NASCAR Drives to Build Latino Fan Base

Maria Burns Ortiz, Fox News Latino, November 4, 2011

The eyes of race fans will be on the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday as NASCAR’s “postseason” is in full effect with just three Sprint Cup races to go.

But it won’t take more than a glance to realize that none of the 12 drivers vying for NASCAR’s annual championship are a minority. While the racing organization has worked hard to overcome the perception that it’s an all-white, male sport, a survey of the current field does little to shift that thinking.

At No. 17, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, who made the move to NASCAR from Formula One racing in 2006, is the only minority ranked in the top 20. In fact, on NASCAR’s drivers’ page, which features 40 of the sport’s top drivers, Montoya is the only minority at all.

The racing organization is seeking to change that–and NASCAR feels it is truly turning the corner on that front.

“[Diversity] is at the very core of our business,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “We believe it is essential for NASCAR going forward to further diversify the field of competitors, the drivers and crew members, the athletes at the core of our sport. It’s a leading corporate and industry initiative.”

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Two weeks ago, NASCAR held its eighth Drive for Diversity combine. The event brought together two dozen promising female and minority racers with the goal of developing talent from underrepresented demographics.

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  • Istvan

    Why does NASCAR need a Columbian driver? They couldn’t find a Puerto Rican, who happen to be native born Americans? Is this another sport, like baseball, where it will soon become wrong to not only hire white Americans, but even native born Americans?

    Who wants to watch a bunch of guys making left-hand turn after left-hand turn anyway!

  • Dean Trask

    When NASCrApR gets more minorities involved, I wonder if their driver’s will run from the car after wrecking it?

  • tightwad

    “Diversity is at the very core of our business…”

    Wrong Ivstan, it isn’t just about making left hand turns but

    the above statement by NASCAR’s VP for muticutural development is

    one of the reason this longtime NASCAR devotee doesn’t even botherto watch it anymore. Political correctness has now smothered NASCAR. The magnificent fistfight by Allison and Yarborough at theend of the Daytona race in 1979 is what NASCAR fans appreciate.The dedication of the then low paid drivers. Today it is just another large corporate (diverse) enterprise.

  • Anonymous

    I cannot think of a better way to kill the sport.

  • NBJ

    “[Diversity] is at the very core of our business,”

    Since when, pray tell? I suggest they take a look in the stands next event to see who their “core” business is and try not to tick them off and run them off.

  • Enough

    Good God are we only going to be left with bridge and caber tossing? Is there no way to fence off some tiny bit of white space in this brave new world?

  • ice

    “Diversity “is at the very core of our business,” NASCAR executive says.”

    Well, here’s an excellent example of the typical greed mongers looking to expand their fortunes by hook or crook instead of being content with having a VERY profitable enterprise with substantial, dedicated fans.

    Like the corporate and governmental merchants of greed who come up with one goofy idea or another on how they might increase their base of taxpayers and consumers and to hell with anything else.

    It would be a joke if their present base left them in droves, and they struggled frantically to survive.

  • Mike Harrigan

    “At No. 17, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, who made the move to NASCAR from Formula One racing in 2006, is the only minority ranked in the top 20. In fact, on NASCAR’s drivers’ page, which features 40 of the sport’s top drivers, Montoya is the only minority at all.

    The racing organization is seeking to change that—and NASCAR feels it is truly turning the corner on that front.”

    Two possibilities here. NASCAR is either putting up a phony “we’re all for diversity” facade to keep the multicult police off their backs, or they are tired of making Billion$ and have a desire to commit corporate suicide. I’m betting on the former. I recall a push to diversify their fan base a few years ago which went nowhere. (And I’m sure we all recall their unpleasant experience by putting a minority female in a position of authority and the ensuing lawsuit by her.) This latest call for diversity by integrating their drivers to look like a hip hop party at the rainbow coalition can probably be classified as a similar false front to silence NASCAR’s critics.

  • Eric

    If this is the way they want to go, then I will enjoy watching their already floundering attendance drop off completely. As it is this “sport” is completely unwatchable, if they want to fill it up with blacks and hispanics it will be even more so.

  • Anonymous

    What concerns me most about auto racing? It’s a sport where you can kill people or severally injure them in an accident. Not only drivers, but fans in the stands are extremely vunerable when cars collide & crash. Flying debri, is just like any projectile, lethal & random. If minorities start entering the profession, things could get real ugly. Imagine one causing an accident & killing a couple of spectators, then hiding behind his race? Or testing positive for drugs? For the most part, this sport has remained relatively clean for its almost 100 year history. It does a good job of policing itself without any outside interference. Diversity could change all that in a few years, and not for the better.

  • Anonymous

    “[Diversity] is at the very core of our business,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “We believe it is essential for NASCAR going forward to further diversify the field of competitors, the drivers and crew members, the athletes at the core of our sport. It’s a leading corporate and industry initiative.”

    Diversifying a majority-white sport is “essential”? Why, exactly?

