Monday, October 09, 2017

COMMENTARY: By Any Means Necessary

Sports Business Journal reported last week that NASCAR is attempting to secure sponsorship for free-agent drivers Bubba Wallace and Danica Patrick, an effort that includes “trying to entice its own sponsors to extend relationships with the drivers.”

NASCAR has traditionally assisted teams in sponsor procurement. In the early days of the sport, founder Bill France, Sr. would often line up local sponsors and “travel money” to assist drivers down the road to the next race. He also vouched for competitors when they approached local banks for loans to finance their racing operations.

Procuring multi-million dollar sponsorships directly, however, is something entirely new, and last week’s report prompted cries of favoritism from some corners of the sport.

NASCAR’s efforts on behalf of Patrick and Wallace (an African-American graduate of the sport’s Drive for Diversity program) are probably unfair, since other drivers do not receive the same level of assistance. But in the 60-odd year history of NASCAR, “fair” has not gotten the job done.

It’s time to do more.

In the year 2017, it is unconscionable that the headline Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has just one woman and no persons of color in the starting lineup.

The Drive 4 Diversity has begun to show signs of life, with Kyle Larson and Daniel Suarez now full-time competitors in the MENCS ranks. It has been more successful in producing minority crewmembers, but it has not done nearly enough, fast enough.

The Force sisters are major stars.
Virtually every other major form of motorsport boasts women and minorities in their starting fields on a weekly basis.  Willy T. Ribbs (Sports Cars) Lewis Hamilton (Formula One) and Antron Brown (NHRA) have all won national and/or world championships. Shirley Muldowney, Angelle Sampey and Erica Enders-Stevens are former NHRA World Champions, while Shelly Anderson, Melanie Troxell, Leah Pritchett, Alexis Dejoria and the Force sisters – Ashley, Courtney and Brittany – are all winners in NHRA National event competition. Lyn St. James won twice at the 24 Hours of Daytona and again at the 12 Hours of Sebring, while Jutta Kleinschmidt won the grueling Dakar Rally in 2001.

In marked contrast, prior to Wallace’s four “fill-in” races with Richard Petty Motorsports earlier this season, NASCAR had not had a black face in the starting field since Bill Lester made two fleeting starts for Bill Davis Racing in 2006.

At a time when women and minorities play major, winning roles in virtually every other branch of motorsports, NASCAR’s optics are beyond abhorrent. Is it any wonder that outsiders view stock car racing as an exclusively white-male sport?

We can do better, and we must.

Wallace delivered for RPM
Bubba Wallace deserves a shot at the brass ring. In four 2017 starts at RPM in place of the injured Aric Almirola, the Mobile, Alabama native finished 26th at Pocono Raceway, 19th at Michigan, 15th at Daytona and 11th at Kentucky. He improved in every start, despite racing with a crew and crew chief that he had never met before. His average finish for those four races was 17.8; nearly three spots better than Almirola’s season average of 20.5.

Almirola is expected to move to the elite Stewart-Haas Racing organization next season, with full-season sponsorship from Smithfield Foods. Wallace, meanwhile, saw his Roush Fenway Racing NXS team shut down after just 12 races this season due to lack of sponsorship.

He was fourth in the championship standings at the time.

Patrick has admittedly not been as successful as most observers -- and even Danica herself -- would have liked. But over the last six decades, thousands of white male drivers have been given the opportunity to fail at the highest level of our sport. That opportunity has been extended to less than a half-dozen women.

Did Johanna Long get a fair shot?
When Erik Jones won the 2012 Snowball Derby, that win led directly to a handful of ARCA starts and a seat with Kyle Busch’s potent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. When Johanna Long won the same race in 2010, it earned her two part-time seasons with the chronically underfunded ML Motorsports Xfinity Series team and an unheralded exit from the sport.

If that doesn’t bother you, it should. Something, my friends, is not adding up.

Critics say it is not NASCAR’s job to help some drivers, but not others.

“Just wait,” they say. “Give it some time. The sport will integrate itself, eventually.”

Well, we’ve been waiting since 1948. The strategy of patience has failed, and it’s time to take action.

