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 |  Feb 21 2011, 8:11 AM

Earlier this month a debate raged on whether the American armed forces should sponsor NASCAR teams, one that had the potential to get ugly. But the House voted 241-148 to ditch the proposal, allowing the Army, Air Force, and National Guard to keep on racin’.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced the proposal, as an amendment to the House’s 2011 spending bill, by questioning why $7 million was being spent “for a sticker on a NASCAR,” in the words of her chief of staff. She argued that the Army’s NASCAR team did nothing for military readiness, but Army spokesperson Col. Derik Crotts claims that the Army picked up 46,000 potential recruits through its sponsorship efforts in 2010.

The Army has maintained a presence in NASCAR since 2000, through direction from Congress itself. NASCAR, of course, is one of the most popular spectator sports in America, and if the Army wants to attract more people, then—stereotypes aside—there aren’t many better places than stock car racing.

[Sources: Wall Street Journal]

 |  Feb 18 2011, 1:33 PM

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) has been campaigning for the removal of the U.S. Army’s sponsorship of a NASCAR entrant in the Sprint Cup Series, a project that costs the Pentagon about $7 million dollars per year.

While McCollum has fielded irate calls from those who are angry about her proposal, the threat, delivered via fax, was the first of its kind.

For years, the Army has sponsored a NASCAR team as a means of getting the message out about the armed forces, and the career prospects it has to offer. At first glance, it seems like a perfect fit – with NASCAR’s supporters leaning heavily Republican, and supportive of the kind of values that often draws people to the armed forces.

Bill Harper, McCollum’s chief of staff, noted the irony of NASCAR fans, who he assumes to be Republican, and their complaints, when Republican supporters are calling for budget cuts to preserve America’s financial integrity. “We’ve heard innumerable times that the Republicans were elected to send a message from the people that we should stop spending money,” said Harper. “And yet the people who sent that message want us to spend $7 million for a sticker on a NASCAR.”

[Source: Talking Points Memo]

 |  Jan 04 2011, 2:36 PM

With their supply of Renault engines set to dry up after 2011, and new engine regulations coming into place in 2013, current champions Red Bull are said to be looking at producing their own engines, with one rumored partner said to be Volkswagen.

“We are on standby for an interesting partnership, and even the idea of developing our own engine, I think, is no longer so absurd,” said Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull’s co-founder, in an interview with an Australian publication. With current supplier Renault partnering with Lotus, Red Bull’s engine supply is only guaranteed through 2011.

It’s somewhat galling for a soft-drink/marketing empire to speak of constructing a Formula 1 motor, but with Red Bull having finally locked up a championship after fielding a strong car for a number of seasons, perhaps a partnership with an experienced automaker may give Red Bull the opportunity to get a completely in-house championship.

[Source: Inside Line]

 |  Dec 08 2010, 5:45 PM

The black and gold Lotus paint scheme may be Formula 1′s most iconic livery, more dear to the hearts of fans than even the red Marlboro design used on McLaren and Ferrari cars.

While the colors originally came from the John Player Special cigarette design, they’ve managed to burn themselves into the hearts and minds of racing fans, long after Lotus had left the sport, and tobacco advertising was banished once and for all.

The revived Lotus Renault outfit comes from a partnership between Lotus cars and Genii Capital, an investment group that purchased the remnants of Renault’s Formula 1 outfit, that’s also won two championships. Using Renault engines, the name choice was obvious – except that a rival team, which had purchase the Lotus naming rights for the 2010 season, is also campaigning in the 2011 season with Renault power. Their name too, will be Lotus Renault GP. We expect this to be settled in court soon, but in the mean time, hit the jump to see the press release for one of two Lotus Renault Formula 1 outfits.

[Source: Renault]

Continue Reading…

 |  Dec 07 2010, 4:03 PM

Never one to miss an opportunity to make a dollar, Formula 1 magnate Bernie Ecclestone decided to pose with his bruised and battered face – the result of being mugged weeks ago – for Hublot watches, the official horological sponsor of Formula 1.

It seems that Bernie was wearing a Hublot at the time, and his new campaign will feature the tagline “See what people will do for a Hubolt”. We find it tasteless but strangely alluring…much like the watch featured in the Hublot ad campaign.

[Source: Jalopnik]