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Je$$e HiJackson and NASCAR Next on O'Reilly (O'REally!)
Bill O'Reilly on Fox News | 4/17/03

Posted on 04/17/2003 5:48:35 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

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To: NormsRevenge
HEY. NASCAR should race the BATMOBILE! That was one FAST BLACK CAR! Would that make him happy? I could be talkin out my A$$,but im in good company with 'ol Jester Jackson.
41 posted on 04/17/2003 7:14:11 PM PDT by JOE6PAK (24 hours in a day ... 24 beers in a case ... coincidence?)
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To: CheneyChick
I should have said the year after but you knew that.

All the babes like jr.
42 posted on 04/17/2003 7:17:00 PM PDT by winodog (The problem is sin. The solution is Christ.)
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To: NormsRevenge

NASCAR: Drive for diversity
Louis Hillary Park
Scripps Howard News Service

As the Winston Cup roars into the new millennium with a six-year, $2.8 billion FOX/NBC television contract, NASCAR officials say they are eager to make Winston Cup racing "look more like America."
Sunday, however, when the green flag dropped on the Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway, no blacks or women were in the field.

"We welcome everybody," says Bill France Jr., the billionaire patriarch of the NASCAR empire. "But motorsports is different. Acquiring a sponsor is so important."

It's also so difficult because putting together a top-tier Winston Cup team can cost $10 million to $15 million a year. To bring an unproven driver onto the Winston Cup circuit and allow him - or her - the four to five years it might take to mature could mean an investment of $40 million to $75 million.

"The barrier really is more in obtaining sponsorship than finding drivers whom we think can drive," says Charles S. Farrell, director of Rainbow Sports, a division of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

Yet emotional and historic barriers also remain.

In the infield by the hundreds on any given Winston Cup Sunday, the most visible remaining symbol of the Old South - the Confederate battle flag - snaps in the breeze, crackling with defiance.

"I've seen the Confederate flags flying, and it scares me," says Farrell. "It summons up a whole level of racism that is not comfortable for African-Americans."

NASCAR has prohibited the use of the flag on any of its licensed products, the trailers that sell those products, and on cars and on drivers' firesuits. But so far the International Speedway Corp., which also is owned by the France family, has declined to ban them from the 12 tracks in which it has an ownership stake.

NASCAR Diversity Manager Dora Taylor calls it a "freedom of speech issue."

Others say it is symbolic of the tightrope NASCAR is walking - racing to expand its fan base among minorities but not wanting to drive away the conservative, white, male, Southerner who always has been the backbone of the sport.

X . . . X . . . X

Even though NASCAR has added 2 million black fans since 1999 (a 29 percent increase), according to a recent ESPN poll, the fan base remains about 76 percent white and 60 percent male.

Blacks comprise 8.9 percent of NASCAR's audience while Hispanics account for 8.6 percent, according to the poll.

Those demographics do not have would-be sponsors scurrying through garages in search of minority drivers or teams to back, especially in today's business climate, says Farrell.

"But black folks also use Tide and drink beer," he says, referencing two of the sport's major sponsors. "It's just a matter of marketing the sport to the minority community."

Farrell says NASCAR chic - in the form of jackets, T-shirt and caps - is making its way into inner-city neighborhoods, even though many of the kids "may not know Valvoline from Vaseline, but they like the look."

It is from those ranks that a pool of Winston Cup-capable drivers will have to emerge.

"This is a unique sport. You're not talking about just passing out some soccer balls," says four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon. "The only way to get more minorities involved in the sport, is to get them started younger."

X . . . .X . . . X

Bill Lester's father took him to his first auto race in 1969, at age 8.

Since then, "I've always been in love with cars," says Lester, 42, an Oakland, Calif., resident and the only African-American driving in any of NASCAR's major series - though it is at what is considered the sport's AA level, Craftsman Trucks.

"I'm here as a racecar driver. I'm here to win. But if I can open up some doors, good," says Lester, who did a lot winning in Sports Car Club of America races throughout the West before hooking up with Bobby Hamilton's Dodge Motorsports truck team in 2001.

