Politics has begun coloring virtually every facet of the coronavirus pandemic. And when NASCAR officially restarts this week, becoming the first major U.S. sports league to return from a pandemic-induced hiatus, it will be no different.
Appearing in a race next week in Charlotte will be a team whose objective seems, at once, to be about capturing the checkered flag and boosting President Donald Trump’s re-election chances. And though the slogan on the side of the car seems relatively benign—Trump 2020—the finances behind the operation may not be.
The company behind the effort, Race Fans For Trump 2020 LLC, is run by a Florida commercial pilot named Hank Foley, who’s teamed up with NASCAR driver Tim Viens to blare the president’s name and a call for his reelection. And in anticipation of the Charlotte race, Viens and Foley are also making the rounds in conservative media to hype their team, NASCAR’s return, and Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.