By AMANDA VINCENT
A little over a week ago, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France thrust NASCAR into the mainstream news spotlight with his personal endorsement of GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump during a Trump rally in Georgia. A handful of NASCAR drivers also were on hand.
While the sanctioning body clarified that France’s endorsement was a personal decision by France, himself, and not an endorsement by NASCAR, apparently, France still felt the need to explain his endorsement to NASCAR employees.
Below, is the text of a letter France distributed to NASCAR employees, as obtained by Motorsport.com:
Dear NASCAR Employees,
I was not able to attend the Town Hall meeting yesterday, so I wanted to send a note to the NASCAR team.
As many of you know, I often have been involved in supporting political candidates running for public office. Elections are an important part of our country’s democratic system, and I truly believe that being involved is an important role for every citizen.
Looking ahead at the presidential election in November, I made the personal decision on Monday to announce my support of Donald Trump. I have known Donald and his family for many years, and it is through this connection that I offered my support. Needless to say, with any candidate that one may endorse, there are many positions or policies that run counter to your beliefs, as is the case here with me. This is my personal and not a corporate position. However, I still encourage each of you to make your own personal evaluations as our country moves forward in the electoral process.
That said, let me make something perfectly clear: NASCAR will continue to operate our business unchanged. This includes our deep, long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion. It’s a commitment that I made to this organization more than a decade ago. We will not waiver from our goal to make our sport more open and friendly to everyone, and we will remain steadfast in our support of key initiatives to grow our fan base and remain a model of a progressive organization.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to raise them directly with your supervisor, Officers in our company, or to me directly.
Business as usual for NASCAR includes a Drive for Diversity program and a racing series based in Mexico. Daniel Suarez, a Mexican driver who competes full-time in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series and part-time in the Camping World Truck Series, was asked about France’s endorsement of Trump while at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the March 5 Xfinity race at the track. Suarez explained that he understook that France’s endorsement was personal in nature and not a reflection of the sanctioning body, as a whole. Here’s what he had to say about the issue, as quoted by USA Today:
“I’m happy where we’re at right now and I feel at home in NASCAR. I think Brian can do everything he wants on his own, but NASCAR is different. I’m in NASCAR, I’m not in Brian France whatever. I’m in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and I feel at home here. I’m not going anywhere.”
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