Other teams may react badly to NASCAR’s new, hands-on policy of selective sponsorship assistance, wondering why the sanctioning body never helped them the way they are reportedly helping Wallace and Patrick.

That reaction, while perhaps justified, is flawed. What team owners should be thinking is, “Maybe we should find a Danica or a Bubba of our own.”

After 68 years of exclusion, it’s time for NASCAR to tilt the scales unfairly in the other direction for a while, by any means necessary.



48 comments:

  1. I’m on page with you on the diversity points. Diversity aside, I really don’t have an issue with NASCAR encouraging potential sponsors to consider NASCAR, or its affiliated teams, as opertunities for them to promote there products and services. If if helps fill a 40 car field and puts butts in seats, especially new butts that wouldn’t be there otherwise, I’m for it! What promoter wouldn’t do it to help the bottom line. These two drivers are certainly in unrepresentative demographics. It is however a slippery slope, where there is potential for the sanctioning body to get into a habit of picking winners and losers, and we need to remain viligent in ensuring that doesn’t happen in appearance or reality. Thanks.

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  2. You really lost me at the end. Are you saying Daniker and Bubba should be allowed special treatment or are you saying that other teams should be looking to hire other minority and female drivers?

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    1. Both. All of the above. By any means necessary.

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  3. Bill B10:24 AM

    I always come back to the same thoughts on this. Now more than ever a sponsor can dictate the driver despite ability or talent (to some degree). With that in mind why aren't minority business owners stepping up to sponsor a car and push their own agenda forward? Why must they force an existing sponsor to embrace their agenda for them? You want change, here is your chance. Sponsor a car and put a minority driver behind the wheel. All it takes is money. You can't buy your way into any other sport, but NASCAR makes it easy.

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    1. If my company marketed primarily to the minority community, why would I spend advertising dollars in the whitest sport around? That would be bad business.

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    2. Bill B11:13 AM

      Because I want to do whatever I possibly can to promote change and diversity and I want to put my money where my mouth is and not wait for someone else to do it for me.

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    3. He didn't say a company that marketed to minorities, he said a company that was minority owned. I will tell you the reason, just as many people from minorities when questioned have answered. They aren't really interested in this sport, and if they were, they said nothing is stopping them from being involved. Using your logic, Dave, why should NASCAR chase a group the has shown little interest in it's product? If we put a couple of black faces and females in seats, is that going to automatically make them love the sport? The NFL and NBA are composed of mostly black players, and I see thousands of white fans in attendance. Maybe we white guys aren't as bad as we are being told....

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    4. If you were a person of color and looked at this sport and saw virtually nobody that looked like you, under a banner of Confederate flags, would you feel even remotely welcome? And if you say "yes," you're kidding yourself. No, adding one black or female face will not automatically make "them" love the sport. But it's one hell of a step better than what we have now.

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    5. Bill B12:34 PM

      I have heard that Arris is a Mexican owned company. Now there is a Mexican driver in the 19 Arris car that is competing pretty well. Seems like a good model to diversify the sport to me. Who is next in line? This sport could be diversified in 5 years... just write a check.

      Too bad Go Daddy wasn't in the game to advance women in the sport but instead to exploit women's sexuality to sell more domain names.

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    6. I totally agree with you Bill B. I have a feeling Go Daddy actually hurt more females entering the sport than it helped. Of course, females need to have mega talent (think Adele) if they aren't drop dead gorgeous in many industries. Face it, do we honestly think the Force girls would have made it if they weren't really nice on the eyes?

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  4. Dave, you can't be taken seriously. You work for MRN "The voice of NASCAR" and not one African American voice can be heard on your network calling a race...yet you fail to mention it. You also work for SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, again not one African American host that I know of and yet you're silent about that too. So, before you go bashing NASCAR, corporate America and/or team owners, work on fixing the lack of diversity in your own places of employment (By Any Means Necessary) and then maybe you'll have the moral authority to speak out about NASCAR...maybe you'll be taken seriously then.

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    1. Lots of folks here seem to be taking me seriously, Mona.