    All NASCAR should be expected to do, is not to refuse entry to any customers on the basis of color, creed, etc. As long as they’re not discriminating against anybody, they have, in my view, completely fulfilled their obligations to nonwhites. If a black person gets interested in car racing, can he attend a NASCAR event without fear? Yes? Then NASCAR meets federal requirements — and nothing further needs to be done. Certainly nothing that would require hiring a “vice president of public affairs and multicultural development.” Why does such an asinine job title even exist?

    Marcus Jadotte. Interesting name. The kind of name that makes one do a bit of googling. And when one does, one finds a feature from the St. Petersburg Times from 2004, when Marcus Jadotte held his previous high-profile, high-dollar job: as a top member of John Kerry’s campaign team for Florida:

    http://tinyurl.com/6nvq5pc

    On another 14-hour day with the John Kerry campaign last week, Marcus Jadotte juggled umpteen must-do duties. There were meetings with the Rev. Al Sharpton and with Hugh Price, head of the national Urban League…

    Yes, the Diversity Industry has been good to Marcus Jadotte. Very good indeed.

  • Anonymous

    What’s NASCAR going to sponsor next in their pursuit of multiculturalism? Those ridiculous cars on springs that bounce up and down?

  • Anonymous

    The National Hot Rod Association is also pushing this same diversity crap in the sport of drag racing.

    Why is diversity being pushed down our throats everywhere in all advertising, media and television?

    Diversity does not mean continued good times for the descendants of the European that built our once great western society.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s even one more reason for me to not patronize NASCAR!

  • Jeddermann.

    More Mongolians. More Kuwaiti, more Filipino, more Asians across the board, more Jamaicans, more Melanesians and more Pacific Islanders across the board too. More of everyone. More of everyone from everywhere. And tomorrow too! The world will come to an end and quick if we do not! Hurry!

  • sbuffalonative

    How does one arrange affirmative action racing?

    Either you can run with the big dogs or you can’t.

  • ATBOTL

    The root of the problem here is the capitalist mentality. The white Southern men who run NASCAR see their job as making the most money as possible instead of serving their fans, culture and the sport. It’s greed that drives them to keep trying to expand their audience to non-whites. A healthy white society with long term survivability is going to have address this issue.

    Juan Pablo Montoya is white, BTW.

  • flyingtiger

    They are getting Danica Patrick. Isn’t that enough diversity and she might win a few races.

    Remember Danica led more laps at the Indy 500 than any Black or hispanic man.

  • Rhialto

    Here is a picture of NASCAR’S premier deversityite, Señor Montoya. I grew up in a neighborhood where many guys had similar physical characteristics. Suggesting to one of them that he was non-white would have been a great way to start a very nasty fight.

    Whether or not NASCAR is serious about Diversitification, the fact that they must expend resources on it, shows how much power the liberals have in American society. I knew a few black and Hispanic guys who loved cars and were racing fans, but none had much interest in NASCAR or any stock car racing. The blacks liked drag and motorcycle racing; the Hispanics liked sports car racing.

  • Anonymous

    These are white European latinos. The real ones who discovered the west not those imposter mongoloids who crossed the land bridge from Asia. Big difference. Real latinos are white.

  • HH

    Anon # 11 – Excellent find!! You just knew there was more to this clown’s statements than met the eye!! Unreal…

  • Anonymous

    People would think of diversity very differently if NASCAR simply said “we support diversity because we’re threatened if we don’t”. You can’t pity their decline if they won’t even complain about being forced. They could at least say something.

  • white is right, black is whack

    “[Diversity] is at the very core of our business

    Really? Is that why for decades at the NASCAR gatherings there’s been nothing but white southerners? Seriously, trying to add illegals to a traditionally (white) Southern tradition is going to cost them a good deal of revenue.

  • Anonymous

    Hello, Race Fans: NASCAR is now targeted by the Diversity crowd, to make it more like who? It’s fan base? Really?

    I don’t watch NASCAR, because, just like watching Tennis, it bores the hell out of me. So does that Tour de France crap. It seems almost endless. But a large portion of Whites, especially in the South, have made this Sport their own.

    That’s why you can’t have it, because it is a predominately Southern Man’s sport, and we all know that you can’t have anything that is your own, be it NASCAR, or the Confederate Battle Flag.

    Hey, we still have Hockey, and if you want to see a good race, then go down to the Race Track, and watch the horses. At least that is over in a mile and a quarter.

  • Istvan

    17 — ATBOTL wrote at 12:00 AM on November 8: Juan Pablo Montoya is white, BTW.

    20 — Anonymous wrote at 7:33 AM on November 8: These are white European latinos.

    Regardless of their genetic make up they are not culturally white. They will support the “mestizo” agenda against “Anglo-Americans” every time. They want their little Indians to take over America so that they can remain in office because “their” people will vote for them. They want to recreate the stratified Latin American society here. They have no qualms about destroying traditional US culture and language and turning us into what they ran away from. My state senator, Robert Menendez, is a prime example of that. A “white” Cuban who would like nothing better than to turn the US into pre-Castro Cuba.

    The “white” Hispanics will sell us out as quickly as our Jewish politicans have. White is both genetics and culture.

  • Anonymous

    Someone sent me an email which contained David Letterman’s “Top 10 Reasons Why Blacks Are Not in NASCAR”. It was a great laugh.

