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Indy 500 Puts Kibosh on Proposed Trump/RFK Jr. Livery

The motor sports magazine Racer reported the other day that a proposed livery for the upcoming Indianapolis 500 — the 108th running of which will take place on May 26 — would have promoted presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

IndyCar officials rejected the proposed design, citing a longstanding policy of disallowing political messaging on car liveries. A statement from an IndyCar spokesperson, quoted by Racer, read as follows: “IndyCar does not approve sponsorships associated with elected officials, candidates for political office or political action committees.”

It’s not clear which driver wanted to run the proposed design. But Jalopnik suggests that it was probably Santino Ferrucci, who was blocked from running a “Make America Great Again”-themed paint scheme in a 2018 Formula Two race and is now an IndyCar driver.

Whoever the mystery driver is, it may be just as well that the design was nixed. After initially considering RFK Jr. as a potential running mate, Trump has more recently been attacking him, so the car livery might have been awkward for all concerned.

(No political opinions have been expressed in this post. Let’s please keep it that way in the comments. Thanks.)

(My thanks to Ron Ruelle for bringing this development to my attention.)

Comments (17)

    Such a shame. It would have been just the most tremendous, the greatest, a terrific livery. The best livery ever put on a car, people were saying.

    It’s good that they keep their rules consistent over the years, although rejection of a livery design isn’t something new and I believe it’s fair to say that all the candidates have been attacking each other… again, nothing new there LOL

    Obama tried to buy a NASCAR sponsorship in 2008 (link), but it never raced and I can’t find any reporting as to why.

    I found reporting and it looks like that story was overblown.

    Apparently an “independent agent” tried to sell sponsorship packages on the BAM team’s car to the Obama campaign, the McCain campaign, and “at least one third party campaign.” Then he claimed to be a spokesman for BAM and told Sports Illustrated that the Obama sponsorship would be happening, even though all that happened was “tentative, exploratory talks.”

    The Obama campaign declined the sponsorship. It doesn’t sound like there was ever a livery designed or a car painted in Obama colors.

    I found the reporting on Jayski’s site at: link

    His archive isn’t really conducive to deep linking, but the BAM/Obama story appears in the section for July 13th, 2008.

    Mark Warner (currently a senator) advertised on a Nascar truck when he ran foe governor link

    Corey LaJoie drive a Trump 2020 car in several NASCAR races this year. I am glad that IndyCar is not following NASCAR’s lead in permitting political cars.

    Money is money. No different than taking the LIV money from the Saudis. Since tobacco money was outlawed it’s been tough on everyone to field cars.

    Bravo to IndyCar!!!

    Are there other examples of Indycar rejecting livery designs?

    Still thinking about how this livery would have looked. Incorporating an image of those gold sneakers?

    Yes, and your point? Do you know how many F1 drivers Indy has chewed up and spit out after saying as much? Nearly ALL of them were sent packing without a trip to Victory Lane. Nigel Mansel was famously humbled by Indy’s 4 left turns.

    The track is only 50 ft wide.
    The banking is only 9-11 degrees
    There is a cement wall.
    You’re doing 240mph down the front stretch in an open wheel car (3 wide) and you’re expected NOT to lift into the turn.

    The left AND right turn guys usually can’t hang with that proposition.

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