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  5. I feel they both deserve the chance. Not because they’re considered minority’s, but because they both have talent enough to be there. Just not sure how you go about telling sponsors that they need to fund their race teams...

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  6. So it's an "affirmative action" program for NASCAR? One used to have to earn a seat.....

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    1. Bubba has earned a seat, as you would have known if you had read the article.

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    2. Anonymous1:36 PM

      People haven't EARNED a seat in this sport in a LONG time!! You're kidding yourself if you still believe that talent and success bring sponsors to table.

      An owner won't answer the phone for a driver if said driver doesn't have a sponsor in his pocket already.

      I've said for a long time that NASCAR has been gobbling up "Official ___ of NASCAR" sponsors for a long time. Coors Light, Exide batteries come to mind as "Official ___ of NASCAR" that put their money on the hood of a car.

      Instead of poaching money from the teams, they need to be giving some of it back.

      I'm not necessarily for giving sponsorships out based solely on race or gender. But then again, let's not pretend that NASCAR driver seats have been "fairly" earned in the past 10-15 years.

      Maybe if NASCAR can prime the pump, so to speak, then other companies can see some reason to invest their own money in a team. Maybe a minority owner sees that it's working out, and steps up and offers to sponsor their own driver.

      But again, NASCAR has pulling sponsorship money from teams for a long time. It's time they realized the need to give some of it back.

      For that matter, why not use THEIR money to back a team? "Aspen Dental, the official dentist of NASCAR" backs Darrell Wallace, Jr. for a few races...at NASCAR's cost. THEY foot the bill and put Aspen Dental on the hood?

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    3. Interesting comments.

      Your "people haven't EARNED a seat in this sport for the LONG time" claim would be almost impossible to refute, if it weren't for Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse, Trevor Bayne, Erik Jones and Chris Buescher (to name just a few), all of whom made it to Cup without bringing a dime of sponsorship to the dance. And don't look at the NXS, because there are plenty more there.

      Your thoughts?

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    4. Anonymous4:39 PM

      Paul Menard and Menard's, the afore-mentioned Danica Patrick with go daddy, your-mentioned Clint Bowyer with 5-hour energy all got rides with top to mid-tier teams or had rides reserved for them because of sponsorships they brought to the table. Austin and Tye Dillon driving around in grandpa's cars, while many argue that Dale Jr. was in Cup for the same reason. Elliott Sadler jumping manufacturers and teams with One Main in his hip pocket a couple of years back. While Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch currently have no sponsors OR rides at the end of the year.

      Yes, there are many teams that have sponsors and find drivers to drive those sponsored cars. There are also plenty of drivers in this sport because they have a sponsor with them. I'm not sure why you're acting like this is new information.

      But hey, your blog, your radio show, so we'll say you're right (just for argument's sake), so I'll retract everything that I said. And now we'll just sit back and wait for the well-funded sponsors to come rolling in and sponsor all of talents our there. Since there's plenty of money, and it's solely based on talent to get into Cup there shouldn't be any trouble finding any of these guys/girls rides in the Cup series.

      All of this, of course, assuming we can ignore the fact that Danica Patrick had 7 top 10s and zero top 5s from 2012 to 2017 with an organization that won championships in 2011 and 2017...during which the rest of the team won more than 30 races.

      Yup, sounds like it's solely based on talent. No sponsorship impact on it at all.

      So don't worry. Folks will earn those sponsorships. You just sit back and wait.

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    5. Bubba has more than earned his 2018 seat on performance and performance alone! Has absolutely nothing to do with any affirmative action plan what-so-ever!

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    6. Really? "Bubba has earned a seat". I'll play your little game. Who's seat? Say you owned every team and every driver worked for you, what driver do you fire so you can give Bubba a seat? Wallace have never won a championship at any NASCAR level ,and not even an Xfinity race in 85 tries. He has only 6 top 5s driving in the best cars at the Xfinity level. Is Wallace more deserving than Reddick, Custer or Tifft who are all young and better? Teams don't seem to think so or Bubba would of had a ride. At a time when proven Champions at the highest level are search for seats, you seem to have hitched your horse to the wrong cart. You sir are playing the race card and by the comments I've read and calls I've heard, people think you are wrong. I'll be waiting to see if you respond. Just let me know what seat you would hitch Bubba to.