    I have to watch Dave do this on the You Tube video, again.

    Also, why don’t the current NASCAR fans show up to the next few races with their Confederate flags, or flag shirts, hats, belt buckles. etc., since most of the races are held in the South, and its fan base are mostly White men and teenagers?

    You can send a message about what you think of this new policy in a not so subtle way.

  • G-98/40

    This is just another thump on the way down for NASCAR. At one time I followed it very closely and even went to races at Martinsville frequently. Then Richard Petty retired, McDonalds became a sponsor, and they tried to make a nationwide sport out of what was a regional thing. What White Men made has been sacrificed on the alter of the almighty dollar and equal opportunity. Good riddence!!

  • jdavis

    I wonder why Hispanics and Blacks never had any organization or sport we whites just couldn’t wait to integrate? If they are so special how come nothing they do or build is envied and set upon to integrate?

    How come no country they come from is so wonderful we all want to expatriot there…why?

    Yet we are constantly lied to about this diversity being a strength, when it’s actually a weakness. Oh, PGA golf is doing the same thing by initiating an Hispanic beginners tour to get them involved to beating the white guys on tour. What a dream.

    ETHNOMASOCHISM. When we are all dead and gone.

  • Anonymous

    I work with a black/educated female who regularly attends NASCAR events with her equally black and educated husband. They love it for some reason. When asked about how she liked attending Daytona, she related that while she and her man were very much a minority at the race, she related how unfailingly polite and friendly the fans were/are. To the white mans credit I guess.

    I doubt I would feel as welcome at a ‘freaknic’ or black bike week…

    NASCAR needs to stay out of the diversity biz. One lawsuit and now all this?

  • Anonymous

    10 — Anonymous wrote at 8:07 PM on November 7:

    “What concerns me most about auto racing? It’s a sport where you can kill people or severally injure them in an accident. Not only drivers, but fans in the stands are extremely vunerable when cars collide & crash. Flying debri, is just like any projectile, lethal & random. If minorities start entering the profession, things could get real ugly. Imagine one causing an accident & killing a couple of spectators, then hiding behind his race? Or testing positive for drugs? For the most part, this sport has remained relatively clean for its almost 100 year history. It does a good job of policing itself without any outside interference. Diversity could change all that in a few years, and not for the better.”

    18 — flyingtiger wrote at 1:39 AM on November 8:

    “They are getting Danica Patrick. Isn’t that enough diversity and she might win a few races.

    Remember Danica led more laps at the Indy 500 than any Black or hispanic man.”

    What both of these comments remind me of is a formula car race I saw on satellite during the summer. I can’t remember which one, maybe someone of you will…. But it struck me that of the four or five cars involved, one was Danica Patrick and another was some blond woman rookie (I think). They got away clean, but the guy who got the business end of it incident was hurt bad. I noticed that my prediction a few years back when Patrick entered the scene was coming true; She’s had two emotional blow-ups, a pit collision with another driver, and now this. There’s no doubt, as NASCAR strains to get non-white males into the fray, yet another place to kill off white males has been established.

  • ProudtobeWhite

    NASCAR is doomed once Speedy Gonzales shows up with spinner rims and a low-rider stock car with a bouncing front end.

    Next up: Let’s get hispanics and blacks in ice hockey, because there’s too many Whites in that sport and diversity is our strength…

  • Anonymous

    29 — Anonymous wrote at 4:52 PM on November 8:

    I work with a black/educated female who regularly attends NASCAR events with her equally black and educated husband. They love it for some reason. When asked about how she liked attending Daytona, she related that while she and her man were very much a minority at the race, she related how unfailingly polite and friendly the fans were/are. To the white mans credit I guess.

    ____________________

    Sorry, no it is not “to the White mans credit”. It is to the White man’s detriment, as history will prove. Once you show niceness and welcome even one or two blacks, then the game is over. More blacks will follow and we all know by now, how it all ends up. It is like one black family moving into your White neighborhood and soon Whites will flee as more blacks move in and we have all seen what happens to that once safe, nice White neighborhood.

  • john

    NASCAR needs more race cars styled in the low-rider fashion with welded chain steering wheels, weird wheels and other fashion statements common to ghetto cruisers. They could even install mannequins with heads at window sill level to round out the effect.

    Only then will they be able to exploit the Hispanic market.

  • Anonymous

    Good Lord. NASCAR could not have become anymore worthless. This just adds to it. I grew up a huge fan of stock car racing. The things I liked most about it were the blue-collar good ol boy drivers and the sport’s relative obscurity. It was a refreshing past time where the competitors grew up like me and looked like me. They are LONG gone.

    What has it become? 4 foot, 9 inch, 100lb. sissys from California racing Toyotas in places like Sonoma and Mexico. The good ol boys are gone and the obscurity is gone. It resembles nothing of it’s roots and its biggest stars are phoney-tough-guy DORKS like the Bush Bros. who think they are outlaws. Too bad neither one of them could fight their way out of a wet paper sack.

    NASCAR is dead. They think they are going to revive it with diversity. HA! Good luck.