Lester's best Craftsman finish to date was 11th last year in the O'Reilly 400K at Fort Worth. But his overall $264,766 in purses was good enough for a 17th-place ranking among Craftsman drivers. He finished 19th in Saturday's Advance Auto Parts 250 in Martinsville, Lester has finished in the top 20 in all four of this year's truck races. standings. In terms of diversity, things are improving in the sport, says Lester, who sits on the 28-member NASCAR Diversity Council.

The council - comprised of drivers, car owners, sponsors and NASCAR officials -meets several times a year "to discuss issues and create strategies that promote diversity throughout the motorsports industry," according to its NASCAR brochure.

"When I went to Talladega (Ala.) in the mid-'90s, I was very much an anomaly. Conversations stopped. Fingers pointed," remembers Lester, who holds an engineering degree from Cal-Berkeley. "NASCAR has come a long way. But there's a ways to go still."

X . . . X . . . X

Goody's Dash Series driver Kelly "Girl" Sutton of Crownsville, Md., began racing at 19. Today, at 31, she is still working her way up the racing ladder the old fashioned way - one series at time - unlike drivers such as 19-year-old Brian Vickers, who was tapped for a ride in the AAA Busch series before he got out of high school.

"My main goal is to be successful in every series I go to," says Sutton. "I think that creates a certain level of comfort, then you take it to the next level."

Driving for the well-financed Team Copaxone in what might be considered NASCAR's instructional league, she finished 17th in the rain-shortened Goody's 150 earlier this year in Daytona and was 17th overall in 2002 Dash Series points.

A third-generation driver, Sutton says, "I would love to run Winston Cup ... (but) I know I'm not ready, as much as my heart would want to take the chance."

Whether she ever makes it onto auto racing's biggest stage, Sutton, a married mother of two, says her gender should have nothing to do with it.

"When we strap the helmet on, we're just like everyone else," says Sutton. "We're just racecar drivers."

X . . . X . . . X

Former Miller Brewing Co. executive Sam Belnavis thinks the best is still ahead for him in NASCAR.

At 62, Belnavis, who is African-American, has teamed with long-time Winston Cup owner Travis Carter to form BelCar Racing. It is the first time a Winston Cup team has had a black majority partner.

BelCar is fielding the No. 54 Army National Guard Ford, driven by NASCAR veteran Todd Bodine.

The team's best finish so far this season has been 11th at the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 held March 30 at Texas Motor Speedway. Bodine finished 37th at last week's Virginia 500, adding $43,850 to the team's winnings, which total $756,655 for the year.

"I think minorities are a sleeping giant from the standpoint of a television audience for the sport," says Belnavis, who is no stranger to NASCAR. As head of sports marketing for Miller Brewing in the early 1980s, he brought the beer seller into NASCAR as a major sponsor.

Belnavis hopes BelCar can serve as a beacon for minorities interested in the sport, but he says the most important thing in Winston Cup is putting the sponsor's logo across the finish line first.

Having brought his daughters Cherise Belnavis-Johnson, 30, and Stacey Bobbins, 31, onto the team for public relations and administrative support, Belnavis says he is looking for long-term success in the sport, not just short-term headlines based on his skin color.

"If you look at the racing community at large, you'll see that it is very family driven," he says. "I want to leave something that will be beneficial for my family.

"I hope to leave this as a legacy for them."

- E-mail Louis Hillary Park at

43 posted on 04/17/2003 7:18:54 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: winodog
All the babes like jr.

Last year I liked Kenny - cuz he had the M&M car (38)..... Don't have a fave this year, although am keeping an eye on #40 - but someone (like Jeffy) should warn him about those Winston Cup girls....

44 posted on 04/17/2003 7:22:53 PM PDT by CheneyChick
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To: Blue Screen of Death
Now THAT is FUNNY!....."race" CARS for Jesse the race king.
45 posted on 04/17/2003 7:29:29 PM PDT by goodnesswins (We decide, then Report, IF we want you to know: CNN...the MOST TRUSTED in News, by CRIMINALS!)
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To: NormsRevenge; billbears; 4ConservativeJustices; aomagrat
The only diversity I need in NASCAR is Ford or Chevy.
46 posted on 04/17/2003 7:29:35 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
Hey now, I'm driving a MOPAR truck so somebody better tell me who drives that brand that's good. Mind you, the man in the big brown truck is still my driver
47 posted on 04/17/2003 7:31:55 PM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: Go Gordon; freedomcrusader
..."tainted" by divorce.