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  7. Agreed. Way past time. Most important, the demograpghics....We need butts in the seats. What really bothers me though is that female and minority owned companies aren't stepping up to the plate with sponsorship dollars. I'm a huge Wallace fan and he deserves his shot even if Smithfield can't find it's own a$$ in an outhouse. I'm sure hoping Dominoes does the right thing and Petty is demonstrating he is. If the greatest living icon in NASCAR can't find sponsorship dollars to field a car and driver of his choice maybe the sport is in more trouble than I thought...Keep hitting them out of the park Moody...

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  8. You take the names away and just match up the resumes of up and coming drivers that are available for Xfinity or Cup series. I will guarantee you pick Bubba 10/10 times. At this point I’d like to see NASCAR work a deal to have Moster sponsor the car. Yes it would be away from the norm, but it would be ground breaking as a part of the drive for diversity program. An ultimate we groomed you up and we have a place for you. I’d love to see this be a collaboration with RPM. What a message from our sport. The King is lightning rod to diversify our sport.

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  9. Can you tell me if there was a SIGNIFICANT increase of African American's attending the Xfinity races during Bubb's 85 races (run over 5 years) in the series? I didn't see it but I'm not at the track every weekend like you are.

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    1. If there was an INSIGNIFICANT increase, it's good enough for me. We have to start somewhere.

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  10. mrclause1:03 PM

    Look NACAR diversity is a farce. Danica was made a big splash for one reason, she was a cash cow. She brought millions into the pockets of her owners and BOZO. Sadly she didn't bring results, now having no performance to speak of no one is reaching into their budget to keep her on the track. She was made PR gold but achieved little but people prospered and after all that's the end game in NASCAR. Bubba on the other hand has become a proven commodity, he's a proven winner yet he doesn't have a ride. BUT, he will be used as was Danica as a PR tool for NASCAR and it's diversity farce. He shouldn't need NASCAR to assist in finding him a decent ride, he's earned one.Does anyone not think that his race has anything to do with him not being snapped up as others have recently been? Does corporate America not have a diversity program? Has NASCAR really moved past the Wendell Scott era? If NASCAR really and truly stood behind their self proclaimed diversity program they wouldn't be talking they act. How easy would it be for NASCAR to write a check from one of their many entities and put Bubba in a decent ride, put him in a SHR car for a season, one is available, or put him in the Petty ride, eliminate the smoke screen. See it always comes down to this; money talks bullshit walks.

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  11. Mr Moody. I want to thank you for taking this position. It is a brave stance you have. And you couldn't be more CORRECT. In fact, I don't think you are going far enough. I not only think NASCAR needs to help them find a sponsor I think NASCAR SHOULD BE THE SPONSOR. The Drive for Diversity should be on the hood of Bubba's car. All fines throughout the season should go into this fund (with no disrespect to the Betty Jane France Foundation). If that is not possible, they should help with a subsidy to attract a sponsor. It does not have to be permanent, but I think if a subsidy were in place for a period of time, like 3 years. The Driver and the team should have 3 years to land their own full sponsorship. I think you could even put some minimum performance standards to insure they are not taking the money and wasting it. I was trying to call your show all week and couldn't get through.

    I am a white middle class male from Colorado. My WHITE friends won't even go to the races with me because they believe there are nothing but "racist rednecks". I am not saying this is true, but the optics are not very kumbaya. People say it is unfair and we should give jobs to people based on race. This is not about giving someone a job, this is about "giving them an interview" I am all for it. It is desperately needed in our sport. I am behind you 100% and applaud you sir

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  12. Anonymous2:56 PM

    Seems to be the usual case of too little too late for NASCAR. FIVE years ago if they were more concerned with diversity and increased participation instead of pack racing we wouldn't have this problem now. Nor would we have dwindling attendance. Those of us who were fans in the 60's & 70's are getting fewer every day. Yet NASCAR and Brian France turn a blind eye to the problem hoping VHT will cure the on-track ills.

