October 20, 2009, - 11:53 am

Wanna Be in NASCAR?: Take Tanning Pills or Get a Vagina

By Debbie Schlussel

You knew this was coming.  Even though minorities and women do not traditionally choose to become racing stock car drivers, Jesse Jackson and the rest of the race merchant industry have pressured NASCAR about the low number of Black drivers.  And even though Danica Patrick makes millions more in endorsements than most male NASCAR drivers, the execs at NASCAR decided it was necessary to give women a leg up.


So, if you have a darker skin complexion or female internal plumbing you get to be on the fast track in NASCAR a la the NASCAR “Drive for Diversity.”  The Drive for Diversity program has been going on for a while, but NASCAR has ramped it up this year, getting sponsors, spending millions, and getting its minority candidates lots of exposure to owners and racing teams that your average aspiring NASCAR White guys will never ever get.  And although the Drive for Diversity hasn’t placed a racer on the main NASCAR circuit yet, you can bet the pressure’s on to do so, and they’ll probably use a little more affirmative action to make that happen real soon.

In its quest to infuse NASCAR with a more multicultural image, Drive for Diversity is getting a new look, too.

The program, which will conclude its two-day annual driver combine Wednesday in Radford, Va., with 30 candidates vying to fill 10 spots in the 2010 class, has been overhauled with an emphasis on centralization in its seventh year.

After farming out minority and female drivers to short-track teams nationwide, Drive for Diversity has switched to an “academy-style” format and will field four Camping World East and six Whelen All-American teams as Revolution Racing under the umbrella of the 909 Group, a sports and marketing agency whose CEO is former Dale Earnhardt Inc. executive Max Siegel.

Revolution Racing will be based out of a former Nationwide team shop in Mooresville, N.C., and will employ at least 40 crewmembers. Siegel says the organization is building alliances with first-tier NASCAR organizations such as Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing that will provide technical support and training.

Siegel says the changes were made in response to industry feedback on Drive for Diversity, which hasn’t placed any drivers in NASCAR’s three national series since its 2004 inception.

“We wanted good, consistent equipment so we can measure the impact,” Siegel says. “It was hard to evaluate how the kids were dong [DS: sic] with so many variables, but we can if we get the best cars in one place. We also can give the participants more instruction and opportunities to interact with Cup teams.”

He says there’s been more interest from sponsors and the news media. The combine at Motor Mile Speedway was sponsored by Sunoco and filmed for an eight-part documentary called Changing Lanes that will air on BET (Black Entertainment Television) starting in late February.

The 10 drivers will be chosen by the end of November, and Revolution Racing also will support several Bandoleros cars for minorities ages 8-15 who are getting a start in racing.

White guys need not apply.

And by the way, I notice that there aren’t many Jews in racing (and far more Arabs–the Rahals, Tony Kanaan, etc.). But that’s because–like Blacks and women–most Jews don’t choose a life in NACAR or IRL, etc. Unlike Jesse Jackson, I won’t be pushing for a Drive for Bagels & Lox racing school.

Can’t wait until they have the NASCAR Drive (& Explode) for allah school.

By the way, if you pay for NASCAR tickets or buy NASCAR merchandise, you are helping subsidize Drive for Diversity.

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24 Responses

Diversity is so overrated in sports. Its the Left that’s obsessed with people’s external characteristics. The rest of us don’t care – we care more about their values.

NormanF on October 20, 2009 at 11:58 am

I KNOW this will sound racist/mysoginist(?) but when the first minority causes a MAJOR crash and burn, it will be blamed on the redneck driver.

codekeyguy on October 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Tony Kanaan is from Brazil of Lebanese heritage. He is putting his tush on the line and does a very good job, all without affirmative action. Al-Anabi Racing is sponsored by a member of the ruling family of Qutar and is doing well in Drag Racing. The Sheik does seem to have a healthy does of nitro in his veins and hopefully he will be around for a longtime.

I wonder if Jessie Jackson is going to be able to whine about Lewis Hamilton. Lewis was signed at age 10 by the McLaren Team (like having the Yankees draft the ten year old pitcher from the local Little League Team) and won the world driver’s championship last year. He father’s family is from Grenada and is usually at all the races with at least one other son. All are articulate, veddy British, and seem to be nice people. And Lewis go to where is is by his TALENT and dad taking him to races — not affirmative action and special treatment. It is a joy to watch him work and listen to him being interviewed in comparison to his ‘colonial counterparts of color’.

As for women in motorsports, please check out Leslie Porterfield. She is the WORLD RECORD HOLDER on a motorcycle with an FIM world record of 232mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats!! 2008 AMA Female Rider of the Year, production class 1000cc record holder at 192mph, and 1350cc unfaired record of 209mph. All without the help of Ms. Dowd, Ms. Clinton, or Couric.

Dave on October 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Excuse me, but what the F–K happened to “The most qualified” person for the job? any Job for that matter? So now NASCAR is racist. State Parks are racist, The beach is racist. I’m a single white male and payed for my bachelors degree all on my own because I not only couldn’t get any gov’t assistance, I was also denied financial aid cause I wasn’t a woman nor a minority. Once I got my degree I couldn’t get a state job in WA cause again, I was not a woman or a minority. I have my own business now, I’m an artist doing various things and make a decent living, but guess what, no loans of any kind cause I’m white and not a woman or a minority.

