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Politics and Racing

November 21, 2020

Is it right and proper for racing organizations to publicly endorse candidates for office? While we all see individual racers and teams who lean one direction or the other, it’s not often that we see a trade group visibly asking racers to favor one candidate over another.

This summer, NHRA was faced – during its return to racing after a near five-month hiatus as the novel coronavirus struck the country – with racers who placed large decals on their cars favoring one presidential candidate over another. 

Because of broadcast rules, NHRA could not show those race cars on national television and declared those involved in the sport of NHRA professional drag racing would be able to show their preferences – just not as large as they originally wanted to do.

Most of the racers understood the series’ dilemma in meeting its obligations to the broadcast partner with whom they’d just extended a contract. The decals became smaller and, in many cases, more were added to the cars in question in order to make the point heard. No further discussion was necessary and the season concluded the first of November in Las Vegas.

The United States’ national election was held a few days later and most results have been tabulated and accepted. In one case, elections for both senate seats was too tight to call and a runoff election has been set for early January. 

This week a racing trade organization got involved with that statewide election, asking its members in the state to favor certain candidates over the others because of the candidates’ affection for the sport and acceptance of racing in the state where the candidates are campaigning. 

While we all want our elected officials to enjoy the same love we have for the sport of racing, voting is a private decision and not one that should be influenced by a trade organization. That this particular group is set on influencing votes is very disturbing. A press release asked members of the organization and ancillary voters to cast their ballots strictly on support for motorsports, giving info that could lead to invalidate votes coming from out-of-state. 

We all want support for racing at the local, state and federal level, but it’s imperative that voters make their own educated choices without influence peddling of this type. And that’s exactly what Performance Racing Industry has asked its membership to do: support strictly on the basis of what they believe is best for racing.

Perhaps PRI has forgotten that, once ballots are cast and elections are won or lost, politicians tend to conduct their business by herd. If the balance of the party they’re affiliated with disagrees with the elected’s stances on racing, you can bet your last dollar the two candidates for senate in this particular state will turn away from the sport and advance the party’s stance. 

In this writer’s opinion, it’s not right for a trade organization to be this strident in support of certain candidates for office. No matter how much they profess to love our sport.

By Anne Proffit

From → Uncategorized

5 Comments
  1. Wonderful – HAZAH! – dRU

  2. Thanks for always reading…

    • AND I always enjoy. Happy T.Day is i imagine Wild Turkey night is cancelled. I could really use some non farmed Turkey (read wild) right now. xxx ooo

  3. I’ll be having some smoked salmon, likely in a sandwich, for thanksgiving and Deedee will join me… not a problem – might clean the house and watch football that day… the Turkey Night GP was called off months ago – I miss when it was at Ascot, an easy hit, and even Irwindale… we’d take two cars, stay out there afterwards, and I’d get up on Black Friday and go shopping!

    • Were are going to get a pumpkin pie (each) but split the bottle of whipped cream. Then we’ll grill sweet potatoes over the weekend and sit and watch Xmas movies all day. Yup we’re a lot of fun us kittzies and catz. dRU

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