Saturday, February 24, 2007

Slams against Petty and NASCAR fans by Washington state lawmakers sidetrack legitimate debate

International Speedway Corporation tried last week to make some headway toward getting a track built near Seattle, but that’s not exactly how things worked out.

ISC had Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Greg Biffle travel to Washington state to talk to legislators and try to drum up support for a bill that would help create the public funding portion of the track project.

There’s plenty of resistance to the idea of public money being used to pay for any sports facility, whether it be in Washington state or anywhere else. And many of the newspaper editorial writers in the Seattle area seem steadfastly opposed to the bill in question because they question its fiscal wisdom.

All of that is completely fair game. So, too, is opposition to the track project from the folks in Kitsap County, where the site ISC prefers is located.

Some of them don’t want a major sports facility built close to where they live. They don’t want their lives upset by the crowds that would come in and by development that might be spawned by having the track in their area.

That’s the kind of public debate that’s completely warranted when a project the scope of a NASCAR track is proposed. What’s troubling, though, is how tawdry the debate grew thanks to words that came out of the mouths of two elected officials during the racers’ visits to their state.

First, House Speaker Frank Chopp referred to Petty, the seven-time Cup series champion, as “that guy who got picked up for a DUI.”

Uh, no. Not only has Petty never been picked up for driving under the influence, he has never allowed his race teams to be sponsored by any form of alcoholic beverage because he promised his mother he never would.

Chopp said he “wasn’t sure” Petty was the guy he was thinking of, so I guess he thought that made it OK. Later, he apologized and called the remark “inappropriate and wrong.”

Well, at least he got that part right.

Then there’s House member Larry Seaquist (who, for the record, is a Democrat as is Chopp).

Mr. Seaquist offered the following opinion when the idea of having NASCAR fans in the state came up: “These people are not the kind of people you would want living next door to you. They'd be the ones with the junky cars in the front yard and would try to slip around the law.”

Hmmm. That sounds like a stereotype, doesn’t it? That’d be sort of like stating that anyone who lives in Seattle has webbed feet (because it rains so much there, you know) and puts double-caff, half-fat lattes in their babies’ bottles (since the only thing they drink there is coffee).

That would be silly of course. But there’s one judgment here that I can make based solely on what was said this week on this topic, and that’s that Richard Petty has forgotten more about class and respect than at least two pinheads in the Washington state legislature.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

First, this is a STATE legislature. I've lived in several states in the midwest and northeast, and am consistently unimpressed with the level of intelligence and worldliness that politicians at this level demonstrate. Legislating is usually a parttime job for these men and women...and it shows.

Second, when I read the title to your post, I figured that someone in the Washington legislature had referenced some of Petty's legitimate public missteps. (That he confused him with Scott Wimmer..what an idiot.) For example: the time in the mid 90s when Petty ran for Secretary of State of the State of North Carolina and refused to put any distance between himself and his sponsors (can you say conflict of interest?), or the more recent time Petty refered to African-Americans as "colored." I could easily see a legislator seeking to undermine Petty's position and/or tesitmony invoking both incidents. I think it would dirty pool to use the second incident, but Petty's candidacy for Secretary of State would certainly be fair game.

Third, politicians getting facts wrong, misrepresenting others' records, and generally behaving badly...this surprises you?

- Goggles Pizzano

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Washington state lawmakers are a bunch of idiots. Probably most of them are corrupt and on the take too.....just like any other politician. No different that what we have here in Illinois. Most of our former governors have served time, been indicted, or are currently free on appeal. Same with the Illinois Senate, House, and Secretary of State's office. The corruption, nepotism, and greed are deep rooted and not going away any time soon. At least they had the sense to give the go ahead for a race track near Joliet that has helped revitalize and rejuvenate a once depressed area. Sounds like those Washington State latte loving suit and ties are going to screw up what could be a good thing for the fine citizens of that state. And no, not all Nascar fans have junky cars in the front yard. And as far as Nascar fans skirting the law......we leave that to the politicians. That's one thing they seem to be real expert at.

BruSimm said...

This interaction is an example of a lack of public awareness of our sport and how some people perceive NASCAR, despite the differences of NASCAR today and yesteryear.