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    1. Anonymous10:26 PM

      NASCAR has become all about the dollar with no sense. The driver should go back to racing to pay their bills. I'm not a Matt Kenseth fan but he could out drive both of them, if he can't land a ride why other than the money would a team give a less talented drive a change?

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  13. Dave I agree with you. More with Bubba than Danica because she has had her chance. I think Richard Petty's flag statement, as much as many would agree with it, hurt the chance of landing dominos. Frankly, IMHO, Bubba takes the 41 ride with Domino's would be perfect, no offense to Kurt, but obviously the sun has setting. Geeze Matt Kensenth can't get a ride which is crazy. Both former champions, but youth (and salaries) are the shifting landscape. Bubba is a great driver and personality. There is no reason for him to be sitting.

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  14. As usual you raise good points Dave, nascars image as a redneck sport is proving hard to overcome, it is my feeling that that idea alone has kept people of color from persuing that as a career, the same applies to women. If the sport is truly serious about bringing itself into today’s notion of diversity, they must start at the local level, not wait for a blip on the radar before acting. There is talent out there if they want to dig deeper.

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  15. The problem remains “diversity” has never been relevant to substance. Bubba Wallace proved he can race, so he can advance on genuine merit and it is obvious with Richard Petty’s team he can go places. Danica Patrick has done nothing with quality race cars from her 2005 Indycar debut onward so trying to salvage a career that was shoved down everyone’s throat makes no sense; in terms of substance Ryan Preece should be advancing as should the likes of Doug Coby and Woody Pitkat INSTEAD of Danica Patrick. That Kyle Larson has advanced is due to substance, not “diversity.”

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    1. Advancing on genuine merit hasn't worked very well for minorities and women over the years, has it Monkees? How many more decades should we wait for that to happen?

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    2. It hasn't worked well? Because of bean-counting standards? Societally advancing on merit has indeed worked well - and historically Diversity doesn't work. By leaving things alone the sport - and society in general - find actual result; it never happens by being forced.

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    3. It hasn't worked well, based on the fact that there are NO people of color and just ONE woman in the starting field. I'm surprised I had to explain that to you, honestly.

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    4. Anonymous8:33 AM

      Combined with the fact that the ONE woman in the field was ONLY in the field because of the godaddy sponsorship, further proves your point, Moody. (although she did earn that sponsorship in IndyCar)

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  16. doasIsaynotasIdo5:01 PM

    I don't think there are enough minority broadcasters, writers, pundits and radio personalities covering NASCAR. Maybe you should vacate your position Dave and open it up for a minority if you feel that strongly about it. What do you say?

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    1. You brought up a very good point. If he can talk the talk, maybe he is willing to walk the walk. We all know better.

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  17. As another native Vermonter I want to commend you for the position you are taking on this topic. As the daughter of a racer in the first ever race at Barre Vermont's Thunder Road and a mother that raced the only way she could at the time in the "Powder puff derby's (gag) I couldn't agree with you more!

    It is so upsetting to me that NASCAR IS STILL SO FAR BEHIND, when it comes to diversity. When I first heard you speaking on this topic last week on SPEEDWAY, I literally was cheering you on as I drove!

    I have seen more people of color represented in the stands and that is great. We have a long way to go though...
    Keep up the very good work Moody!

    Cindy Wells

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    1. Cindy:
      I too have been pleasantly surprised with the new mix of races in the seats at tracks this year and really hope it all continues in spite of everything bad that BF is doing to the sport!

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  18. Anonymous11:49 PM

    Just gotta throw my two or three cents worth in here...

    I think I am an average race fan. I watch all sorts of racing, and I care about good, competitive racers. I could care less if they are black, white or purple, and if they are male, female, or any of the newly invented genders. And I seriously doubt if any F1 fan out there looks at Louis Hamilton and sees a really good black race car driver. We only see a world champion. Same goes for Courtney Force or Sarah Fisher. Great drivers (and now owner in Sarah's case) and competitors period. Not pigeon holed into great FEMALE drivers by the likes of the writer. I'll take exception to Danica though, she was never a good racer, just a pretty face with a deep pocket sponsor. She does NOT need to be the face of Na$car or any other series.

