois, the company is implementing a firm policy that prohibits political candidates from campaigning in any capacity at their racing events.

Politics was informed of the policy after a credentialing request had been denied to cover an unofficial appearance in Daytona by Libertarian Party presidential nominee, Bob Barr. ISC officials explained that credentialing a political reporter would, in their view, constitute the facilitation of a campaign event, in sharp violation of their policy.

The officials declined to provide details of the policy, and offered only a vague explanation of when the policy had gone into effect. But they expressed a belief that fans attending events at their speedways are sensitive to what might be construed as intrusive political activity.

Needless to say, that policy wasn't in place earlier this year when motoring enthusiast Rudy Giuliani campaigned at the Daytona Speedway. More here.

So fans attending events might not want to be burdened by politicians showing up (and who can blame them?), but it's worth remembering that NASCAR and racetrack owners (and others involved in stadiums, arenas, and what-have-you) are never shy about getting public subsidies for their venues. Even when the venue is a NASCAR museum.

NEXT: Another Isolated Incident

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. If they really did genuflect for Lord Giuliani, then they should thank Barr for sparing them the embarrassment of inventing this policy in response to an Obama campaign request.

  2. I have to believe that the forums that would benefit most from a rule like this are the democratic and republican conventions.

  3. Well, this certainly spares both candidates the need to go ass-kissing amongst people they generally despise. I’m sure they’re both breathing a sigh of relief.

  4. Not really seeing the ‘problem’ issue here.

    First, NASCAR is just a big expensive club, like IRL, NFL, NBA or a quite loose comparison to MLB can be made.

    Something pretty basic is that these clubs should be free to make whatever policies and rules they like and they don’t have to be fair. Want fair? Get your own club. Perhaps Fair Play for Politicians or something.

    The vehicle racing sports are pretty far down the list on organizations that get special rules from government. They are also pretty good at self-policing and keeping government out of their internals. You don’t see any anti-trust protections for NASCAR like you do for MLB.

    Side note: NASCAR is the only sporting organization that I know of that keeps its rule book secret. Only the officials and the participating teams get the rule book. Perhaps others are like that too, but this is the only one I know of at this time.

    Second, when cities are bidding to dump money in your lap are the recipients really to blame for taking it? I blame government for offering it. It is not like NASCAR has police power over the government, it is the other way around.

    From the museum link:

    *In 2005 the multibillionaire France family, which owns NASCAR, decided its sport needed a hall of fame museum. So it went through the motions of pitting Atlanta against Charlotte for the privilege of hosting the attraction. NASCAR probably had already decided on Charlotte; the city lives and breathes stock car racing, and most of the drivers are based in North Carolina. But the bidding war drove up the public subsidies. Atlanta offered about $102 million; Charlotte anted up $123 million.
    The museum will provide only about 100 jobs, most of them low paying. Business development officials in both cities claimed that the prestige of gaining the NASCAR museum, plus the promise of expanded tourism, were worth forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

    Sounds like out-of-control government check writing to me. How about jumping on the government instead?

  5. … but it’s worth remembering that NASCAR and racetrack owners (and others involved in stadiums, arenas, and what-have-you) are never shy about getting public subsidies for their venues. Even when the venue is a NASCAR museum.

    Hell, if we taxpayers can finance a teapot museum, we can finance a museum for everybody.

    I would like federal financing for my lifelong dream of being the curator of the Strumpet Hall of Fame.

  6. Second, when cities are bidding to dump money in your lap are the recipients really to blame for taking it? I blame government for offering it.

    Guy Montag would never denigrate a welfare recipient for nursing at the public teat because “are the recipients really to blame for taking it?”

    Right?

  7. JsD,

    Id that a snotty tone in your pointedly incorrect comment?

    I blame the government in that instance too.

  8. Clearly if JsD’s implication is correct, ther should be plenty of evidence on this board to support him.

  9. So, Guy, you think in your heart of hearts that welfare recipients are just doing what’s best for them and theirs, and are worthy of equal respect to working people? After all, it is hard work to get people to give you money.

