Thursday, July 9, 2020

NASCAR vs Trump - Who Stands to Lose

NASCAR vs Trump - Who Stands to Lose

Below is an interesting article by Evan Henningsen - July 8, 2020

Is Trump at risk of losing a portion of his base or is NASCAR at risk of losing a portion of theirs? The recent BLM movement has breathed life once again into the Confederate flag controversy with both Trump and NASCAR taking a side.

In a sport so closely tied with political affiliation, there is potentially a lot to lose for either Trump, who is fighting for his political career in November, and NASCAR which has been sliding in popularity for years. Either way, there is a lot on the line.

This map depicts a seeming correlation between NASCAR popularity and political affiliation state by state across the US with supporters of right-wing politics making up the largest portion of the NASCAR fan base. Check out the history of NASCAR and Republican affiliation and what it has to do with the current controversies surrounding the sport.

Trump vs. NASCAR

A lot has been in the news lately concerning NASCAR’s stance with BLM and their seeming historical affiliation with right-leaning politics.
The issue has become even more inflamed with tweets from President Trump who has boldly taken a side in the discourse.

Timeline of Events:
  • June 1, NASCAR releases a statement seemingly in solidarity with the BLM movement.
  • June 10, Bubba Wallace races at Martinsville with a new paint scheme depicting both a black and white hand grasped in solidarity on the hood of his car.
  • June 10, NASCAR bans the Confederate battle flag at all races and events.
  • June 21, A noose was found in African American driver Bubba Wallace’s garage sparking outrage and solidarity from fellow drivers. It has since been determined that the noose was left there over a year earlier but the facts remain unclear.
  • June 21, An anonymous person or persons hired a small private plane to fly the Confederate flag in laps around the Talladega Superspeedway with the words “DEFUND NASCAR”.
  • July 6, President Trump tweeted at Bubba Wallace alleging that the noose incident was an intentional hoax on his part and called on him to apologize.

Trump had this to say to Bubba Wallace.

Mr. Wallace responded to Trump in his tweet advocating for solidarity and love.

NASCAR Bans the Confederate Flag

On June 10 NASCAR announced a new stance on the issue of the Confederate flag at their events:

“The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”

Republicans and NASCAR – a Tangled History

Republicans have long had a close affiliation with NASCAR, a marriage openly known as one of the closest relationships between a sporting league and a political party.

A demographics study of the fanbase of NASCAR revealed that NASCAR fans are generally older white males from Republican-leaning states with 40% of NASCAR fans being located in the South and only 20% of all fans belonging to minority groups, well below the national average.

The same study posits that almost 90% of political contributions from NASCAR affiliated groups have historically gone to the Republican Party.

July 4, 1984, Ronald Reagan became the first sitting president to attend a NASCAR race where he famously announced, “Gentleman, start your engines!”

In 2010, the Texas Governor Rick Perry sponsored NASCAR Champion Bobby Labonte’s car and was reportedly paid $255,000 to carry the Governor’s “” logo on his car with his paint scheme coinciding with the politician’s 2010 reelection campaign colors.
In 2008 Joe Gibbs, a NASCAR team owner, spoke at the Republican National Convention.

In 2012 Rick Santorum sponsored a car as well.

Republican politicians are not the only ones to have hitched their horse to the NASCAR wagon. In 1992 Bill Clinton made an appearance at the NASCAR Darlington Raceway while campaigning for president.

Keep up to date with the latest NASCAR event predictions, news, and odds on our NASCAR sports page!

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#48 Jimmie Johnson Cleared to Race

#48Jimmie Johnson Cleared to Race

Lucky or the Victim of a False Positive?

#48 Jimmie Johnson Cleared to Race (#NASCAR)

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has been cleared to return to competition. He will drive the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Hendrick Motorsports  in this weekend’s Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

After testing positive for COVID-19 Friday afternoon, Johnson did not compete at Indianapolis on Sunday, marking the first time he has missed a race in his Cup Series career. He tested negative twice this week – on Monday and Tuesday – and was cleared by his physician Tuesday evening in accordance with NASCAR guidelines. The driver never experienced symptoms.

This writer was confused at the rapidness of Jimmie’s on track return. However, after researching the CDC website it appears that NASCAR is following the new Covid19 protocol.

Individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue home isolation when at least seven days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had no subsequent illness.

The decision to discontinue home isolation should be made along these guidelines, while also considering the context of local circumstances.

Those employees who worked closely with the infected employee should self-monitor for symptoms and follow the CDC guidelines as necessary. source.

The Johnson Family took every precaution to avoid the coronavirus. They washed their hands frequently, diligently followed face-mask guidelines and even left their home in Charlotte, N.C., for less densely populated Aspen, Col.

Since Johnson experienced no Covid19 symptoms (asymptomatic) this writer wonders if the NASCAR star is just incredibly lucky or the victim of a false positive.

“I was warned by my physician then that although I did test positive for the antibodies, there’s a 20 percent chance that it’s incorrect,” Johnson said. “On top of the fact that they don’t know what the antibodies mean. Still today, I don’t know what they mean.

“Once I clear this and go back into life, I assume I still need to be very cautious and I could be re-infected once again. There are just so many questions regarding this virus and what means what. I still don’t have clarity. The longer I get into this and the more issues I deal with, the more questions I have.”

Following Johnson’s diagnosis, four Hendrick Motorsports crew members were tested for COVID-19 with all four receiving negative results. The No. 48 team will have its regular personnel roster for Sunday’s event at Kentucky (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

Johnson, 44, is currently 15th in the driver standings, 46 points above the cutoff for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

"My family is so grateful for the incredible love and support we’ve received over the last several days," Johnson said. "I especially want to thank Justin Allgaier for stepping in for me at Indy and being a true pro. I’m excited about getting back to business with my team this weekend."
Hendrick Motorsports has implemented detailed procedures to protect the health of its team members. (#NASCAR)

Hendrick Motorsports has implemented detailed procedures to protect the health of its team members. They include daily COVID-19 screenings at the team facilities; the separation of facility operations and traveling personnel; split work schedules; stringent face covering and social distancing requirements; and an increased level of disinfecting and sanitization of all work areas.

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  3. Jesse Love - Two Wins in Seven Days
  4. Johnson’s Last Chance to Tie Gordon in Wins at Indianapolis
  5. It’s Ty Gibbs’ Party at Pocono