NASCAR has officially denied LGBcoin's sponsorship of Brandon Brown's Xfinity Series car for the 2022 season, the Brandonbilt Motorsports team confirmed to FOX Business today.
The team in December announced a full-season deal with the cryptocurrency meme coin, which plays off of the anti-President Biden "Lets Go Brandon" chant and is meant to inspire "positivity and patriotism, grounded in a strong belief in the American dream and the principles of freedom," according to its creators.
The chant started after Brown won his first career race at Talladega Superspeedway last October and the crowd started yelling "F--- Joe Biden" during his post-race interview, which NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast interpreted as "Let's Go Brandon" for the TV audience.
Brown said in an op-ed published by Newsweek that the issue was having a negative effect on his ability to find sponsors, but that he decided to embrace it to highlight "the problems we all share as Americans," which was followed by the LGBcoin backing that the team said was approved by a NASCAR official.
The day after it was announced, Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass reported that NASCAR said it had not yet approved the sponsorship and that it was under review.
"The bottom line is that Brandonbilt Motorsports followed the standard process for sponsor and paint scheme approval and received approval from a NASCAR official empowered to make those decisions, and who makes those decisions on a regular basis. This official then confirmed and reiterated that we had received approval in a phone conversation after the announcement was made," Brandonbilt Motorsports spokesperson Max Marcucci said.
"We are disappointed that NASCAR leadership has chosen to rescind approval of this sponsorship and feel they should have the confidence to own their decision to backtrack and not gaslight a team or a driver. Like every team, we rely on productive and friendly working relationships at all levels of NASCAR. Unfortunately, NASCAR leadership’s handling of this situation now threatens to strain our relationships and places us in an incredibly awkward position, yet again."
NASCAR has not responded to a request for comment from FOX Business, but series president Steve Phelps said in November of the chant, "I think, unfortunately, it speaks to the state of where we are as a country. We do not want to associate ourselves with politics, the left or the right."
NASCAR's sponsorship policy remains somewhat vague on the issue of politics, however, and it has previously allowed cars to run liveries promoting President Trump's reelection and the Black Lives Matter movement, but says the series reserves the right to refuse sponsorships it deems "detrimental to the sport."