If someone is not a fan, many think NASCAR is just a bunch of “guys that just go in circles turning left”. (Roundy round racing as I heard it once called.) I meet this resistance constantly with work peers and friends. When NASCAR is mentioned, they laugh nervously, while they attempt to politely move on to today’s Hollywood news or the weather. Things they can grasp and converse about.

I don’t blame them. I get glassy eyed about some sports I don’t follow, though I know better than to toss out generalities or insults.

The examples set forth by these politicians seem to substantiate a disinterested public opinion. If they were interested, they would have done their research rather than sling generalities.

Even though we see resistance to the use of public money, don’t we have business examples of other tracks impacts on their environment, or are they not that rosey?

Public awareness can seriously impact planning and zoning requests for impactful projects like this, so if we need to put a track somewhere, we need to go where the public truly wants it, or in an open space easily serviceable by roads and airports. But where is that?

ISC has experts that know more about this than I ever will, but as a fan on the outside, looking in, I can't wait for this to come to fruition.

Anonymous said...

The legislators' comments are as ignorant as they deem most NASCAR fans to be.

That said, no national sport has any business seeking public money for a private stadium or racetrack. NASCAR's pockets are deep enough; they should feel ashamed to ask taxpayers to kick in millions of dollars for yet another ISC owned track.

Anonymous said...

This is like me making a blanket statement that most serial killers and wackos come from Washington, Bundy, Green River, I-5 etc etc etc or hey maybe those "up there do not get enough sun"
How stupid Nascar is to want a track in the north, Cali is bad enough they can't fill the seats there, yet they let Rockingham die.
Brian France will be ruin nascar just give him a little more rope.
After the blantant favortism shown ONCE again to a HMS driver over several others with nothing happening to him for cheating at 'tona alot of us REAL fans are shaking our heads, now try to bring in new ones.......yeah go ahead....
Thank goodness for F1!
Fire france & helton!!!!!!!!!!
FORGET THE NORTH IF THEY WANT TO COME TO A RACE LET THEM HOP A PLANE

Anonymous said...

NASCAR wake up!
Not only are you succeeding in tourging off your loyal fan base, you are driving other folks away. You can't even sell tickets to a race in california let alone Washington. If you build a track, it would have to be indoors are limited to a 100 lap race because of the weather. KY speedway already exists. It is within an 6 hour drive for more than 50% of your fans. If you can't be with the one you love, love the one your with. In other words, dance with the one who brought you to the ball.

8BudGirl said...

First off they are politicians/lawyers. Secondly, they are, as my father called them, dummycrats. What kind of jackass would diss a 7 time champion of the sport with false accusations?

I live in the Iowa Quad Cities. A few years ago a site accross the Miss. River in IL was being looked at for a paved race track. The people in that area voted it down because it would be too noisy and too much traffic. They said they chose the area because it was remote and quiet. Fair enough, but these are the same people griping about the poor economy in the area. Well they lost out bigtime, because a track went to Newton Iowa instead. There is a HUGE fanbase here in the QCA that would have LOVED having that track here, not to mention the massive revenues and new jobs created.

Whose worse, the politicians or the idiots who put them there?

Anonymous said...

I take no exception to the inaccurate slandering of Mr. Petty. I take no exception to the poor excuses given as to why public money should not be used to construct this track (even if it is a bond issue). I take issue with multi-million dollar corporations asking the public to build its facilities.

Yes, the public will benefit. Yes, tax revenues will increase.

I still call shenanigans. They have the money.

And by the way, Mark Martin isn't a has-been. He's a never-was. (I know this has nothing to do with what anyone else said, but I will close every post with it.

Avondell said...

David, I've lived in Seattle since 1984 and I can tell you right now, ISC may as well give up on getting a track built here. The politicians out here just dont understand the economics of sports. A few years ago, Seattle was invited to submit a bid for the Olympics. Not only didnt they bid, they asked the IOC to not consider Seattle as a venue for the next 20 years.

This is the second proposal ISC has floated, and it is going to be shot down. Game over. The opposition to a track here is hardening...to the point where ISC probably couldnt get a track built in eastern Washington, much less western Washington. Its time to throw in the towel.