    Somehow from your other comments I have a different vision of you and your beliefs. Please, prove me wrong and extol the virtues of the hard-working welfare recipient.

    J sub D called you on your crass use of a rhetorical device to attract sympathy to your view in light of your likely audience. Get over it.

  10. Somehow from your other comments I have a different vision of you and your beliefs.

    Link to one. A serious one, of course.

  11. I suspect this is nothing more than prudence on the part of NASCAR.

    Allowing campaigning at their events is nothing but trouble for them, with no conceivable upside. Why on earth would they not ban it?

    And as for the public subsidy issue – I wasn’t aware that, when the taxpayers were funding something, they were doing so as a favor to political candidates who might want to glom a free ride.

  12. RCD,

    I have yet to see a racing track owner complain about not getting enough government money.

    Baseball club owners do it all of the time, and certainly deserve criticism for whining that the handout, that should have never been offered, is not big enough. Have not seen that with the racing folks.

    So do ungreatful welfare recipients. Don’t blame them for taking what is offered, but when they bitch about the cola being the wrong brand, or the check not being the right size then they really need a lesson in appreciating gifts.

  13. Guy doesn’t like his redneck NASCAR dudes being described as the the welfare queens that they are.

    You’re not alone Guy. Most golfers justify taxpayer support for their hobby as well. As do opera fans, art museums visitors, et al.

  14. J sub D and Elemenope, this nonsense is exactly why neither of you are worth bothering with.

    Just because you imagine policy positions of people does not make them true.

    Well, there is the entertainment factor of you guys arguing with the points that you made up, but you should really assign them to yourselves rather than others.

  15. Guy Montag —

    You’re a curmudgeony onofabitch. See: ALL your comments. That you’re purported respect for welfare recipients seems out of character from the rest of your stated beliefs seems to be not an extraordinary claim. You may cry that it is unfair to have beliefs imputed to you that you did not utter, but when you present such an ideologically consistent portrait you must forgive that people will fill in the minor pieces all on their own.

    But like I said, if you wish to here and now write a paean to all those welfare moms, I’m sure you’d have a rapt audience. Then no one could ever again accuse you rightfully of being a curmudgeony sonofabitch in this limited area.

  16. Guy,

    As far as “leagues” (since when is NASCAR a league?) keeping secrets, Major League Soccer is pretty good at making their rules and regulations so impenetrable that they are effectively secrets.

    I don’t know if that’s the same thing, though…

    (Commence with the soccer-hating…NOW)

  17. Timon19,

    I did not call NASCAR a league, I called them and the other clubs. League could be used in the sense that they have teams/clubs in membership under them.

    Did not know that about MLS, so will add them to my list, now consisting of two.

  18. J sub –
    I have a friend who is uber-liberal and staunchly against government subsidies to private industry… oh, except chip fabs, and “only because they cost so much to build.”

    He’s an engineer.

  19. Well, idunno, if MLS publishes their rule book for all to see, like MLB does, then it may not count even if it reads like the US tax code.

  20. Major League Soccer is pretty good at making their rules and regulations so impenetrable that they are effectively secrets

    How do the MLS rules differ from the extremely simple rules of regular soccer?

    I would have thought (American) football would take the prize for most impenetrable rules.

  21. Timon19,

    Commence with the soccer-hating…NOW

    Nah, Im cool with soccer. If you start calling it football however….

  22. That nonsense the euros used to pull in their matches made soccer such a chore to watch back in the 1980s that I really lost interest in pro soccer.

    Are they still predending to be on death’s doorstep after another player runs by?

  23. How do the MLS rules differ from the extremely simple rules of regular soccer?

    Good question. Soccer has a pretty limited rule set. Baseball makes soccer look like Go Fish. Just try explaining even the most basic baseball rules to a foreigner (that isn’t Latin American or Japanese).

  24. Episiarch,

    Yea, pretty much the only difficult thing to explain in regular soccer is offsides.