While Gordon's not my favorite (I do enjoy his road course driving), me thinks "keeping the ole' earnings down" until
the the final decree just may have something to do with it.

Jackson and NASCAR. Oh well, one less sport to pay attention to now.

If only the IRS would turn its scrutiny on Je$$e. I'm flabbergasted the Bent One didn't issue a blanket pardon to him.

BTB, I recall an old thread about the mafia influence in NASCAR when the Frances' took somewhat of a smaller role.

Bill France. I guess some people could stretch the boycott....

48 posted on 04/17/2003 7:32:14 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: kcvl
"I've seen the Confederate flags flying, and it scares me," says Farrell. "It summons up a whole level of racism that is not comfortable for African-Americans."

That's B.S. At the 500 last year, I was next to a black man and his family from South Carolina. He had an RV that cost more than my house with a great big Confederate Flag painted on both sides. He had a large screen tv that flipped out on the side of the trailer and we watched a good part of the race together.

49 posted on 04/17/2003 7:34:04 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner; billbears
The only diversity I need in NASCAR is Ford or Chevy.

I really wanted a Dodge (waiting on the Jeep), but after the Germans screwed up with their comments about conservatives, I bought a Ford instead.

PS. Jessee Jackson is a lying, thieving scumbag, and the blacks I know are repulsed by the adulterous leech.

50 posted on 04/17/2003 7:35:08 PM PDT by 4CJ (Margaritas ante Porcos)
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To: billbears
Bobby Hamilton is doing pretty good in a Dodge (in the truck series)..

51 posted on 04/17/2003 7:36:38 PM PDT by pnz1
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To: kcvl
I had the pleasure of being involved with producing promotional stuffs (mostly embroidered garments but we did some other stuff too) for Team Marines racing when they got started. They've since changed the logo somewhat, but it sure was cool being part of it.
52 posted on 04/17/2003 7:52:07 PM PDT by visualops
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To: freedomcrusader
Write them and tell them you're not coming.
53 posted on 04/17/2003 7:53:31 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: freedumb2003
If those race cars are stolen, they'd have no problem driving them!
54 posted on 04/17/2003 7:58:50 PM PDT by Humidston (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law)
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To: freedomcrusader; winodog
I hope this Jesse Jackson flap does run some of you whiners off. You fools don't know what you're talking about.
55 posted on 04/17/2003 8:06:49 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: #3Fan
Why do you resort to name calling so quickly?

Do you really believe that DE will come back on a white horse with a army of angels?
56 posted on 04/17/2003 8:12:51 PM PDT by winodog (The problem is sin. The solution is Christ.)
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To: winodog
Why do you resort to name calling so quickly?

Because you're a liar.

Do you really believe that DE will come back on a white horse with a army of angels?

Where have I said that? More proof of your lying.

57 posted on 04/17/2003 8:15:37 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: All
FYI - Bill O'Reilly re-air on FNC now. You might get a laugh out of the michigan lawyer and advocate who are on as well, re: a court case dealing with random drug testing for welfare applicants.

It would appear that Je$$e and the Rainbow/PUtScH folks have invented their own form of welfare.

The NASCAR / Je$$e segment is about 45 minutes into his show.

58 posted on 04/17/2003 8:17:13 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi .. Support FRee Republic.. God Bless America!!!)
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To: winodog
Here's a little advice: I think someone like you would be better off watching baseball instead of NASCAR. Just think of all those balls and strikes calls you can whine about and make up conspiracies out of thin air. A more target-rich environment.
59 posted on 04/17/2003 8:20:11 PM PDT by #3Fan
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To: kcvl
oh no.... not CART too, i can give up nascar but damn...
60 posted on 04/17/2003 8:23:59 PM PDT by rattrap
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