Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2015

Cuts to National Guard Motorsports Sponsorships Draw Mixed Reviews

Earnhardt Jr., in victory lane following Sunday's GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway (Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Earnhardt Jr., in victory lane following Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway (Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Lawmakers are predictably split on the National Guard’s announcement it will be slashing motor sports sponsorships — just days after a car sporting the Guard’s livery won a major NASCAR race.

Sen. Claire McCaskill was among those who lauded the news.

“I’m a NASCAR fan, and I love the National Guard — but spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on a recruitment program that signed up zero recruits, and that has been abandoned by other service branches as ineffective, just makes no sense,” the Missouri Democrat said in a statement.

McCaskill led a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing in May that was critical of sports-marketing efforts by the military. The primary function of such campaigns, including NASCAR and IndyCar sponsorships, has been as a recruiting tool.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., the NASCAR fan-favorite currently sponsored by the National Guard, won Sunday’s 400-mile race at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., giving him three wins on the season. The National Guard colors were featured prominently in victory lane.

Several House members have long fought to end military sponsorships of such events, including not only NASCAR, but bass fishing and mixed martial arts. Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum and Georgia Republican Jack Kingston, are also appropriators who have pushed — with mixed success — for amendments along these lines to spending bills over the past several years.

McCollum and Kingston have both argued that Pentagon spending on sports sponsorships while two wars rage overseas is not a responsible use of taxpayer dollars, and note that the sponsorships have not resulted in any substantial volume of new military recruits — one of the stated purposes of of such partnerships.

Others lawmakers, especially those hailing from North Carolina, disagree.

“The motor sports industry is a critical economic driver in North Carolina and states across the country, and I am disappointed that the Army National Guard chose to end its sponsorship of NASCAR,” Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina said in statement. “With a strong fan base of 77 million men and women, this partnership with NASCAR has resulted in significant exposure for the Army National Guard that has strengthened recruitment and retention.”

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., expressed a similar view.

“The success of the National Guard using professional motorsports to recruit young men and women has been proven and well-documented,” said Hudson, who issued a statement Wednesday morning decrying the sponsorship’s cancellation as due to “political pressure” from Senate Democrats. “Instead of actually looking at the facts, there was a clear effort to put pressure on the National Guard to end this valuable program. If we’re going to spend money on recruiting, then we should stop playing politics and spend it wisely by investing the best resources available.”

Hudson also happens to hail from an area in the state that’s home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newly appointed Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., might also be riled up about the decision given previous statements opposing an end to military sponsorship of NASCAR.

“The vast majority of NASCAR fans, 1 out of 5, have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military,” McHenry said on the House floor in 2011 during debate on an amendment to sever Pentagon ties with the association. NASCAR events, he argued, provide a “target-rich environment for the military’s recruiting message.”

The National Guard announced the news Wednesday.

“Significantly constrained resources and the likelihood of further reductions in the future call for more innovative and cost-effective ways of doing business,” Maj. Gen. Judd H. Lyons said.

But, as Sports Illustrated and others reported, there seems to be a disagreement between the National Guard and Earnhardt’s team Hendrick Motorsports as to the length of the existing sponsorship contract.

Comments (21)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Haiyan

    Aug. 7, 2014
    1:32 p.m.

    ”Significantly constrained resources and the likelihood of further
    reductions in the future call for more innovative and cost-effective
    ways of doing business,” Great call!

    Now maybe the government can reform the tax-code and under stand that speed and reckless driving is not a sport but an American pass-time for the financial benefits of very few. Lets see the true colors now that the red, white and blue will be on haietus.

  2. Haiyan

    Aug. 7, 2014
    1:34 p.m.

    The vast majority of NASCAR fans, 1 out of 5,(or more) also know someone who has been killed for the love of adrenaline. Nascar math is statistically feckless.

    • GameTime

      Aug. 11, 2014
      3:34 p.m.

      Excuse me, you think that defending the country and going to where you are sent is for “the love of adrenaline?” The only person in the room that’s feckless is you.

      • Haiyan

        Aug. 14, 2014
        1:39 p.m.

        Nascar can now explain the death of Kevin Ward as well as dishonor his memory and blame him for the “professional’s” negligence. Not very American really,

  3. sam

    Aug. 10, 2014
    6:01 p.m.

    Well you know we need that money for something important like transgender bathrooms,LOL.

  4. GameTime

    Aug. 11, 2014
    3:32 p.m.

    I am against the military and the U.S. Post Office, which sponsored Lance Armstrong for years with millions and now is bankrupt, spending tax money on these sponsorship positions.

  5. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    6:11 a.m.

    Hi there! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  6. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    4:07 p.m.

    Hi there very cool blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also?KI’m happy to seek out numerous helpful info here in the submit, we want work out extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

    http://terbaik4u.weebly.com/

  7. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    5 a.m.

    Great – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task..

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  8. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    12:28 p.m.

    Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, great blog!

    http://www.furtdsolinopv.com/

  9. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:57 p.m.

    Very interesting subject , regards for putting up.

    http://www.streetfire.net/profile/rockeye8.htm

  10. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    10:38 a.m.

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    http://blogs.forbes.com/people/infoasistenciaweb/

  11. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    8:08 a.m.

    The very root of your writing whilst sounding agreeable in the beginning, did not sit properly with me personally after some time. Someplace throughout the sentences you actually managed to make me a believer but just for a very short while. I however have got a problem with your jumps in logic and you might do well to help fill in all those breaks. In the event you can accomplish that, I could certainly be amazed.

    http://newwiki.ceske-hry.cz/index.php?title=New_Jersey_Low_Income_Auto_Insurance

  12. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    5:53 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a perfect web-site.

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com/low-cost-car-insurance.html

  13. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    7:33 a.m.

    As soon as I observed this website I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com/lowest-auto-insurance.html

  14. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:34 a.m.

    This is a topic close to my heart cheers, where are your contact details though?

    http://split.us

  15. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:40 p.m.

    Woh I love your articles, saved to fav! .

    https://bestplumbers.com

  16. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    12:27 a.m.

    great post.Ne’er knew this, thankyou for letting me know.

    https://bestplumbers.com

  17. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:47 p.m.

    Great beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a weblog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered shiny transparent idea

    https://kdp.amazon.com/community/profile.jspa?userID=748997

  18. Anonymous

    July 27, 2015
    9:15 a.m.

    Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and net and this is actually frustrating. A good site with exciting content, that is what I need. Thanks for keeping this website, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  19. Google

    July 29, 2015
    12:19 a.m.

    Every as soon as in a whilst we pick blogs that we read. Listed beneath are the most up-to-date sites that we select.

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...