On July 18, the House voted to allow NASCAR to continue to have military sponsorships. Although a proposal was made to reduce federal funding, there will not be an amendment. However, this announcement does not have an impact on the U.S. Army's previous decision to stop sponsoring Stewart-Haas Racing, and I do not think they plan on returning next year.
The fate of NASCAR's military sponsorships was decided on July 18 with a House vote. Some representatives argued about the effectiveness of the program while others mentioned that these types of sponsorships increase recruits. The final vote was 216-202 in favor of not adding an amendment that would reduce federal funding for military sponsorships by $72 million.
NASCAR was not the only sport that could have been affected by the cuts. Bass fishing, mixed martial arts and even military bands were on the chopping block. The House voted to keep all of them. However, I doubt this is the last time that military sponsorships in motorsports will be up for a vote because this type of federal funding will continue to be controversial.
No Impact on Stewart-Haas Racing
The House vote on July 18 will probably not have any impact on Stewart-Haas Racing. The U.S. Army had decided to stop sponsoring teams in NASCAR before the vote on July 18. It cited an aging NASCAR audience that made recruitment less likely. In addition, funding and marketing problems were also used as an excuse. It is important to note that NASCAR has struggled in recent years to attract and keep a younger audience. IndyCar is also facing a similar problem. This decision leaves Ryan Newman without a major sponsor for next year. Although there will not be an amendment, the U.S. Army is not likely to change its mind and return to NASCAR.
The National Guard still plans on continuing its sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr. His name was actually used during some of the arguments before the House vote. It seems that Earnhardt's sponsorship is safe for now. However, federal funding of motorsports will continue to be scrutinized in the future.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.