I've been saying for a year now that ISC should try to build a track in British Columbia and kill two birds with one lug nut: they get a track in the Northwest AND a track in Canada. There isnt much point in building in Oregon, and Idaho is so remote that if they want a track out in the boonies, they should just give The Rock its date back.

The only place that makes sense to me...now, anyway...is British Columbia. I'd be happy to cross the border to watch a race. Its better than driving to Sonoma or Las Vegas.

Its just not going to happen in Washington.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the slanderous remarks, However ISC/NASCAR/France Family Mafia should build the track with THEIR OWN MONEY not the Taxpayers...ask The folks around Rockingham or North Wilksboro how they feel

Rob said...

Washington State is anti-Nascar, anti-military, anti-capitalism, anti-nearly everything this country was founded on. If I were Nascar, I'd pull all of my support for all the feeder series there and offer to relocate the racers to another state. There is absolutely no reason to build a track in Washington State if the idiots there can't figure out how their own economy will benefit. Good luck raising taxes on negative economic growth Washington State!! That'll show 'em!

Avondell said...

Rob, lets not get carried away. I know a few people who race at Evergreen, and they arent exactly well funded.

The government is anti-NASCAR, but contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of racing fans out here.

When they proposed a track in Arlington, I was thrilled, because thats where several of the Evergreen teams are based. In other words, they lived there, worked full time jobs to support thier families, and build Late Models in thier garages to race every weekend. An ISC track there would have been like winning the lottery for those guys.

I'm just so disgusted with this whole process. NASCAR and ISC made a few mistakes, but the politicians here are the main problem. They dont see the irony of complaining about NASCAR pollution and supporting tax breaks for Boeing.

I really wish ISC could find some property just north of the border in BC and build a nice place to race. Build Bristol in some small town in BC.

Nascar fan from Minnesota said...

Dear Mr. Poole,
I just read your article about the slams against Richard Petty and NASCAR when they went to Washington, and I am furious! Why would they even want to build a track in an area where the people that govern the state are so close minded, judgmental and openly rude? I wonder if they are aware of the kind of people NASCAR drivers really are. I am in awe when I read about all the foundations and charities and all the money donated to help ill and disadvantaged kids. These drivers are even willing to take out of there own pockets to help a retired driver when there is no pension plan for them to rely on.
To say that the people who enjoy NASCAR are the ones that try to “slip around the law” and to categorize them as “people have junk cars in their front yards” is completely appalling. What about the celebrities, the huge companies that purchase box seats and the companies that sponsor these events and also the millions of fans from all walks of life? Even the President of the United States has attended a NASCAR race. NASCAR is far more than just a sport with the “typical tailgaters". NASCAR is HUGE and is ranked very high in the all American sports family along side of football, baseball and basketball.
NASCAR fans stand together and are strong and share a common bond. They love the sport and they love the drivers. Each person may come from a diverse area, each one cheers for their favorite driver; yet they each build a relationship with the fellow fans. What other sport or organization for that matter can even step up to that?
Remember when the late Dale Earnhardt was killed. Was there ever such fan support and grieving as there was for him? It’s been 6 years and people are still grieving his death. He was their hero and they all rallied together to show love and support for a fallen hero. Thousands of fans, actors, musicians, and clergy attended his memorial service and openly wept. His funeral was publicized on television. A memorial was built to honor this man. If there law makers were to go to Kannapolis and see all of the bricks that people have purchased to show their love and honor to this fallen hero I believe they would be amazed. If they would go to Mooresville in April and see the fan support and loyalty when DEI celebrates Dales birthday, if they could read the dedications, poems and storied written to honor Dale and if they could see the memorials at the track in Daytona they could see; NASCAR fans are NOT what the law makers say they are. The President of the United States, Sport stars, other famous politicians go to NASCAR races; If these people are what the lawmakers in Washington State refer to as “not the kind of people you would want living next door to you. They'd be the ones with the junky cars in the front yard and would try to slip around the law.” then I would be honored to have NASCAR in my back yard, which is in Minnesota. I would even sell them the land to build a track! There are many fans in Minnesota that travel many miles several times a year just to be able to attend an Nascar race. My self included.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth do we want to go to a state that feels that way about Nascar and their fans?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Richard Petty didn't have a DUI but remember when he ran the guy off the road because he was going to slow???? Yes, you feel like doing it but you don't. That wasn't one of Petty's smartest moves. As far as the image of NA$CAR and their fans........does the movie "Talladega Nights..Ricky Bobby" bring back memories? That movie put down everyone from sponsors to fans......enough said as to why people believe what they do about NA$CAR fans. No, I have not seen the movie nor do I plan to. I walked in on one part of the movie and that was all I needed. Disgusting is the only word I can find to describe it.