  25. Well, idunno, if MLS publishes their rule book for all to see, like MLB does, then it may not count even if it reads like the US tax code.

    I don’t know that they do publish it, outside of the Laws of the Game (which are universal and must be accepted to be accredited by FIFA, which is hugely important in soccer).

    How do the MLS rules differ from the extremely simple rules of regular soccer?

    The Laws of the Game are the same. It’s all the transfer and player allocation and compensation and roster rules business that would make a tax lawyer blow his own brains out. It’s maddening. And half the time they appear to make it up as they go anyway. It’s getting better, though.

    I would have thought (American) football would take the prize for most impenetrable rules.

    Most impenetrable, most exceptions…yep. Even to people who grew up with football, it can be baffling, if you stop and think about it.

    Nah, Im cool with soccer. If you start calling it football however….

    That’s audience-dependent.

  26. Good question. Soccer has a pretty limited rule set. Baseball makes soccer look like Go Fish. Just try explaining even the most basic baseball rules to a foreigner (that isn’t Latin American or Japanese).

    Hell, most American baseball fans couldn’t explain a what costitutes a balk or the infield fly rule.

  27. Are they still predending to be on death’s doorstep after another player runs by?

    Far too frequently, yes. Nearly every fan in the world and every organization in the world seems to agree that something must be done. But like a calcified old man, they are slow to change their ways to effect a remedy.

    —-

    In soccer, there are only 17 laws. They’re all pretty simple.

    And offside is really not that hard of a concept to get. People routinely make assumptions and botch it, however. The problem with it is that the recommended interpretations keep changing. That and it’s nearly impossible to get 100% right all the time.

  28. It’s all the transfer and player allocation and compensation and roster rules business that would make a tax lawyer blow his own brains out.

    Well, that is a whole different deal than what I was talking about, but it does go back to the business of it being their club/league and their rules.

    NASCAR contracts and compensation can get pretty complicated, I have heard, but it is one sport where the contract details are held very tight, as a norm.

  29. Far too frequently, yes. Nearly every fan in the world and every organization in the world seems to agree that something must be done. But like a calcified old man, they are slow to change their ways to effect a remedy.

    Then I shall continue to avoid it.

  30. Guy,

    Euro 2008 was absolutely terrific, with very little of the crap that everyone agrees is a blight on the game. That’s probably because the Italian Diving and Gesticulating Team went out earlier than expected, and C. Ronaldo’s Portugal were dumped as well.

    Even so, there is enough mockery of the practice that several leagues are quite worth watching – the EPL, for example. Hell, MLS is a regular thug-fest, though there are learned practitioners of the dive populating the league as well. It’s the large preponderance of American players that make it lower on the dive scale, I think.

  31. I’d imagine that NASCAR wouldn’t want to be seen as partisan. All the better to get public subsidies.

  32. That’s probably because the Italian Diving and Gesticulating Team went out earlier than expected

    Not only did Spain winning make my girlfriend happy, but they also knocked the premier “injury” queens out of the game.

    As an incredibly dirty soccer player myself, I am consistently amazed at what the Italians will try and draw a foul for.

  33. The night before the last presidential election, I got a recorded phone message from Dale Earnhardt Jr., at my home in NC:

    “Save NASCAR! Vote for George W. Bush.”

    I’ve no doubt that many NASCAR fans who hadn’t planned on voting, rushed out to the polls to save NASCAR from the dirty liberals.

  34. the Italian Diving and Gesticulating Team went out earlier than expected

    Oh god, I remember how awful they were at the last world cup.

    Slightly related… I didn’t know the New York team is now called “Red Bull”. How appropriate that a team that plays in Jersey is branded after the drink most favored by Jersey douchebags.

  35. Yeah, having Italian ancestry makes me really, really want to like Italy, but every time they play, they totally squash that.

    As for the Red Bulls, I think it’s a better name than the Metrostars that they played as for the first decade of the league. Then again, Red Bulls doesn’t produce a wonderfully appropriate anagram like “Rotmasters”.

