IndyCar rejects ads for RFK Jr. and Trump on cars for Indy 500, will not allow political messaging on vehicles

News & Politics

The IndyCar Series will not allow political messaging on its vehicles, denying a request to promote Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Donald Trump. This follows Trump’s alleged participation in a different event that was mysteriously canceled the night before the race a month before.

A request was made ahead of the Indy 500, which is considered the largest single-day sports event in the world, to place political branding on the participating vehicles.

However, officials for the racing series said that for the May 26, 2024, event, no political messaging will be allowed on the cars.

“IndyCar does not approve sponsorships associated with elected officials, candidates for political office, or political action committees,” an IndyCar spokesperson told Racer.

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A request for political ads was reportedly made by just one entry for the race and planned on promoting both RFK Jr. and Trump on the body of the car. IndyCar has instead asked that the unnamed team present car sponsors that are considered more typically in line with traditional racing sponsorships.

This move came after an appearance by Trump at a March 2024 event was allegedly canceled for unknown reasons.

The former president was reportedly asked to give the command to start engines at the $1 Million Challenge at the Thermal Club in Palm Springs, California, in March 2024.

According to Racer, Trump was part of the broadcast plans for the unique race, but his appearance was canceled the night before the event. It was also reported that the appearance was arranged by the leadership of the private facility and not by IndyCar.

The event is designed to be a TV spectacle with appearances by celebrities and well-known drivers and takes place in a private country club in a gated community. The race is 20 laps, with no pit stops and with a $500,000 prize for the winning team.

The Thermal Club reportedly has just 180 members.

Trump has experience being the marshal for such events; he gave the command to “start your engines” at the Daytona 500 during his presidency in 2020.

As for the Indy 500, over 300,000 fans are expected to attend the event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. NASCAR driver Kyle Larson is expected to perform an unusual feat by racing in the Indy 500 — which is set to start at 12:45 p.m. — and then taking part in NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 later that evening at 6 p.m.

The last driver to complete that feat was Kurt Busch, who finished sixth at the Indy 500 and 40th at the Coca-Cola 600, according to Fox News.

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