Anonymous said...

First of all I don't think any public funds should be used to build any Professional Sport facility. The sport can support it then let it go.
Second why in the Blue Blazes do they want to race in Washington anyway. It's time for NASCAR to realized that they are killing the sport that I have enjoyed be a part of for the last 40 years. There was a time enjoyed watching a race on tv, now it just an excuse to take an afternoon nap.

Rob said...

Avondell, I do realize my statement was a blanket one, and I do have friends who still live up there, including an engine builder. You're right - it is the state govt's fault for not recognizing the economic boom that would await them, especially since they contributed state funds to support building another sports arena several years ago over using the same money to raise teacher's salaries (if I remember correctly). It's awfully hypocritical of them to support one stadium and not another. I do know there are lots of race fans in the NW - just wish they would vote the socialist bigots out of Olympia, Seattle, etc...

BruSimm said...

I’ve been reading a lot of opinions about the latest endeavor in Washington state and the short sighted quoted statements of it’s elected officials. If that’s representative of the atmosphere there, as many postings from folks there seem to support, is it worth the time and effort?

Even if they aren’t looking for the money from the public, you still have Planning and Zoning processes for a project like this to go through, and that right there is where the people can speak and make or break the endeavor.

The politicians are voted in by whom? Are NASCAR fans getting out there and voting with their wallets and their votes? Maybe that needs to be organized to give people (fans) purpose. To understand that for them to get what they want, they need to bring in the elected officials who will represent them.

Some posters were blowing steam on the issue of NASCAR asking for public funds to start up there. For those of you who aren’t aware, it is not an uncommon practice of local or state government to lure businesses their way with either massive tax breaks or up front stipends of millions to get the business in their community to grow economically from that company’s contributions. It seems apparent that in this case, the potential is not perceived in that fashion.

Obviously, I would assume that ISC has done extensive studies in that region, and this is where the results of those studies have led them. ISC believes the fan base or demographics supports the idea of a new track there, but so far, the vocal opinion does not seem to be going for it and hopefully this is not driven by mere hopeful marketing dollars.

Hopefully, ISC has contingent plans!

Anonymous said...

This is just another case of the Democrats going after anything that seems to back or be backed by republicans. They react the same way about anything to do with christianity. Why simply because many christians are republican. Just like the majority of NASCAR fans are republican. It does not matter thatr the sport does not back one side or the other. I od find the broken down cars deal to be very funny. The bigest democratic voting block has to be Poor People. So is it better for the democrats to let you get rich or is it better for them to keep you poor, The reverse is true of the republicans

Monkeesfan said...

brusimm, ISC's plan is driven by nothing but a purely notional marketing target - it is driven by the desire to install racing into a "new" market for the sake of breaking in a "new" market. The problem is that the Pacific Northwest is not a great sports market. Moreover, no one has bothered to ask the pertinent question - if NASCAR does not have this market, what harm will come to the sport?

What everyone always forgets is that NASCAR grew into a national powerhouse by NOT doing things the way other sports did - instead of going into new markets, NASCAR brought those markets to its established demographics. Yes, NASCAR went to New Hampshire and Indianapolis, but it did so having already grown into a national powerhouse where the markets went to the tracks, not the other way around. And NASCAR never built tracks with public money - the one track that was built with public money (Ontario Motor Speedway) lasted only ten years.

