NASCAR’s burning rubber away from Trump National Doral in the wake of resort owner Donald Trump’s remarks denigrating people of Mexican descent.
The racing organization announced Friday at Daytona that the Xfinity Series/Camping World Truck Series postseason banquet, held at Trump National Doral Resort for the first time in 2014, wouldn’t return there in 2015. This year’s location had yet to be determined, although the convenience of being in the same city as NASCAR’s annual season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway put the Trump-owned resort in good stead.
“Everything weighs in,” NASCAR spokesman David Higdon told reporters in Daytona, where NASCAR annually races during the July 4 holiday. “We started talking about this early in the week. Given all the attention brought to this matter and how it impacts our partners, sponsors, our teams and our drivers and certainly ourselves, it ultimately was decision made today that we will not being going back there.”
Considering the significant power of sponsors in auto racing, a Friday letter from Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis undoubtedly pushed NASCAR’s accelerator in zooming away from the resort. Lemonis wrote he wouldn’t attend the ceremony if it’s held at a Trump property.
The two series function as feeders for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series just as Triple A baseball does for Major League Baseball, save that some established Sprint Cup drivers also run the Xfinity Series.
Golf’s major league, the PGA Tour, officially has no comment on any events at facilities owned by Trump, so the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship remains on the resort’s Blue Monster — for now. The late winter event, sponsored in the past by Eastern Airlines, Ryder and Ford, has been a staple of the PGA Tour schedule since 1962.
The PGA released a Thursday statement:
“In response to Mr. Trump’s comments about the golf industry ‘knowing he is right’ in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations. While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on Presidential politics, Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.”