Green Room

Racing/Palin fans, heads up: Rahal LETTERMAN Racing

posted at 7:34 pm on June 13, 2009 by

I’m not a sports fan*, but thanks to commenter Brian1972 here’s a heads up on another way you can show your displeasure about David Letterman’s vile comments and faux apology.  It turns out that Letterman is a partner in a well known racing organization, that participates in a little event you might have heard of – the Indy 500.

Brian writes:

As as far as Letterman’s sponsors go, there is one angle nobody seems to be noticing. It’s Letterman’s off-air passion, his love, close to his heart.

It’s called Rahal-Letterman Racing.

A one team IndyCar league operation with Indy racing legend Bobby Rahal. They have also expanded into the American LeMans Series sports car endurance racing.
They are using the brand new BMW M3 race car.
BMWUSA has the team featured with their own section of the corporate website.

The teams in both Indy and ALMS have other sponsorships, without which they cannot afford this very expensive hobby. It costs a lot to show up, much less be competing for a chance to win. I don’t know how Bobby Rahal feels about all of this, but it might be interesting to get him and the valuable sponsors he has lined up to go on the record.

In this economic environment, racing sponsorships are harder than ever to come by, and you can’t do much racing without them.

In fact, it was Rahal LETTERMAN Racing, which brought Danica Patrick to the IndyCar Series. And this isn’t just a financial investment to Letterman:

In 2002 Letterman once again realized a lifelong dream when he for the first time co-owned a car in the Indianapolis 500. In honor of Letterman, Team Rahal entered the Indianapolis 500 as Rahal Letterman Racing.

Given how well Palin was received at racing venues during the campaign, maybe some Palin fans would like to share their opinions about Letterman with the NASCAR Indy community.

Letterman wants to get personal?  Let’s give him what he wants and make it personal, then.

*Added: I wasn’t kidding when I said I don’t know sports.  Indy, Daytona, it’s all driving around in circles for many tedious hours to me.  Evidently there’s some driver and fan overlap, but that’s really no excuse, I referenced the wrong race.  Sorry ’bout that… title changed to reflect the fact that NASCAR is not Indy.

Rahal LETTERMAN Racing Sponsors and Partners:

Can BMW afford to be associated with the likes of David Letterman? Ask them!
BMW of North America, LLC
300 Chestnut Ridge Road
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677-7731

How about CONANT AUTO RETAIL GROUP? David Conant is doubtless working hard to sell cars in these tough economic times, especially in California.  But when you buy from him, some of those profits end up in Rahal LETTERMAN Racing.
Conant Auto Retail Group
(562) 402-3844
10820 183rd St Ste 250
Cerritos, CA 90703

Then there’s Rousseau, the Official Toolbox of Misogynistic Snark. They claim to be “recognized for our sincere approach of listening, responding and respecting partners and clients.” But do they respect women? Let’s find out!
Phone : 866-463-4270
Email: [email protected]
105, avenue de Gaspé Ouest
St-Jean-Port-Joli (Québec)
Canada G0R 3G0

For you geeky racing fans, there’s NEC. Can you look at your NEC monitor and be happy that even a tiny amount of the purchase price ended up benefiting David Letterman?  I can’t. Let’s ask them how they view contributing to Dave’s abusive rhetoric toward teenaged girls:
NEC Display Solutions of America
500 Park Blvd.
Suite 1100
Itasca, Illinois 60143
Phone: 630.467.3000
Fax: 630.467.3010

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I’m not big into racing of any sort, but I’m pretty sure Indy & NASCAR are totally separate things (stock car vs. formula 1 or something like that). Just FYI if you didn’t know.

zerosheep on June 13, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Look, zerosheep… was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?! er… thanks for the heads up, post is updated accordingly. 🙂

Laura on June 13, 2009 at 8:48 PM

Er, may not want to overreach here. Many race fans are salt-of-the-earth types, and of course lots of them like Palin and would like to defend her daughters.

If you’ve ever been on the infield, or heard about the popular drivers’ legendary conquests… not sure attacking Letterman on the racing front is going to have much of a payoff.