    Anyway, the Red Bulls are obviously now owned by the same dude who owns the drink company. He also owns his “local” team FC Salzburg and named them the Red Bulls as well. Huge amount of cash for the league over the old Metromedia and successors ownership. Not only that, they actually FINALLY got a stadium deal done, something the old ownership simply couldn’t do. Now they can get out of that fetid swamp and play on real grass. At a place where there is actual public transit access, to boot!

  36. Slightly related… I didn’t know the New York team is now called “Red Bull”.

    I heard some of my favorite words ever when a fellow tried to order Red Bull and somethingorother in the Pentagon Row Champps last night: “We no longer carry that.”

    I asked the bartender to congratulate the management, but he was not happy. Seems that bartender served a lot of that stuff, so I had to reverse my position on principal.

  37. I think it’s a better name than the Metrostars that they played as for the first decade

    Meh. I guess shitty guido drink branding is better than, say, shitty pizza branding, when the shitty guido drink name kinda sorta sounds like an actual team name.

  38. At least Pizza Hut is a local Metroplex-based company. And they splashed out quite a tidy sum on the whole thing.

    That and Dallas is not known as the Pizzas or the Huts or some such. The name has been genericized so that something more organic may come of it (that’s the hope anyway). The fans are pretty set on Hoops, after the style of jersey, similar to Celtic FC.

    Amusingly, Colorado’s new stadium is called Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, pretty much universally nicknamed The Dick.

  39. That and Dallas is not known as the Pizzas or the Huts or some such.

    The Hutts would be a bad-ass team name. Who doesn’t want to be named after a ruthless interplanetary crime syndicate?

  40. Hmmm…if Leia in golden bikini were to accompany a fat, evil worm as the mascot, you might be on to something.

  41. NASCAR keeps its rules “secret” so they can bend them to favor certain drivers.

    It’s barely above professional wrestling as a legitimate sport.

  42. The fans are pretty set on Hoops

    I guess that will do until Frito-Lay swoops in and renames them the Cheetos.

  43. I would have thought (American) football would take the prize for most impenetrable rules.

    It’s certainly in the running, and not only because the game itself, i.e. the substance of the rules, is complicated. It’s also because some of the governing bodies of the game, especially the NFL, have at times used especially impenetrable ways to express the rules. 30 years ago the National Federation of State High School Associations used to be the model of clarity when it came to football rules — a result of a long and careful process of editing and maintenance for clear content with years of changes — but they got away from that, unfortunately. Canadian Football, especially the CFL, had among other things the problem of vagueness and lack of specs (albeit with some redundancy), while the NFL managed to be overly wordy and yet unclear and sometimes contradictory.

    However, the absolute worst by far I’d ever seen was a few years ago when the Independent Women’s Football League first came out with their own rule book. It was unusable.

    Part of the complication is that there are so many different governing bodies with their own versions of the game — tackle, touch, 11 a side, 12 a side, 6 a side, 8 a side, even 9s, indoors, various levels of play, etc. And the game is complicated enough that changes in the rules are frequent, and sometimes contradictions creep in as conforming changes fail to be made elsewhere in the rules.

    By contrast, Rugby Union and Rugby League have managed to keep the rules fairly consistent and relatively clear. Sometimes they’ve left a lot to be inferred, but it could usually be inferred unambiguously. They still have plenty of faults, of course.

    It’s hard to write rules for a complicated game played by humans (rather than computer characters) under open conditions (rather than on a game board or with cards or other equipment that can assume only a limited number of states) that have the effect you intend and are unambiguous. Even harder to make its provisions easy to look up in various situations. For violations of the rules, it’s also hard to come up with remedies that don’t distort the game too badly. Baseball’s fairly simple until you get into appeal plays.

  44. NASCAR keeps its rules “secret” so they can bend them to favor certain drivers.

    Now that is just silly, but something expressed by many NASCAR fans.

    All of the teams have the rule book, as do team members, etc.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.