NASCAR Team Owner For Senate

In recent years, politics and NASCAR have played hand-in-hand. Presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush (First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden were at Homestead last season) have come to races and candidates for the office have made it an obligatory stop – Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were at Daytona this election cycle.

So it only seems fitting that we have a NASCAR team owner running for office – in this case it’s RAB Racing’s Robby Benton.

Graphic courtesy of

Benton, who against all odds has kept RAB going and thriving in a sport dominated by much better funded organizations, is a candidate for the Republican nomination for a Senate seat in the North Carolina General Assembly. The district, #41, covering north and a sliver of east Mecklenburg County is a decidedly safe Republican district.

Benton though faces a tough primary against five opponents including favorite, Cornelius, N.C. Mayor Jeff Tarte. The winner of the primary is very likely to go on to win in November.

Benton isn’t alone in the ranks of NASCAR team owners pursuing elected office. In 1996, Richard Petty was the Republican nominee for North Carolina Secretary of State. Petty ultimately didn’t put a lot into campaigning and lost the election by 8 points to then State Senator and current N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.

I’m no political prognosticator, but this is no doubt an interesting item to keep an eye on.

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2 Responses to “NASCAR Team Owner For Senate”

  1. safemike1 says:

    Though he was not NASCAR, in 1994, Don “Big Daddy” Garlits was the Republican Party nominee for Florida’s 5th Congressional District. He was defeated by the Democrat running against him.

  2. Captain Jack says:

    Not being local to NC, though I had a job offer at a speed shop before I could vote, and loved the state while there…why?

    What’s ultimately in it for him? Better paycheck and profits than the racing team is putting in his bankroll? More leverage? Finally has enough cash to run for office?

    Further – why hire him to run your local gov’t? Race team itself isn’t winning awards, their marketing stinks, and it’s all gonna go under pretty quick – my condolences to the actual team; been unemployed here in Motor City Galore for ages…least y’all made a few tiny bucks.

    There’s almost got to be an ulterior motive here. My guess, looking at local, corrupt people in gov’t, is leveraging his team and whitewashed successes before it goes belly-up…”I ran a successful team in Nascar, and I can help your community!” *insert election* *RAB goes BOOM!*

    It’s hard to type this while shaking my head so much.

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