Contrary to a report Monday by Bloomberg, NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France does not plan to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next month, a NASCAR spokesman confirmed to NBC Sports.
“Brian does not plan to speak at nor attend the convention,” NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said in a statement.
The report comes four months after France and drivers Chase Elliott, Ryan Newman and David Ragan appeared at a campaign rally for presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump and endorsed him.
France and NASCAR received blowback for what France called a “routine endorsement” of Trump that was not intended as an endorsement by the sanctioning body.
“We talked to the campaign about the endorsement that I made, versus the sport, and it’s hard to get that perfectly right all the time,” France told The Associated Press in addition to saying he didn’t support all of Trump’s policies.
The endorsement also brought criticism from Marcus Lemonis, the CEO and Chairman of Camping World, the title sponsor of NASCAR’s Truck series.
“When you control a business, it is very difficult to make sure that the lines don’t get blurry,’’ said Lemonis. A letter Lemonis sent to NASCAR last year after Trump made controversial comments about immigrants led to NASCAR moving the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series banquet from the Trump National Doral
France’s involvement in politics is not new. France has a long history of making monetary donations to Political Action Committees (PAC) and political campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats according to the website opensecrets.org.
Last November, France made donations of $25,000 to the Republican National Committee and $2,075 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Since his endorsement of Trump in February, France has also made donations to the campaigns of Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Reps. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., and Richard Hudson, R-N.C.
Since last September, France has made $43,175 in contributions to committees and campaigns.
Among those were the Republican Presidential campaigns of Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio.