Donald Trump-Branded Indy 500 Car Proposal Crashes and Burns With Racing Series

The open-wheel racing series IndyCar turned down a proposal to run a livery at the Indianapolis 500 that would have promoted Donald Trump and RFK Jr., according to a Friday report in Racer Magazine.

Racer did not identify who had submitted the proposal, or which team or driver would’ve run the paint scheme in the May 26 “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” But it’s not the first time an IndyCar Trump tie-in was red-flagged before it ever hit the track.

The former president was tapped to give the “Start your engines” command last month at the Million Dollar Challenge, a new IndyCar “all-star” race that took place March 24 at the Thermal Club. The private racing facility and gated community to the megarich near Palm Springs, California, had brokered the moment that would have been broadcast live on NBC, but someone – not identified in Racer’s report – either pulled out or kiboshed the deal.

NBC declined to comment on the matter last month, and representatives from Thermal Club and IndyCar did not respond to requests for comment at the time.

“IndyCar does not approve sponsorships associated with elected officials, candidates for political office or political action committees,” IndyCar told Racer.

The series has requested that the unnamed team present its car with “more traditional motor racing sponsors for the 108th Indy 500,” the motorsports magazine wrote.

Supporters of Trump have tried getting MAGA messaging on race vehicles before: Santino Ferrucci, the Italian-American driver who had a shot to win last year’s Indy 500, had a Trump-themed livery denied for his Formula 2 ride in 2018, but the then-Haas driver’s proposal was nixed – also by the series.

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