The Frontstretch: Amidst D.E.I. Turmoil, France Sells NASCAR to China Virtually Unannounced...And No One Cares by Jeff Meyer -- Wednesday May 16, 2007

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Amidst D.E.I. Turmoil, France Sells NASCAR to China Virtually Unannounced...And No One Cares

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Wednesday May 16, 2007


A few weeks ago, I reported in this column that Brian France and other NASCAR Party members spent a week in Communist China to "discuss possible projects with government, sports, and business officials in Beijing." Well, it appears that Brian had some good discussions.

Barely three weeks after the Great Leader's return to the States, it was quietly announced, in a two sentence paragraph on, that a Chinese owned company would sponsor a car in Nextel Cup competition. The company is Haier (pronounced Hi-er) America, a subsidiary of Haier Group, China's number one company amongst "Top Ten Global Brands" of the country. The car they sponsored is the No. 13 Ginn Racing Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek, with the company making their debut at Darlington Raceway this past Saturday night.

As I asked in my column a couple of weeks ago, before the Ginn / Haier sponsorship was announced, where is the outrage amongst the fans about this move? More specifically, where is the outrage that is and / or has been directed at Japanese-owned Toyota when they announced they were getting in the Cup Series in the first place?

Granted, the Chinese involvement isn't on the scale of Toyota, but a person would think that if there was such an uproar about NASCAR "selling out" to a foreign car manufacturer, one that is from a friendly country, no less, surely the sponsorship of a Cup car by a Communist-owned company would be unthinkable.

One would also think, seeing as how NASCAR is all fired up for diversity and world dominance, that a big announcement would be forthcoming from the King himself. Something along the lines about how his trip to China was a rousing success and that the NASCAR Party was all set in place to bring about the end to all wars and global warming; but that was not the case.

Unfortunately for Brian, he was upstaged by some kid who announced that he just can't get along with his stepmother any longer and will soon be moving out. Turns out that kid has more worshippers than the King…no wonder he was docked 100 points!

One thing that I find especially ironic, sadly enough, is the fact that the guy that now drives a Communist sponsored car used to drive the car sponsored by the United States Army! Only in NASCAR can an owner get sponsorship monies from not only his own government, but a Communist one as well! Ain't life grand!


Before I end this little informational episode, I do want to pose a question to the fans out there about NASCAR’s decision to dock Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 100 points, moving him out of twelfth place and into fourteenth in the current standings…

Do you think NASCAR would have dared the same move if was immediately after Richmond and the penalty would have removed Junior from the Chase? I don't.

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
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©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

Robert McIntire
05/17/2007 03:05 AM

what do you think would happen if dei were to park the car for the rest of the year ?????

05/17/2007 06:45 AM

I think the fans aren’t outraged because they weren’t informed of the deal. I feel about the same way about it as I feel about millions of my tax dollars being spent to sponsor NASCAR teams. I frankly don’t like it. As for Jr., you are probably right and that’s all I have to say about that. I’m tired of all of the Jr. hype, and I like the kid. The media needs to let go of it and quit predicting. We’ll see what eventually happens for ourselves.

Geoffrey Littleton
05/17/2007 08:14 AM

Just like Toyota, Heier actually has factories in the US

Gary Hammond
05/17/2007 10:31 AM

After Toyota and the chase for the chump point scam, THE Southern 500 and Rockingham, maybe there aren’t any fans left…

scott oliver
05/17/2007 11:47 AM

japanese,chinese,who’s next? russians?please not the french.they say everything changes but they didn’t say everything cvhanges for the better.JR’s change will be better.far as nascar as a whole i see nothing but a slow spiraling decline.the past several years cars dont look like showroom models and now it’s worse.also with foreign labels and sponsors coupled with the demise of short tracks and new larger snoozefest tracks.the crash and burn is looming.

05/17/2007 01:14 PM

You know, they let Jackie Robinson play Major League Baseball and he turned out to be a pretty good player. Even his teammates grew to like him. Why is trying to expand NASCAR beyond our borders so bad? I would love to see some snob Formula One driver from Europe come over here to try stock car racing and see how difficult it is and what real actual racing is like. If the typical NASCAR fan is so against anything foreign when it comes to racing, you should see/hear/read what the F1 and other non-American racing communities think about NASCAR. It isn’t pretty. They basically look down upon NASCAR and it’s loyal fans as second rate and not worthy of their type of racing. So what better way to show the rest of the world how great NASCAR is as a sport and as an entity than to expand and get globally involved? And of the four current Nextel cars, isn’t the Camry the only car actually made in the US, with the others being made either in Mexico or Canada? You know, one day a driver like Montoya or someone with a similar skin color or name is going to win a Nextel Cup race in a Camry or other “foreign” car at a track in a place like New York City or gasp! Toronto or Mexico City or even Tokyo or Dubai. And then what’s everyone gonna do???

Jeff Meyer
05/17/2007 02:42 PM

I would like to make it clear to everyone out there that I am not, nor was I ever against Toyota coming into NASCAR.
I just think it is a bit hypocritical by all the fans that were so against Toyota. And yes, the Camry IS the only car in Cup that is made here.
All that being said, I would buy a Toyota, but I will not buy products where the ultimate profits end up in a Communist country.


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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