    Would it be nice to have a few different faces in Na$car? Sure. As long as those different faces belong to the elite group of 43 (oops! 40) best drivers that the team owners can find to bring to the track and drive their cars. Because we just want to see the best racers, period. We can't have different faces just for the optics. The optics to me are I want to watch good racing. Everybody looks the same in a helmet and a fire suit and you stuff them in a race car.


    Na$car Drive for Diversity. What a joke. They talk about Kyle Larson as the shining graduate of the program. Kyle is a great racer, perhaps the best of his generation. But he did not get that from DFD. He got if from driving every dirt car he could get behind the wheel of, practically from the time he could walk. Tony Stewart did not notice him at the DFD combine, he noticed him winning 3 nights in a row, in 3 different USAC classes, at Eldora one weekend. And please, keeping in mind that I love Kyle as a fantastic grass roots racer, diversity program? Half japanese with no minority looks or name? He looks and sounds as white as I do, but Na$car counts him as a minority for the "optics". And yes, Bubba needs a ride, not because he is a good black racer, but just because he is a good racer. Daniel Suarez has a good ride because he is a good racer (and brings a sponsor), and not because he is Mexican.

    Come on people, we just need to ignore color if we want it to go away as an issue, not keep making an issue of color.

    Dave in Ohio

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  19. Anonymous3:29 PM

    I wear NASCAR related clothing most of the time when I go out. Today I had a Dale Sr. shirt on when a woman commented out of nowhere "my parents love NASCAR they even did the experience thing". I asked her if she liked NASCAR to which she replied "I grew up with it around me but now it seems to be just old white folks waving at the cameras before the races".

    That comment took me by surprise. I couldn't tell her race, but I have to assume she is a minority. We talked a little more but then she had to finish shopping. Her point was made though. NASCAR is so white it blinds the sport to its deficiencies. It used to be 'Southern' but Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and many many others have changed that perception. Maybe NASCAR needs to stop highlighting its 'heroes' in advertising and start featuring the Young Guns of all races and sexes. Maybe they need to start advertising on Spanish language networks too, maybe do an electric car challenge to get the millennials interested what do I know, I'm just an old white guy who loves NASCAR even though the current management has done a p-poor job of staying relevant.


    Pistonhead from Texas

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  20. Anonymous4:04 PM

    So let me ask this another way, do we think the lack of sponsorship for Bubba and Danica is due to their gender or race? I don't, look a Larson losing Target, or Subway jumping out. I think companies see empty seats and TV ratings in the tank. Also NASCAR may have hurt the teams by letting Monster in so cheap, why pay the same $$$ to sponsor a single team as they pay for being a title sponsor. I have been a fan since mid 70's, but not sure I would direct big budget $$$ to the sport nowdays, kinda like paying full price for a ticket after the Titantic hit the iceburg.

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    1. If this has nothing at all to do with race, wouldn't the law of averages have allowed at least ONE African American driver to make the starting lineup by now? It seems like an amazing coincidence to me...

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    2. Anonymous8:56 AM

      This question is totally based on my ignorance of the lower tier divisions and the local short tracks. Following the law of averages train of thought, how many women and minorities compete in those other fields?

      That is to say, if the ratio is 100:1 for white males to women, or white males to minorities, then the chances of having a woman or minority rise to the top will be infinitely harder. If that ratio is 4:1, then it's not as hard to stand out.

      Again, asking because I have no idea - I just don't follow those other levels of racing. But I know if only one out every 6,000 bull riders is a black guy, finding one to compete on a professional level is harder than if half of them are.

      By that same token, most of the racers that make the NASCAR ranks have been racing since before they were teens. How many minority parents or parents of females are putting their kids in cars that young? That's a big head start.

      In a time when sponsors are looking for young (cheap) driving talent, starting when you're 8 gives you a head start over someone starting when they're 16 or 18 through NASCAR's diversity program (and again, I'm not fully educated on that, either).

