If you question why the Army National Guard has been spending your tax money on a NASCAR team, apparently you're not alone. Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum (D) is wondering aloud why the U.S. Armed Forces has spent nearly $20 million over the past couple of years sponsoring the Stewart-Haas Racing team. That relationship is reportedly coming to an end now, however, as the Army has declined to renew sponsorship for next season.
At first, it might seem NASCAR's core audience and the pool of potential Army recruits would have big overlap. But according to a Marketplace report, Senator McCollum says she was told by the Guard themselves that the NASCAR sponsorship deal has brought in some 24,800 interested recruits. But of that group, only 20 were actually qualified to join the Guard. And of that same group, exactly zero joined. McCollum says her goal is to get Congress to limit what the Army can spend its ad dollars on, and sports sponsorships will not be on her approved list.
Stewart-Haas Racing currently fields teams for Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman. Danica Patrick was to come on board next season, but those plans could be jeopardized by the loss of such a huge sponsor.