01
Apr
09

Obama Tells Auto Companies to Ditch NASCAR


I can’t confirm for certain that this isn’t an April Fool’s Joke, which is super annoying, and despite it being on Drudge, I can’t seem to find the actual statement from the White House anywhere, but fuck it, I like this story regardless…

President Obama’s White House has reportedly told GM and Chrysler that if they are to receive government funds, among the expenses they must cut back on includes their participation in NASCAR. If GM and Chrysler were both to pull completely out of NASCAR, they would save a combined $250 million dollars, which is no small sum. Particularly for the employees of either company who have seen their jobs evaporate, their benefits dry up and their retirement plans disappear into the ether of mismanagement.

From President Obama’s statement:

Automakers used to operate on the principle of ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday,’ but the Auto Task Force’s research just doesn’t validate that as true. NASCAR is a racing series that regulates down to the smallest detail of the cars, where a car badged a Chevrolet or Dodge differs only marginally from a Ford or a Toyota. There’s no technological development to speak of.

In order to receive this money, corporations must demonstrate they will spend it wisely. Racing has been said to improve on-road technology, but frankly, NASCAR almost flaunts its standing among the lowest-tech forms of motorsport. NASCAR is not proven to drive advancements that transfer from the racetrack to the road, and this nation’s way forward does not hinge on decades-old technology. We need new, and we need innovation.

He also stated that if Ford were to accept money from the government they would be expected to pull out from NASCAR as well. I’m sure this move will be going over extremely well in the South where they were already such big fans of the President…However, I like this move, I’d rather some workers who have been getting shit on for the last 20 years get some of their money back than seeing some rednecks get entertained by cars driving around in a circle.\

The statement continues:

This is an obvious cut to make, but it is not an easy one. This administration is not ignoring the tremendous sentimental value and emotional appeal NASCAR holds for so many Americans. But now is not the time for sentiment and nostalgia; now is a time for decisive financial action. If our automotive industry is to emerge from this recession intact, then these difficult decisions must be made.

[Car and Driver]


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