It’s nice to know I can do all on my own without the help from the country that I’m a citizen of, but as of this date I still don’t have health insurance-again because I’m not a minority.

I know I’m not the only one in this country being discriminated against because of the color of MY skin and plumbing.

wolf2012 on October 20, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Yup…I know what I need to do now. Always wanted to drive in NASCAR since I first saw my first highlighted race on TV in the 60’s.

So now that I have driven all over the world I know I can compete with the best, but need to get a sex change in either Denver or Amsterdam and get my skin color changed with drugs and chemicals to resemble our usurper.

(Bet I get a ride then!!! Anyone got a hundred grand to loan me? Or should I just ask for TARP or Stimulus money?)

Yeah Right on October 20, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Yeah, maybe Obama will give you a NASCAR grant if you can get heavily tanned!

NormanF on October 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

NASCAR caved in to Jesse Jackson several years ago and then told him to take a hike. NASCAR isn’t really in a very good position to push minorities and women into race cars because all the drivers start up at local go-kart and short tracks. That’s where the minorities gotta get into the sport.

To really see whether progress is being made in the diversity field, one needs to merely go to the local short tracks. There are MANY of them here in Michigan. And there’s simply no question about it! The girls are much more interested in racing than blacks. A trip to Flat Rock, Berlin, Owosso, Kalamazoo or any other Michigan short track on a Saturday night will clearly make this evident.

Hispanic drivers aren’t a big problem because auto racing is popular in Latin America so there’s always somebody coming up through the ranks from that route.

To NASCAR’s credit, driving is still pretty much a merit selection process. That is why Juan Montoya is doing so well. Juan won darn near everything there was to win in open wheel racing (Indy 500 and the Grand Prix of Monaco) before coming over to NASCAR. A quick study in racing, it has still taken Montoya and his team 3 years to get to the top although he won his first race his rookie year. Juan Montoya made the NASCAR post-season (also known as “the Chase”) but I can testify that he has had plenty of adversity to deal with. During driver introductions last August, Mrs. TINSC was appalled to hear people sitting next to us hollaring “Go back to where ya came from!” as he was introduced. For some strange reason, they don’t say that when they introduce white guys like Marcos Ambrose (Australia) or Max Papis (Italy).

One of NASCAR’s best Black drivers is Bill Lester. I realize Bill got into NASCAR kind of late in life but he’s still got some good years left in him. What is so WRONG here is that Lester can’t seem to get sponsorship. Here’s a guy with a BSEE from UCAL Berkley who was an exec with Hewlett-Packard before he joined NASCAR. You’d think at least Hewlett-Packard could sponsor his vehicle, but NOOOOO… not even Carli Fiorini could part with a few bucks to get one of HP’s own to make a mark in NASCAR. One would think that Jesse Jackson could help Bill Lester secure sponsorship to race. Somethin’s wrong here. Bill Lester has proven he can run in NASCAR.

Then there’s Erin Crocker. Erin showed a lot of promise in racing. She finished 3rd just a couple of years ago at the ARCA race here at MIS. Too bad she had to jump in the sack with her owner Ray Evernham.

Danica Patrick is a bit over-rated. She hasn’t won that much in IRL and NASCAR will be much harder because the stock cars are harder to drive. Danica Patrick could not hold a candle next to Janet Guthrie. When you ask a blue-blooded NASCAR fan who was the first woman to make a top-ten finish at Bristol Motor Speedway, you will to this day, get a deer-in-the-headlights stare.

That being said, there are some young gals racing around short tracks and that’s a sign that eventually, somebody is going to finally make it in one of NASCAR’s top circuits.

At the end of the day, NASCAR is like any other sport. If the kids don’t play little league, they aren’t going to make it in the pros no matter what the big league commissioner does. If Jesse et al would get off their butts and start sponsoring young black race teams at local short tracks, eventually, a black driver would emerge into the big leagues. It’s just that simple.

In the mean time, the girls seem to be taking a liking to auto racing much more than African-Americans and that’s where I see movement.

One last point and then I’ll sit back and see what other comments are made. NASCAR has a history of outright racism toward blacks; more so than other sports and more recently than other sports. Wendell Scott is probably the greatest Black NASCAR driver ever and we’ll likely never see anything quite like him again. Indeed, few even know who he was.

Wendell Scott drove in a different era. With an underfunded team and fighting overt racism in the sport, Scott nonetheless finished top ten in Winston Cup points several times during the 60’s and 70’s. If an African-American race car driver were to do that today, his name would be more recognizeable than Tiger Woods’. Yet one of the ironies of Scott’s story is that some of the “good-guys” who helped him were “bad-guys” toward Janet Guthrie who was also raced NASCAR during the same era. Go figure!

There is NO Santa Claus on October 20, 2009 at 1:06 pm

In the 1970’s I remember driver WILLIE T. RIBS…..an early attempt at affirmative action on the dragstrip. I wonder what he is up to these days?

