In this crazy world of war, politics and severe weather, griping about one state's response to a Nascar track seems pretty trivial. UNLESS the responses reek of elitist snobbery, complete ignorance and classism.
Several big names in Nascar, including Richard Petty, are trying to do a deal in Washington State to build a new racetrack. If you just listened to the responses from some lawmakers, you would think they were building a crack house and meth lab. Here's what Washington State's House Speaker had to say about Richard Petty...
Chopp was dismissive when asked about Petty, a hugely popular figure known as “the King” in the world of racing.
“You mean the guy who got picked up for DUI?” the House speaker asked. Chopp quickly added that he’d only heard about a drunken driving incident and wasn’t sure if it were true.
Still, the speaker made it clear he wasn’t impressed. “He’s not a member of the House, last time I checked,” Chopp said.
For the record, Richard Petty has NEVER had a DUI and refuses to have alcholic beverage ads on any of his cars. But Chopp wasn't the only ignorant fool putting his foot in his mouth. Take Rep Larry Seaquist's remarks about Nascar fans...
"These people are not the kind of people you would want living next door to you," Seaquist said. "They'd be the ones with the junky cars in the front yard and would try to slip around the law."
In case you had not guessed, both bozos are Democrats. Now imagine if this was a Republican making statements like this about the NBA. Do you think the media would give them a pass? Or would the AP omit a DUI slur hurled by a Republican? Please... Jesse and Al would be standing in the center of the town demanding an apology. Katie Couric would lead her low rated evening news show with a report on the racist attitudes of Republicans. Keith Olbermann would list the Republican as the worst person in the world. (for the record, both idiots have apologized for their statements but you can't put the ketchup back in the bottle)
I love Nascar and racing. I have done the Richard Petty Ride-A-Long at Daytona International Speedway. Yes I rode with a professional driver for 3 laps at Daytona at speeds up to 150 mph and I even climbed through the window to get into the seat. Anyone that says a Nascar driver is not a professional athlete needs to ride 3 laps around Daytona with a professional driver. You will never make that claim again.
I've been to 3 Pepsi 400 races and 1 Daytona 500. I have never felt safer than when I was among 180,000 plus Nascar fans. Sure there is alcohol at the races but I have not witnessed any drunken brawls or mass arrests. I have seen entire families cheering for their favorite drivers. Every race starts with a public prayer (gasp!), the Pledge of Allegiance (including "under God") and the singing of the National Anthem. Jeff Gordon fans sit next to Dale Jr fans without guns or knives waving. You can even smoke in the grandstand.
I have not seen any junked cars except those involved in wrecks on the tracks. The only trailers are those RV's in the infield and the luxury motorcoaches for the drivers. And it ain't a poor man's sport since tickets cost a minimum of $90 each for the Daytona 500 - if you can even get tickets.
The state of Washington should get down on its knees and praise the revenue Gods that Nascar wants to expand into the state. But now that the reaction of some legislators has been made public, I hope Petty and Company tell the state to stick it up their tailpipe. There are MANY other states that would give the last tooth in their mouth to welcome Nascar. Washington State doesn't deserve Nascar or the $$ it would bring.