NASCAR's need now is not new markets, but to shore up its existing demographics. By its increasingly open distain for the "redneck" demographic, NASCAR has hurt its position in pro sports, shown in increasingly mediocre attendence and TV ratings - Fontana drew less than 70,000 (don't believe the official listing of 87,000) and the majority of other tracks will not sell out - only the plate tracks, Bristol, Pocono, New Hampshire, and I think Michigan will likely sell out this season.

Anonymous said...

Yet again, NASCAR is messing up royaly another track proposal. You really can nail the Washington tracks coffin up right now. The deal is d.o.a. because NASCAR is not in touch with it's fans, nor does it have a clue where it's future needs to go.

I'd love to see the research that was done to choose these two failures of proposed tracks? Did anyone actually talk to the people of the region to get their feelings on if they wanted the tracks there? Oh, wait, that would take effort, and we all know that the powers that be of NASCAR don't put a lot of effort into what they do. The most the Frances can do is lick their finger, hold it to the wind, and let the wind determine NASCAR's fate.

I don't understand NASCAR's logic, if you can call it that. They've abandened tracks like Darlington and Nazareth for new tracks that don't have a prayer of being built. All of this while NASCAR is loosing it's fan base . How do you expect to grow your sport when the people who got you where you are don't even believe in you and what you are doing.

The sport is being turned into a dog and pony show. Chevy (mostly HMS) can do no wrong no matter how badly they cheat. The France's are bleeding all the money they can from the sport while selling it's soul and calling it "branching into new markets."

The games are getting old. If this sport is going to compete with the NFL, NBA, and MLB, they are going to have to try to reach out to those of us who have been here from the beginning, not just the fair-weather cash in their chips fast fans that don't understand the sport or it's rich history.

Anonymous said...

Why anyone would want to build a track there is stupid. Those West coast types are much too liberal and blind for this sport. By the way. Why does ISC need public money to build a track anywhere? NASCAR...er...doh...ISC could build several tracks, tear them down and build more with the money they have. Cross Washington and for that matter Oregon off the ISC list. If there are NASCAR fans up in those areas.......then act like it. Vote the green thumb idiots out of office if you want a track. If not, don't bitch about it. ISC, go find a place that does want a track and build it with your MONEY!

Anonymous said...

The legislators involved were democrats which, IMO, makes them only slightly more intelligent than a bowel movement.

Anonymous said...

I live here in the state of Washington, and yes I drink coffee, but not the brand you'd think. I am also a huge NASCAR fan. No junky cars in my yard, but I do have a very sweet SUV in my garage.
I am not in favor of a race track any where near the Seattle area, not a good fit. However, I do believe either down in Southern Washington or Eastern Washington would be good choices. Even though we prefer to travel to go to races.
Please don't think that our politicians are a fair representation of our population, just of King County.

Anonymous said...

Unreal is all I can say....Where in the world does this man get off thinking that Richard Petty of all people have had a dui..If this man had known anything about racing he would have known that the Petty teams dont have any alchol on their cars..He would also have know that they dont even run in the Budshoot out for that fact....What a guy...I wouldnt want them to put a track there..They dont derserve it and who would want to go to it knowing they dont want people like us there any way...Im sure Greg Biffle felt right at home the...NOT

Anonymous said...

Lived in WA my whole life and I can honestly say that this is a bad idea. First they want to put a track in an area that is so wrong for it. It would completely gridlock traffic because the highway is very low capacity near there. Also, there's very anti-taxing going on in WA right now and the Dems have realized that, so they're not spending much lately. They are in complete control of the house, senate and governor's office so I wouldn't expect any changes anytime soon.

Plus I've never met a Nascar fan around here and I DON'T live in urban King County. I'm actually across the mountains in Kittitas County.

Anonymous said...

Live here in Washington, in the urban Seattle area. I agree wrong venue for a track. The roadways are all wrong and the Ferry systems couldn't handle all of the motor homes NASCAR promises. Why does a company like ISC need state payers tax dollars aren't they basically NASCAR, few bucks there. I'd rather see Rockingham get a race back or Darlington get another race. NASCAR should give back to those who built and have supported it throughout the years. California having 2 races is a joke.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why they would want to put a track in western WA. The endless rain delays would drive away most of the fanbase.

