Friday, May 18, 2012

Republican Led Amendment Will Ban Military Sponsorship in NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman would need new sponsors if an amendment banning military sponsorship of professional sports becomes law.

The amendment — led by a southern Republican — is attached to the $608 billion defense bill, which the House Appropriations Committee approved Thursday.

The amendment states: "None of the funds made available in this act may be used to sponsor professional or semi-professional motorsports, fishing, wrestling or other sports."

This action comes shortly before Memorial Day weekend, when the military will be prominent in the Coca-Cola 600 and Indianapolis 500.

The cars of Earnhardt (National Guard), Newman (U.S. Army) and Aric Almirola (Air Force) will feature military sponsors in the NASCAR race. J.R. Hildebrand, who nearly won last year's Indy 500, will be back with National Guard in that showcase race of the Izod IndyCar Series.

"You've got to lead by example," Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga told USA TODAY Sports. "I think that if Southern, pro-NASCAR people say, 'You know what, I love NASCAR but this is not a good recruiting tool (and) we've got to make some serious decisions in the name of the (USA).' I think NASCAR fans would appreciate that."