Could be wrong, but there’s my .02.

cs89 on June 13, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Obviously, racing’s not my bag, which is a pity because my grandfather was pretty well known for it. The car he drove in the 1950s is in the Smithsonian, even. Race fans in my family are mightily annoyed by my ignorance. All of that to say, I’m ignorant of racing but certainly not in an “anti-racing” snobby elitist way.

I’m not clear on why racing fans wouldn’t jump to Palin’s defense here. They might like Rahal, but wouldn’t that mean they’d pressure him all the more to dissociate himself from scum like Letterman?

Laura on June 13, 2009 at 10:53 PM

massrighty on June 13, 2009 at 10:33 PM

Many would jump to her defense, probably. Many others would laugh at sex jokes, IMO. Nascar has broadened a lot, and Indy has always been a different atmosphere. Could be wrong. Just remember anecdotal information about the parties, innuendo etc. which was a part of the racing culture at least in the past.

I think it’s despicable what he has said, just think the attempt to “hit him where it hurts” by trying to affect his racing enterprise is a bit of a stretch.

Could be wrong, who knows?

cs89 on June 13, 2009 at 10:59 PM

Oops- not sure what happened with my copying there. Sorry.

cs89 on June 13, 2009 at 10:59 PM

Many others would laugh at sex jokes, IMO.

I can live with a chuckle or a sneer at the “slutty flight attendant” meme. Palin’s a grownup and can take care of herself. But the attacks on the girls have got to stop. I think, I hope, racing fans would agree on that. Guess we’ll see, if the word gets around about this.

Laura on June 13, 2009 at 11:05 PM

Racing culture, if it can be thought of in a monolithic way (it’s a lot more diverse than many think,) has some underpinings that can be thought of as “old-fashioned American values.”

Even with some crude jokes thrown in, respect for women and families runs through it. Along with chivalry/galantry, most fans I know are, and will be outraged by the whole seamy Letterman mess.

massrighty on June 13, 2009 at 11:24 PM

You are on the right path. And yes, Indy Racing is totally different than NASCAR, or my sport, drag racing.

At the drags, women are very much accepted and encouraged. In fact, just last night (Friday) Ashley Force, who’s father John Force is the winningest drag racer in history, was again number one qualifier in the 8000 horsepower fuel Funny Car class with a 4.07 elapsed time at 303 mph.

Indy is more “cosmopolitan” that NASCAR or NHRA. And don’t forget that Ashley Judd, the loon that teamed up with the “wolf people” and did a lot of totally false ads against Palin is married to former Indy winner, and world champ Dario Franchitti.

With that said, I posted this over at Red State and elsewhere regarding Rahal-Letterman.

The bottom line is this. You can go after Letterman in a couple of ways. You can go to Rahal-Letterman’s website, and go after their marketing partners (sponsors).

You can go to the Indy Racing League’s website, and join their forum. You can then bring up good old David there.

Also, ALL cars in the IRL use Honda engines. You can express your feelings to both Honda, as well as Honda Racing.

Bobby Rahal also owns a multi-franchise auto dealership group:

As far as I am concerned, we are at WAR. We need to take Letterman down. If we don’t. this will make the left think that they can do absolutely anything to anyone unchallenged.

We should have went thermonuclear over the Carrie Prejean deal, and didn’t. We REALLY should have started WWIII over the vile Playboy blog acting out hate rape fantasies against Megyn Kelly, Michelle Bachmann and others. But we didn’t.

This is the final straw folks. If we won’t go to war over this, then we need to just give up and let the left wing have America.

gary4205 on June 14, 2009 at 12:11 AM

I agree with you about going to the mattresses on this, and I think we should do it every single time. It’s time to put them on the defensive. We always give up to soon – McCain, during the campaign, steadfastly refused to go for the jugular, but Palin’s instinct was to fight. That’s why I like her so much.

Laura on June 14, 2009 at 12:14 AM

Laura you rock. And good call by Brian1972 too.

This Letterman thing has gone completely non-linear and I am so glad. Lets defend THE PRESIDENT OF ALASKA’s children.