#1 Vato on October 20, 2009 at 1:16 pm

I’m a NASCAR fan, and yes, I know that my $$ spent on races and merchandise supports this crap; but herein lies the problem, where do I go to get my sports fix? The NBA, NFL, and MLB are even worse plus they reward rapist, gangs, felons, druggies, etc. And don’t even get me started on the NCAA, they’re the biggest bunch of hypocrites and dysfunctional behavior enablers of them all. One thing true about NASCAR drivers and fans, they’re all patriots. When that athem is sung and those jets fly by, there isn’t a dry eye in the stands.

Rick on October 20, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Guess KFC won’t be advertising on NASCAR anymore?

Unbelievable on October 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm

You can put a driver in a car but with out sponsors that driver won’t do much racing.

The only ovals Nanny Guvment needs to drive are the beltways in DC. They can leave racing to the adults.

Sam Adams on October 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm

#1 Vato

Good question!

Willy T. Ribbs was a very successful Trans-Am driver but never seem to cut it in the big leagues. He started a Daytona 500 (1986) and was shoved off the track in the first 2 laps. He also started the Indy 500 but I don’t believe he finished.

CART/Indy treated Willy T. Ribbs fairly. NASCAR did not.

Willy T. Ribbs’ real impact in auto racing was with the SCCA Trans-Am circuit. He was an unqualified success in Trans-Am.

There is NO Santa Claus on October 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Pimp-mobiles would have no chance at NASCAR.

VinceG on October 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Santa…imagine today. You simply couldn’t call an African American “Willie T. Ribs” that is insulting by today’s standards. Remember the TV show M*A*S*H (first season) had a character named “Spear-Chucker?”. Societally, we have come quite a ways…..

#1 Vato on October 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm

NASCAR needs to send Jackson down the road again. He has no leverage in the sport unless Teleprompter Jesus steps in. The NASCAR fan base is largely white since it seems there’s some sort of genetic imperative that drives those of a Scots Irish persuasion to enjoy stock cars. Having said that, there is always a small contingent of blacks and hispanics at the races who are invariably treated as well as any other fan [Bristol, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Talladega, Daytona so far]. As for racism, if one is referring to the Confederate battle flag flying in limited numbers in the parking or RV lots, it’s less about the blacks and more about the South. As for the Colombian, Scots Irish are traditionalists. That’s the tradition. As for the Colombian, once he can place high without the wild swerving, he’ll get his just due. Look how the fans treat Shrub. And, you don’t get much whiter than he.

And, Vato, I’m not sure politically correct behavior telegraphs societal evolution. It just reflects ongoing erosion of the First Amendment by the left.

Mazzuchelli on October 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Jesse Jackson should volunteer as a crash test dummy. Also, I wonder how much Jesse was able to extort under the table, or through consultant fees for his services. Mr. Jackson does not normally do anything unless it benefits him personally.

Sorrow01 on October 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm

what about the NHL? lets get some brothers on the ice.

so, they think by putting inexperienced drivers to the head of the class because of race and sex is going to suddenly make all women and minorities want to watch NASCAR?

what are they stupid?

If they are not already going to the races or watching adding the token driver is not going to help.

There are a lot of women who already watch NASCAR and guess what? their favorite driver is not the woman. So adding a bunch of affirmative action drivers to cover all the bases is not going to help. It may push some really good drivers out of the sport.

But what the hell, we have lowered the standards for everything else in this country from President to Fireman and it hasn’t caused any problems….. right?

ender on October 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Are they going to make sure there are enough Chinese in the NFL?

Steve Ventry on October 21, 2009 at 4:32 am

Hi Debbie!

You should look at NHRA (National Hot Rod Association). One of their best drivers is Ashley Force Hood. She has won two races so far this year and is number two so far going into the championship this year.

Karen on October 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

Im avery sucsesful young black nascar driver and would love to get into nascar big time,Racing at local tracks I have over 100 wins, Iam Ithink ,the youngest and onlyblack nascar driver in the World, please help me you wil not be disapointed . In 2009 at Kalamazoo Speedway in lower michigan I raced 1/2 year and ended up 29th, in pionts out of 48 drivers at the end of the year . Please give this deserving minority a break , Be part of history, local racers say I have what it takes. Please contact 231-620-4504 Thank You Race Fans.

Christopher Rice on January 12, 2010 at 8:43 am

Please help this young deserving tallented nascar driver get started , still in high school now for one more year many local track champ said he is a champ let me show you all my checkers and trophys too many to mention now. thank you for reading.sign the next young black nascar champ Christopher Rice Thanks again.

Christopher Rice on February 4, 2010 at 12:07 am

There is only one thing to say, 400 plus years of free labor from minorities, I would call that a head start!

DJJ on February 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I do not understand how diversity and affirmative action etc. could be so offensive however kidnaping people and enslaving them for over 400 years is ok?

Not to mentioned the genocide of the natives who originally inhabited this land.

I am sure that you are experts at discrimination and bigotry since you are responsible for popularizing it and profiting from it.

As far as Obama providing a grant, that would be a small presidential incentive in comparison to the opportunities created for you by “Your founding fathers”.

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