Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Faux Race Fans Want To Bump Trump From Driving Pace Car At Indy 500

The Indianapolis 500 hasn't had any buzz for nearly two decades since the split in open wheel racing between the IRL and CART helped fuel a steady decline in attendance to the "World's Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Speedway officials have come under fire for naming billionaire Donald Trump, star of NBC's "Apprentice" and "Celebrity Apprentice," as the pace car driver for the 100th running of the race. The heat is primarily coming from people who have never attended any racing event, let alone an event at the Speedway. They simply want to bump Trump as pace car driver because he is not a part of The One's cult following. Naturally, the local news media that fawns all over Barry just like the national news media, is giving more credibility to what these faux race fans think about the matter.

A groundswell of pressure is starting to build on Indianapolis 500 officials to dump Donald Trump as pace car driver at this month's race.

A Facebook page has rallied more than 7,500 supporters who have placed calls or posted comments on social media sites of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, corporate sponsor IZOD and Chevrolet, sponsor of the pace car program.

They want Trump, well, fired.

"Driving the pace car should not be used as a sound board for some terrible businessman to spew his political aspirations," said racing fan Chris Hughes, Indianapolis. "Especially with this being the 100th anniversary."

Like many others, Hughes hopes IMS officials will find someone else, perhaps someone with historic ties to the race.

IMS announced April 5 that Trump would be the pace car driver, an honor that has been bestowed on legendary drivers and celebrities.

At the time, Trump was not a potential candidate for the Republican nomination for president.

And some think that because Trump ignited a firestorm of protest when he demanded to see President Barack Obama's birth certificate and has since been accused of making racist remarks about Obama and African-Americans in general, the Speedway has a legitimate reason to backtrack on the pace car invitation.

But at least one other potential presidential candidate waved off Trump's presence at the "greatest spectacle in racing."

Gov. Mitch Daniels said Tuesday the decision is "up to the folks at the Speedway" and he is in favor of "whatever sells tickets," according to his spokeswoman, Jane Jankowski.

IMS officials say they have heard the protests of racing fans.

"We are certainly aware of the Facebook page, and we have certainly received complaints," said IMS spokesman Doug Boles. "But we have also received comments from other folks in support of Donald Trump driving the pace car.

"We are monitoring the situation; it's on our radar, and we are taking a look at it."

As someone who actually attends the race every year and struggles to find a reason to continue attending it, Speedway officials would be well-advised to take Gov. Daniels' advice and do "whatever sells tickets." The group of local Baptist minsters squawking the loudest about the decision aren't exactly filling up the stands at 16th & Georgetown Road. Anyone who has have ever attended a racing event knows they're not exactly populated with people who are crazy about Barack Obama. They do care about paying $5 a gallon for gasoline to get to the event, something Obama supports and Trump opposes. That should be good enough reason to keep him at the helm of the pace car.


Maple Syrup Maven said...

If the IMS wants to have a clown drive the pace car for their centennial race, so be it.

They'd get much more media coverage if they "disinvited" him and awarded the honor to one of the Navy SEALs who eliminated Bin Laden!

Guest said...

This is just a lib campaign ala what they did to Palin on the march to demean and destroy any one considered a possibility to dethrone Obama. They march to orders.

Ellen said...

Oh, please!

Neither Trump nor Palin has a ghost of a chance to become president in 2012...or any time!

In fact, Trump's putative candidacy is reason enough to disinvite him. The IMS should not participate in partisan stunts.