Wasn't rain part of the explanation for moving the Darlington race? It rained on that race every year for several years and then they moved the date to a time of year when the weather is better.

You can't run an outdoor sporting event in western WA, the weather will consistently refuse to cooperate.

Oh, and what's wrong with having some cars in your front yard?

Anonymous said...

The representatives of the region are another example of why NASCAR doesn't need to force expansion in areas where it's not wanted. Go back to Rockingham, N. Wilkesboro, and another race in Darlington. NASCAR touts cost saving measures with the car of tomorrow, no qualifying engines, etc. How about the savings on staying in the Carolinas and not going to California, Washington, Chicago, and New York. The sport doesn't need more fans, it needs more passionate fans like we used to have.

Anonymous said...

The NW has a population of NASCAR fans just as dedicated and true to the sport as anyone in Mooresville. Even though I am a yankee I do not believe we should have a track in the northwest. I would rather "hop a plane" and travel to where my sport is respected and valued.

NASCAR rarely makes the back page of the sports section in the paper here in Boise Idaho. The TV news here may mention a wreck if Gordon is in it. Girls JV volleyball gets more play here than the 500.

Put the money that would be used to build in the NW towards promotion and rebuilding of a Rockingham or a North Wilkesboro.

Chris said...

I just want to comment and the junky cars in the front yard statement. I lived in Washington for a couple of years, and did everything I could to stay away from the yuppies in Seattle and Olympia. I can tell you from first hand experience that there are just as many "rednecks" in the state of washington as there are in the Carolina's or anywhere "down south". That was one of the biggest surprises to me while I was there. Many MANY "junkie cars" in yards and on the roads. That moron politician just hung himself with that statement.

Anonymous said...

There are a number of very intelligent NASCAR fans that post blogs on this website. Some of their professions are: retired Naval Chief; an engineer who designs refrigeration cases for grocery stores; a 10th grade English teacher; an ORTS Element Configuration Manager for Lockheed Martin; and I’m a lowly Office Manager at a family run business in Tarpon Springs, FL.

I know I don’t have any “junky cars” sitting in my front yard, and I doubt very seriously any of those listed above do either.

It seems rather obvious these morons...make that...these gentlemen in Washington don’t know the first thing about NASCAR and/or its fans or participants.

Do you think Brian will finally give up on this illusion of building a track in Washington state? It doesn’t sound like NASCAR is wanted.

And I agree with you 100%. The King has forgotten more about class and respect than at least two pinheads in the Washington state legislature.

If they want to call me a redneck, that's fine. I'd much rather be a redneck than a member of the Washington state legislature.

Well done David, and thanks for letting us know.

Shirley J. Buttacavoli

Anonymous said...

They could take a saw, start with Washington State, and cut all the way to the southern tip of Mexifornia and let it fall into the Pacific. The United States would be a WHOLE lot better.

Anonymous said...

Boy, that's just what we need. More boring racing in an area that doean't even care about it. WOOHOO. Fun Fun Fun.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone call Biffle a "bug-eyed dummy"?

Brian said...

I could only stomach so much of this bilge so I skipped to the end, only to find some clown saying he wants to rid the US of the west coast states. BRILLIANT!
Wanna dump Florida too? Everyone knows there are just too damn many tourists hanging out there, right?
Look, if the Washington state folks don't want NASCAR there, cool. Why doesn't NASCAR try 1) wanting all they have, ie, Kentucky, instead of having all they want, 2) try asking race fans where THEY would like a track, like say, here in Ohio. Sure, we are fairly close to a few tracks (I don't hear any gripes about the proximity of Talladega to the rest of the racing world!) but we also have a huge racing population.And in a lot of cases that translates to not just fans, but generations of fans. From Karts to sprint cars and late models and GT racers, we do it all here. There is a cash cow up on the lake, Cedar Fair,INC trying to spread its wings(how many more water parks do we REALLY need?) and a lot of land waiting to be used for something besides growing winter wheat and soy beans.

Anonymous said...

