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Douglas Andrews / November 8, 2021

Clueless NASCAR Boss Defends Brandon Administration

The iconic racing organization’s president seems unusually troubled by the viral chant that was born on a NASCAR track.

One of the fundamentals of good communication — and good leadership in general — is to know one’s audience. Given this, we don’t think it’s a stretch to say that NASCAR President Steve Phelps doesn’t know his audience. Or worse: Maybe he does know his audience, but he just doesn’t give a rip what they think.

As the Associated Press reports, “NASCAR denounced its association with the ‘Let’s go, Brandon’ political cry being used across the country as an insult directed at President Joe Biden.” The AP continued:

Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s president, said Friday the top motorsports series in the United States does not want to be associated with politics “on the left or the right.” Phelps also said NASCAR will pursue action against any illegal use of its trademarks on merchandise boasting the slogan. Retired baseball star Lenny Dykstra posted a photo on Twitter this week of a man eating breakfast at a New Jersey hotel wearing a black “Let’s go, Brandon” shirt alongside NASCAR’s trademarked color bars.

Whether Phelps likes it or not, the LGB(FJB) chant was born on October 2 at a NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, during which NBC’s Kelli Stavast interviewed race-winner Brandon Brown and gamely tried to rebrand the loud and unmistakable cheer coming from the grandstands directly behind her — to no avail.

Alabama, by the way, went for Manhattan billionaire Donald Trump by more than 25 points last November. On the other hand, Phelps’s home state of Vermont, which proudly claims octogenarian socialist Bernie Sanders as its junior senator, went for Joe Biden by more than 35 points. That might help explain why Phelps is so offended by the fun, funny, and brilliantly G-rated version of an R-rated anti-Joe Biden cheer.

And so might this: Before joining NASCAR in 2005, Phelps spent 14 years in marketing with the NFL, which coincidentally began going for “woke” around the same time he was its vice president for corporate marketing.

Had Phelps simply reserved his comments to the matter of infringement on NASCAR’s trademark and logo usage, that would’ve been fine. Instead, though, he waded into the politics.

“I think unfortunately it speaks to the state of where we are as a country,” said Phelps. “We do not want to associate ourselves with politics, the Left or the Right. We obviously have and we’ve always had, as a sport, tremendous respect for the office of the president — no matter who is sitting.”

It’s interesting. Phelps’s prior employer, the NFL, has certainly associated itself with politics. Maybe neutrality is the best Phelps can hope for here. He continued: “Do we like the fact that it kind of started with NASCAR and then is gaining ground elsewhere? No, we’re not happy about that. But we will continue to make sure that we have respect for the office of the president.”

Remember: This isn’t the first time NASCAR has lurched leftward and stepped in it. Recall that last year, the organization went overboard when narcissistic social justice warrior and driver Bubba Wallace claimed he’d been the victim of a noose-hanging hate crime — at the same Talladega track that gave rise to “Let’s Go Brandon.”

NASCAR’s Phelps should’ve learned his lesson: Know your audience. Let them have some fun. And tell the woke mob to pound sand.

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