Geochelone on June 14, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Laura, great post and excellent approach with the racing fans. I don’t see the connection AT ALL between drivers and their crazy antics off the track. It gets down to joking about rape and the left’s ever-widening circle of hypocrisy. That’s what’s driving a lot of people nuts here… the double standard. Sexist or racist remarks are accepted as okay if done by the Obama team. Rape jokes are NOT okay. The left’s attempts at framing Palin as some loose co-ed are not gonna stick. She’s too competent; her success this week with the pipeline deal is more proof that scares the left: she walks the walk, while Barack talks the talk… and they know it.

Frankly, flight attendants have every right to be offended too. Who the hell does Letterman think he is? A professional baseball player raping a teen? HillBuzz and a number of sites are on this in a big way. I plan to send letters. If racing fans get involved and stand up to the left’s sexism, so much the better. (Hillary was treated like crap during the primaries and Bill too, for that matter. Obama and his cronies make anti-white and anti-Semitic remarks and the media just looks the other way.)

If you’ve ever been on the infield, or heard about the popular drivers’ legendary conquests…

Conquests and rape jokes are not the same thing.

Vermont Neighbor on June 14, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Well, look at this!

I’ve got my own HotAir post! How cool is that?

Gary4205 did some of the homework I did not have time to do.
Good links, and you are right on the money about the motorsports community, as far as I can tell. You’re more involved than I am, I just watch on TV.
In some quarters, the Indy people do look down on NASCAR and NHRA, although it’s not universal.
There seem to be a strain of Indy purists who think that NASCAR is for morons or something, because NASCAR does not use much of the new telemetry and digital technology on the race cars the way Formula1 does.
The engines are still carberuated, with no computer on board managing the ignition timing or anything else.
Old school. That is the point when considering the heritage of NASCAR, they don’t want to be too far from the “shade tree mechanic” history that so many fans can relate to.
That makes it distinctly different, which I think is good.
IndyCars are sort of an American F1 wannabe anyway.
It’s nowhere near as popular or profitable as NASCAR, and that rankles some purists too. I think Letterman himself probably privately is one of these gearhead snobs.
That’s not to indict all of Indy racing or the fans, which do overlap, but the strain of snobs do exist.

Consider also that many Democrat party media strategists have used the “NASCAR crowd” phrasing to disparage the Republican party base as Confederate racist idiots.
That has been a deliberate method on their behalf for several years now, I think I recall James “serpenthead” Carville doing this many times.

Another thing I’m recalling as I type this is that Cindy McCain has some involvement with stock car racing too.

Thanks for the recognition, Laura.
I agree with you all the way.
I don’t expect that Letterman will lose his job, or that Bobby Rahal will split from him.
The heat should be felt so that next time this douchebag will think twice before treating a duly elected sitting Governor and blue star mother, who in her own right is a historic figure in American politics, with the kind of venom he has since last August.
It’s not just about the daughters, which is the worst of this episode, but it’s about Sarah Palin too.
She does not deserve to called “slutty”, when she has done nothing to warrant that but be born a very beautiful lady.
Where was Letterman on the John Edwards deal?
Now there is a slut if I ever saw one!

Brian1972 on June 14, 2009 at 7:09 PM

McCain, during the campaign, steadfastly refused to go for the jugular, but Palin’s instinct was to fight. That’s why I like her so much.

Laura on June 14, 2009 at 12:14 AM

Ditto that!

We cannot spare this woman, she fights!

Brian1972 on June 14, 2009 at 7:10 PM

This is a novel approach and one which can have an impact. All different divisions of racing are facing hard times due to lack of sponsorship dollars.
For instance, last years champion of the NASCAR Truck series had to sit out the race this weekend because of lack of sponsorship, and he is the defending champion.
Contacting the sponsors, who in turn put pressure on Rahal/Letterman racing may work far more effectively then writing letters and calling CBS. Dave doesn’t feel any threat of losing his job and the folks at CBS aren’t going to do anything. Look how long they let Dan Rather go.

Just A Grunt on June 15, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Er, may not want to overreach here. Many race fans are salt-of-the-earth types, and of course lots of them like Palin and would like to defend her daughters.

If you’ve ever been on the infield, or heard about the popular drivers’ legendary conquests… not sure attacking Letterman on the racing front is going to have much of a payoff.

Could be wrong, but there’s my .02.

cs89 on June 13, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Crawl out of your cave a$$hole.

R D on June 15, 2009 at 10:48 PM

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