Fine. The state of Washington doesn't want NASCAR? Fine, we don't need them. These are the same intellectual snobs who worship Microsoft and Starbucks. The minute that ignorant man cast aspersions on King Richard's character, it was over for me. I wouldn't go to a race in Washington state if you paid me!Quite frankly, I wouldn't want THEM living in MY neighborhood, so we're even! I'm sure there are states that would welcome NASCAR with open arms, like Oregon maybe, or especially Ohio (where I live).

David said...

Please don't make the same stereotyping mistakes that our less-than educated officials made. If we Washingtonians were so against a track, the debaye wouldn't have made it as far as it has. I see comments here from people offended that they were stereotyped as "hicks", or tobacco-chawin' rednecks. We have those here, too. But these same people take a breath and then start in on those coffee-drinkin', webfooted computer nerds. It speaks to your intelligence as well. Would I like a race track here? You bet. I am one of a rapidly growing group of fans that are working very hard to convince our braintrust polititians that it just may be a good idea. And by the way, this is being written by a loud and proud Democrat race fan.
Let's try to stick more to the topic and less to the stereotypes, huh, Y'all.....

M. Smith (Phoenix) said...

That Washington state legislators are ignorant of NASCAR history and its fan base is sad. That they can get away with these sorts of stereotypes is a shame, especially when the verbal miscues of others are so often blown way out of proportion. On this we probably all agree.

Where I probably deviate from many others is in my complete opposition to public funding for sporting events. I'm a huge NASCAR fan but I'm being priced out of the local market (Phoenix)because of ticket prices and a sort of caste system that dictates that I walk a mile and a half from where I park my car because I can't purchase an upgraded ticket package that includes "VIP" parking passes. I should expect an outfit like NASCAR to extort ridiculous sums of money from diehard fans, eager to see live racing - but I'd be ashamed if they started wanting tax money from the community to promote and perpetuate what is obviously a private, for-profit business. Sure NASCAR, put your hands in the fan's pockets, but keep your greedy fingers out of the taxpayer pie!

Dusty Ray said...

To the anonymous writer who thnks Mark Martin is a "never was" grow a set and put your name behind your butt when you want to talk out of it.
Dusty Ray, Lebanon,PA

Anonymous said...

Why don't the Frances pay for their own damn track? Do you know both James C France and William C France Jr are on Forbes list of 400 richest Americans, each worth 1.5 Billion dollars? Why should the taxpayers be expected to foot the bill?

Brian said...

Ya gotta be careful what you ask for...you just might get it! France/Helton Inc. have plenty of power now, a lot of it misplaced, IMHO. Making rule changes for the sake of making rule changes is just one example. BUT, if you let the people in charge of the sport OWN a track too...YIKES! The sport is teetering on the very sharp edge of elitism and separatism now. If they owned a track, it is not too hard to envision an "Invitational" race in the not to very distant future. Not that it isn't headed that direction anyway, but giving France, et al, the option to arbitrarily decide who races and who doesn't race at a venue would do nothing but exacerbate the "Have vs Have-not" situation that is NASCAR racing now.
PS Dusty is right. Making a slanderous statement about a top notch driver like Mark Martin, or any other driver for that matter and not putting your name on it is kinda cowardly.
I'm just sayin...

Anonymous said...

It's very simple. When a billion-dollar commercial enterprise comes into a new area and tries to jack the taxpayers into paying corporate welfare, people get a little crazy. NASCAR, built off of the hard-earned dollars of we, the little people, still has to take more and more, now from people who are not even interested in the sport (the majority of WA citizens). I am more upset with the uncontrollable greed of NASCAR than I am about the reactionary behavior of a few WA legislators. Get real people, NASCAR doesn't give a damn about the fans, the working class, or the people of WA. It's ONLY about the money.

Anonymous said...

While I love Nascar dearly I would say it's a mistake to use public funds to support the building of a race track or any other sports complex. If there is a fan base there and legitamate interest let Nascar build the track and reap the profits. Now if Washington state wants to give tax incentives to bring jobs, and revenue that wouldn't be bad. But not the front money for the track.

