NASCAR Promotes 75th Anniversary With Drivers and Officials Ringing Stock Exchange Bell, but One Team and Manufacturer Noticeably Missing From the Ceremonies
NASCAR celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. As part of the Diamond Anniversary celebration, which will include various special moments throughout the year, the organization promoted the milestone ahead of the start of the 2023 season.
This week, NASCAR President Steve Phelps visited the New York Stock Exchange and was joined by Jeff Gordon and several drivers to ring the closing bell. While everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, it was hard not to notice the one team and one manufacturer not represented in the festivities.
NASCAR celebrates 75 years
As NASCAR enters its 75th season, it’s a good time for everyone to look back on the sport’s storied past and see how far it’s come.
It’s a pretty remarkable story to think that it started on the beaches of Daytona and blossomed into the major sport and multi-million dollar business that it is today.
To honor this rich history, the sanctioning body will be celebrating the momentous occasion with fans throughout the year. Fans already got a taste of it early in the new year when NASCAR took part in the Rose Bowl Parade with a float featuring legendary icon Richard Petty of the past and Truck Series rookie driver Rajah Caruth, representing the future of sport.
NASCAR president and others ring the closing bell
This week, as part of its anniversary festivities, NASCAR had several representatives in New York at the Stock Exchange, including Chairman Steve Phelps, Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports and Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon, as well as drivers Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez. .
The highlight of the visit came when all of the NASCAR dignitaries stood above the stock exchange floor, applauded, and Phelps rang the closing bell. Additionally, Phelps, Gordon and Elliott sat down for an interview on NYSE Floor Talk, which visits exchange guests and talks about their business.
Feeds conspiracy theory of playing favorites with Hendrick Motorsports
No one will blame NASCAR officials for trying to promote the brand, and the 75th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to do so through various avenues, or in this case, streets, like Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. But you’d also think – just like NASCAR did in selecting Petty and Caruth for the Rose Bowl parade – there’d be extra attention paid to optics.
In New York, Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports were well represented with Elliott and Gordon joined by another bowtie driver in Trackhouse Racing’s Suarez. Ryan Blaney was the only representative for Ford and Team Penske. The Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing drivers were conspicuously absent.
Maybe all the JGR and 23XI Racing riders had previous obligations. But no matter how you slice it, it wasn’t pretty, especially after considering that Denny Hamlin called out NASCAR last year for giving what he considered preferential treatment to HMS by associating exclusively with the organization for its Garage 56 car project, which is NASCAR’s special entry for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Conspiracy theorists unite.
There was probably no bad intentions from NASCAR, including a pair of representatives from HMS and none from Toyota/JGR in the Big Apple. But, as they say, perception is reality. And in this case, the reality is that NASCAR appears to be playing favorites with Hendrick once again.
Or, in the grand scheme of things, just another interesting twist added to NASCAR’s ever-evolving history that spans 75 years and counts.