The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend is a big deal, and it wouldn’t be too shocking to see potential presidential candidates utilize the platform as a vehicle to promote their campaign. What is a surprise, however, is the surface of an anti-Hillary Clinton group, declaring their intention to crowdfund a sponsorship that would see an IndyCar dressed in a “No Hillary ‘16” livery.
Road & Track spoke to some of the group’s Indianapolis-based supporters, who have recently launched the www.nohillary16.net fundraising site. The initiative is real, and it’s believed to be linked with former Indy 500 team “Fan Force United.” We reached out to the team for comment, but have not yet heard back.
The anti-Hillary group hopes to raise $999,999. As of writing this, 11 backers have donated just $610, so the likelihood of the initiative reaching its goal within the next 51 days is slim. (It’s worth noting that a top team at the Indy 500 would offer a car for around one million dollars in sponsorship, but a small team like Fan Force United would likely do it for half that; the site states that no money will be collected until the total goal is met, and if by some miracle that occurs, there’s little doubt someone’s pockets will benefit.)
Another reason the group might not succeed is that the “contribute now” button on its website is currently broken.
Here’s what the group says about Hillary:
“Hillary Clinton stands for everything that is wrong with our country today: constant attacks on our Second Amendment right, the degradation of our Religious Freedoms, a joke of a ‘Health Care’ system, a complete failure of a foreign policy, and so much more. This Memorial Day, we want to make a bold statement to the world that The American People have had enough of these failures! We are collecting contributions to enter a car in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, the largest sporting event on the planet, to make your voice heard. “WE DON’T WANT HILLARY!” If you care about Freedom, Democracy, Liberty, and The American Dream, don’t wait a second longer and join us today.”
Questions rise about what team and driver would want to be associated with such a vilified campaign; regardless of your political beliefs, brands like Honda, Chevrolet, Verizon and Firestone will be wary of associating themselves with this, and to a driver, it’s a surefire way of alienating a vast portion of the population—along with many other industry relations one might have facilitated. Having said that, if Jaden Smith will wear a dress for a million bucks, you can bet a starving race car driver will change his or her political beliefs and become a walking billboard of hatred.
As Road & Track notes, even if funding is met and the program is green lit, it needs to be accepted by the Verizon IndyCar Series for entry. Unless the series is hurting to find 33 entrants, there’s no guarantee that would happen—and even then they’d need to convince either Chevy or Honda for an engine lease and get Firestone to supply them with tires; the likelihood of seeing the “No Hillary ‘16” IndyCar on track for the hundredth running of the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing” gets slimmer by the minute.
As for Clinton’s potential rival in the November elections, should she win the Democratic nomination over Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump likely wouldn’t be too welcome at Indy either. In 2011, he accepted an invite to pace the field, but a campaign to “Bump Trump” forced him to withdraw. Perhaps the Clinton camp would be wise to sponsor its own Indy 500 car, sticking their middle finger up—figuratively speaking, of course—at the haters. The chance of that happening, though, is probably as remote as “No Hillary ’16.”