      But through law of averages, Hispanics are 17% of the country, and African Americans are roughly 12%. Take that to a field of 40 Cup cars, 40 Xfinity cars, and 29 trucks. That's 109 seats...17% is about 18 seats, 12% is 13. That's 31 rides spread over the three series that should be Hispanic or African-American. Technically, half should be women, I guess.

      Since it's obviously not the case, it begs the question about involvement. NASCAR wants minorities and women drivers, but do minorities and women want to BE drivers? Most minorities seem to prefer the big 3 of NFL, NBA, and MLB - both in viewing and participation.

      How do you get them involved in racing at age 8 or 10? First you have to have someone to sponsor before worrying about sponsorship.

      Granted, this immediate discussion is about Danica and Darrell in the short term. Long term, is there a farm system that promotes their involvement?

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  21. Anonymous11:03 AM

    I believe Rick Hendrick Racing should put Bubba in a Car, he has talent, RHR has the funds and the ability to produce winners, think of all the new fan base and possible new sponsors that would come to the sport, if Bubba ran in the top 15 on a regular basis. It is sad that teams can put some of the "Also Ran" drivers behind a wheel, but not a potential key to a gold mine.

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  22. Anonymous9:58 PM

    WTF...If there is truly a great minority driver out there ..I think they would be picked up by a team..ohhh that's right.. they were Daniel Saurez... really...do we have to do this? Maybe some great White drivers are now being discriminated against..say Matt Kenseth...maybe he is too white? I call discrimination. Hmm Where are all the White folk in the NBA?..Oh I see the blacks are better basketball players... makes sense. Maybe we should make the NBA include more white players?even if they are not as good...Maybe it is just that not so many minorities are into motor sports (fact). I'm so tired of all this B.S. If there is a great race car driver.. no matter the race they will be picked up by a team. !Or we can go the route of affermitive action... we all see how that worked... qualified whites not selected over unqualified minorities.. just the truth!!!

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  23. Anonymous10:11 PM

    I think in all fairness all white drivers should give up their rides to minorities.. also all white broadcasters and media folk should give up their jobs so the minorities can feel more welcome.. and have more jobs.. what you think dave?

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  24. Dave, I love NASCAR and listen to your show on the way home each day, but as of late I’ve been bothered by your stance on diversity. You keep mentioning Wallace who has been given opportunities in some of the best trucks and cars in NASCAR’s two lower levels and has not shown the raw ability that teams are looking for. As you know a minority driver is rare and to find one who can compete for a win each week and occasionally win is a gold mine.
    Out of 85 Xfinity races Wallace has only six T5 and no wins; driving for RFR and JGR, the same teams that have won 5 of the last 8 Xfinity championships. Winning is everything, and to open a seat for Wallace a team would have to let a driver go. What driver would you replace with Wallace? Cassill maybe? Then people like you would say he needs a real shot with a top team. So who?
    With the lack of seats even championship drivers like Kenseth and Busch are looking for seats. Would Wallace rate higher than McDowell who already has experience, and more importantly a sponsor or Danica who has a huge fan base? A team will always select a driver that gives them the best chance to win or can bring them sponsors, and most sponsors like winners. When you have winners like Kasey Kahne moving down to a second tier team because of the lack of seats, where would you rate Wallace? To say a driver should have a good seat just because he or she is a minority is sexist and racist. Just like in the rest of the real world, ability is the primary factor and so far teams don’t agree with you about his.
    Wallace may be the best black driver in NASCAR, but he is not a top 35 driver and that is the bar set for NASCAR’s top level if you want in even a second tier seat. Maybe a team will give Wallace a seat like they bid Bowman, so he can prove himself for a couple years, but once again I doubt you would be happy to see him in one of those seats. Please stop playing the race card and trying to pressure fans and teams about drivers based in skin color. Last I knew there was already a diversity program and we have two top drivers in Suarez and Larson from it who are in top notch seats.
    Lastly, when you have predominantly black sports like the NBA that carries around 450 active players compared to NASCARS top say 75 active drivers and the average NBA salary is around $7 million a year, it always comes down to a money. The top 60 NBA players make between $17M and $35M; how many drivers do you think make that a year? If you were a young black kids, what sport would you want to be in? I know, you would say NASCAR.

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