Any racing fan knows that it takes a great deal of money to field a racing team. Teams work very hard in order to secure sponsors who are willing to put up the finding necessary to run the races.
Early in the 2021 NASCAR season, Xfinity Series driver Brandon Brown took the matter into his own hands by creating a video of himself taking on the persona of the used car salesman in order to secure some sponsorships…and it worked. The empty panels began to fill with spronsorships.
In October, Brown earned his first career win at Talladega Superspeedway. During the post race interview by the NBC Sports crew, some unruly NASCAR fans took the opportunity to loudly chant a derogatory expletive toward President Joe Biden.
The reporter doing the interview remarked that the fans were shouting “Let’s Go Brandon”. Unfortunately due to that “misunderstanding”, Brandon’s name has now become synonymous with the expletive.
NASCAR has tried to discourage its fans from using the expression and have even threatened taking fans to court it they use the expression as a part of any official NASCAR branding.
Two months after the event, Brandon Brown has finally opened up on the subject, “I am Brandon, the NASCAR driver and unlikely meme. A 28-year-old who now finds himself in the middle of the American political conversation. As a pro driver, I never expected to be in the passenger seat of my own viral moment.” He added, “I am fully aware that the millions of Americans chanting my name know little about me or about my winning the Talladega race that day.”
Saying, “no one knew how my sponsors would react and, in my world, there is no car to drive without the sponsors,” Brown says that he was advised to keep quiet. Fearing he would lose his hard fought for sponsors, Brown followed the advice and kept quiet.
“My job is to run the next lap faster than the last one. Politics has never been that interesting to me. Though, like most, I have always had the impression that politicians were likely the cause of more problems than they were the solutions,” said Brown. He added, “I have no interest in leading some political fight. I race cars. I am not going to endorse anyone, and I am certainly not going to tell anyone how to vote.”
With one exception, Brown’s fellow drivers have avoided using the expression. Then Wood Brothers Racing driver Matt DiBenedetto used the phrase during the last race of the season and has since apologized for his actions. After knowing that he would be losing his ride at the end of the year, DiBenedetto has yet to secure a ride for the 2022 season.
Fearing backlash from sponsors, drivers seldom take any kind of stance where political issues are concerned.
However, Brandon Brown has decided that it is time to take a stand, saying, “ninety-nine percent of my time this upcoming NASCAR season will be spent trying to take the next lap a little faster. But, when I have the opportunity and the time, I am not going to hesitate to speak about issues I am passionate about, or the problems we face together as Americans. How you vote is none of my business. Instead, I will use what free time I have to highlight the struggle we all feel and share, as Americans. “
“To my fans, to NASCAR fans and to everyone who has chanted my name: I dedicate myself this upcoming season to compete hard on the racetrack and to spotlight issues that are important to me and to millions of Americans across the country,” he added and concluded his remarks with, “Let’s Go America.”
feature photo credit: Brandon brown (51307958983) (cropped).jpg