In keeping with coverage of a wide range of sports – not just casinos and free bet offers – for our growing international audience, today we are focusing on NASCAR betting, or the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, a privately-owned American auto racing company based in Daytona, Florida.
NASCAR-sanctioned races have been held all across the United States since 1949, as well as in Canada, Japan, Mexico and Australia, as a part of NASCAR’s new global initiative. The 2021 series roared off this week with the Busch Clash, an annual invitation-only NASCAR Cup Series exhibition event held at Daytona International Speedway going to Kyle Busch. It is a prelude to the world-famous Daytona 500, scheduled for this Sunday.
NASCAR races are held all over America and are between 400-600 miles long. The Daytona, the sport’s showpiece, is contested over 200 laps (500 miles), it can last up to four hours.
NASCAR is arguably as much a part of the fabric of the United States as Apple Pie and was described at the turn of the century as ‘a breakout sports sensation’. However, as with all other matters in recent years, it has operated under a cloud of race politics and, over the years, gained the tag of the ‘Whitest Sport in America’. Most of the drivers are white, the pit crews are white, and it has become a cliché to note that at most races, Confederate flags outnumber African American fans.
Trump’s Bubba Swipe
In the mid-2000s, at a time when professional sport was starting to embrace hip-hop culture, NASCAR was heading in precisely the opposite direction, well into the Donald Trump era, when the political divides grew bigger and the sport saw a marked decline in supporters and TV viewership. Former President Trump, a NASCAR fan, in 2017 took what appeared to be a Twitter swipe at Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only black driver. He congratulated the NASCAR management not putting up with “disrespecting our Country or our Flag,” in response to NASCAR owners’ threats to fire any of their employees who dared protest during the national anthem.
But NASCAR seemed to give drivers and crews cover should they want to protest during the anthem, taking a more open stance than ever before. And in trying to move away from what has been described as their “Trump problem”. Midway through 2020, Democratic presidential nominee and favourite Joe Biden embraced Wallace, after he led the effort to ban images of the Confederate flag at race events.
Joe Biden, like Trump, is a NASCAR supporter who told NASCAR team boss Glen Wood during a visit to Daytona in 2012: “I’d trade being vice-president in a heartbeat for having won Daytona.” Maybe if Donald Trump could find ‘Sleepy Joe’ a NASCAR drive he could stop with his claims of vote rigging and find another way back into “his White House Office”.