Could Panther be looking for a new sponsor in 2012?
(All views expressed are those of Spike Rogan, and not that of OpenPaddock.net)
If Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minnesota has her way, YES! Representative McCollum has proposed cutting the Department of Defense (DoD) spending on sponsorships. Mainly on auto racing. We learned last year that Panther has received about $30 million (over three seasons) of U.S. Tax Dollars from the DoD. We also learned that well over a million dollars was paid in salary to British Citizen, Dan Wheldon.
Now the CNN report breaking this story singles out NASCAR and makes no mention of Panther and the IZOD INDYCAR Series. (Also, sad commentary that the Series needs to do tons of work to still be noticed by the “mainstream media”.) But make no bones about this, should this bill pass, the end is near for the 4 car and Hildebrand. (Few corporations will spend what the National Guard has for as limited exposure as they get in the IICS.)
As much as I like Hildebrand and the Panther Racing team (Owning several shirts, stickers, and a ACUPAT Wheldon ballcap), I tend to agree with Re. McCollum. See the DoD according to McCollum in the CNN piece linked above, has spent $100 million dollars in the last ten years sponsoring NASCAR. Couldn’t this be money better spent on the troops?
Let’s be real, just $30 Million would be better spent on dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), than on Dale Jr. and Panther Racing. $100 Million could be better spent on giving raises to our military members instead of freezing their pay increases and re-signing bonuses.
$100 million would have been better spent on; better body armor for all boots on the ground, over Ryan Newman’s mediocre NASCAR team, and Dale Jr’.s race to DNF first. But instead we get this alleged “Honoring the Troops” talking points. Hey, I honor the troops with (American made) stickers, flags, and magnets. The DoD does not pay me to do this, and I’m poor!
Yet millionaires like; on the NASCAR side Rick Hendrick, in the past Theresa Earnhardt, and for INDYCAR people including Joe Cain, Dill Driscoll, Mike Griffin, Courtney Jones, John Barnes, and former NFL Quaterback Jim Harbaugh, all need taxpayer cash to do it. None of these people listed live paycheck to paycheck like the enlisted members of the military and most Americans. These are all people who could “honor” the troops out of their own pocket. So that line is “weak sauce”!
Speaking of Rick Hendrick, this guy has three teams that receive DoD funds, plus they have money coming from the AARP to promote a charity to help starving seniors. Rick could again put this on Gordon’s car for free as his “donation” but instead he needs to turn a profit. The only charity that Hendrick ever put on his car for free was the Bone Marrow Cancer charity in the late 1990’s, when he had Bone Marrow Cancer. So in other words, he only did it to help himself. How charitable!
Now people also like to claim that with an all volunteer service they need to do this to get new members. Really? They only will serve their country if you help Dale Jr. or field a car in the Indy 500? Boy how Patriotic these recruits’ must be. Let’s hope Bin Laden doesn’t sponsor a race team. (Does anyone know a single person who never considered the military until a race sponsorship?)
What really annoys me is the pompous claims from NASCAR on this. Here is what NASCAR spokesperson Ramsey Poston told the Virginian-Pilot; “NASCAR fans are the kind of people who fight America’s wars, which would put into question the wisdom of banning the military’s ability to reach out to them,”. Really, so no patriotic Americans serve who happen to be INDYCAR fans? Are these people kidding me? It was bad enough Darrell Waltrip lies claiming “NASCAR invented the Safer Walls” and forgets, Tony George, and IMS did that before Earnhardt Sr. was killed by NASCAR’s lacking safety rules. But do you people understand that you do not have the only patriotic Americans? What *******s!
I agree with Rep. McCollum, these sponsorships have no effect on gaining better members, what it really is, simply an excuse for DoD brass to get VIP passes to racing events on your (my American readers) buck.
The DoD is not the only part of the U.S. Government wasting tax dollars in auto racing. Early in 2010; my at the time employer, The Department of Commerce (DoC), sponsored Gregg Biffle in NASCAR. Now talk about wasted tax dollars, they had nearly zero camera time with the Census ad on the car. Plus I never met a soul who said they did their survey because they saw it on the 16 car. Go figure these NASCAR stars, owners, and fans are the first to cry about government excess, how they are “taxed enough already”, yet they all love filling their wallets with—Government excess spending!
Instead of sponsoring Dale Jr. and Panther, maybe these funds the DoD is dying to spend could be better used on important matters—like solving the suicide crisis in the military of recent. I’m not for destroying the military; I love our military and the members. (I am even good friends with several active duty members)
With tough times, perhaps we should move the large piles of cash from tax payers to where it is more needed. Dale Jr. is not where it needs to be, Panther Racing (sorry guys) is not a top priority; PTSD treatment for active duty personnel, better body armor, better pay, all better places to drop $100 million. Or even move that cash over into the VA budget. Lord knows the VA is highly under funded and over loaded with demand these days. (Oh and Dale Jr. wasted your tax dollars today.)
Yes I am a hypocrite when I wear my Wheldon swag. I did buy it on blowout clearance.
Should the IZOD INDYCAR Series race on the IMS road course?
Should the IZOD INDYCAR Series race on the IMS road course in early October? The question also asks about a weekend with Grand-Am or ALMS on the IMS twisty layout.
What do you think? We are looking for Pro and Con support from fans. You can E-Mail me Spike@OpenPaddock.net, Tweet me @SpikeRogan . Or even tune in live Monday February 21st at 8PM ET to contact us live with your thoughts.