The truth is that Nascar has forgotten who it is. They want to absolve themselves from the small tracks in the Southeast to give airtime to the larger tracks out west. Hello the Southeast made you who you are. Are you turning your back? Ask yourself why we only have one race at Darlington? What happened to the Southern 500. Where is North Wilksboro? Want to add a new track to your schedule. Add Kentucky not Washington state.

But alas it looks like Bill France and his group are only concerned with the money. Making a dollar is fine but once your making a good earning do you have to scrap scrounge and turn your back on your past to make even more?

Sometimes I'm dissapointed in the direction our sport is headed.

Anonymous said...

Well I don't think NACAR needs to use public money from taxes or States to build the tracks. Personally I would just assume see NASCAR bring a couple more races to Bristol than bother with the time and money to build in WA. Its obvious that the support is not a great deal. So i think NASCAR should just give us bristol folks two more races a year. We sell them out here and love the financial impact it gives the area. Plus since i only live about 7 minutes from track it makes for easy travel (LOL).
Bristol resident and fan ........

Anonymous said...

I lived in the Seattle area for about 20 years. And as much as I would like to have just a little bit of loyalty and say that this is just a few people giving a large area a bad name..I can't. Unfortunately, none of this surprises me in the least. NASCAR can do better than Washington state.

cocobeans said...

monkeesfan - Both Richmond races sell out early every year, and done so for about 30 years now.

I say forget WA state, we'll take another race track in Virginia! We already have Richmond and Martinsville and the town of Bristol is split in half by the state line (unfortunately the Bristol race track is on the wrong side of that line)!

Virginia is for lovers and we love racing; we welcome all race fans (old and new), yuppie or redneck, latte lovin' or moonshine makin'

Anonymous said...

I deplore the ignorant comments made by the Washington Legislators. While they personally knew nothing about NASCAR, they are supposed to have people on their staffs to research and discover what NASCAR is about. Those dummies should have used their staff effectively, but instead came out with those off the wall stereotypical comments.

The same type of stereotypical comments that have been made by other posters regarding Democrats. I am proud to be a democrat. I am proud to be a liberal. I am also proud of being a NASCAR fan who knows NASCARS history.

The true rednecks are the ones who attempt to place people into tight little boxes. Like the Washington legislators, they are narrowminded ignoramuses who shine their soes with something that isn't Shinola.

Anonymous said...

Y'all need to get your comments on the Kitsap Sun website.

http://blogs.scripps.com/kitsap/nascar/

It's a lively debate.

Anonymous said...

These two Democrats are a lot like many of them on a national level. They will be right even if they have to insult every person in the world that doesn't agree with them.

Ethics have taken a real downturn since the inauguration of "Queen Nancy"!

Robert Murphy said...

As a liberal, a Seattle-ite, and a Democrat, I am no less disgusted with Mr.Seaquist's despicable comments than any conservative and/or NASCAR fan. So, a NASCAR track in WA would "attract the wrong sort of people?" This snotty, intolerant bigot speaks for neither me nor the overwhelming majority of WA liberals/Democrats. And no, the utter hypocrisy his words evince is in no way lost on me: since when the h*ll did prejudice and intolerance--if 'limited' towards--conservative whites become OK?

Robert Murphy

Robert Murphy said...

As a liberal, a Seattle-ite, and a Democrat, I am no less disgusted with Mr.Seaquist's despicable comments than any conservative and/or NASCAR fan. So, a NASCAR track in WA would "attract the wrong sort of people?" This snotty, intolerant bigot speaks for neither me nor the overwhelming majority of WA liberals/Democrats. And no, the utter hypocrisy his words evince is in no way lost on me: since when the h*ll did prejudice and intolerance--if 'limited' towards--conservative whites become OK?

Robert Murphy

Robert Murphy said...

Er, sorry for the lame 'multi-post.' :-(

Robert

Stellathomas said...

An avid racing fan, Henry has been talking to Roush for the past three years about forming some sort of partnership. Now, Roush Racing president Geoff Smith says the team is negotiating to sell a stake of up to 50 percent to Henry and the Fenway Sports Group.
----------------
Stellathomas



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Anonymous said...

i live in washington and grant county would be a great location for nascar... its centraly located in washington state and the land is cheap and electricity is cheap

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