NASCAR driver Brandon Brown, whose first name inspired an infamous anti-Biden slogan, is a no-go for this weekend’s race in Indianapolis. He’s lost his full-time seat, at least temporarily, amid his team’s sponsorship woes, according to Yahoo! Sports.
“Brown’s team is looking to field drivers who have sponsorship money after a deal with a now-defunct political cryptocurrency didn’t flourish,” the article noted.
The crypto deal came about as a result of the same October 2021 incident that led to the slogan. A reporter interviewing Brown about his first NASCAR win misheard the crowd’s anti-Biden chant, unintentionally giving supporters of former President Donald Trump a new rallying cry.
“With the chant, a catchphrase was born,” The New York Times reported in December.
At first, Brown tried to separate himself from the phenomenon and focus on racing. He told the Times that the political chaos was putting his career in jeopardy.
“I have zero desire to be involved in politics,” he said.
But soon after that story ran, Brown announced a new partnership with a cryptocurrency creator banking on the slogan’s popularity. “Brown is clearly choosing to get political,” Yahoo! Sports reported at the time.
That decision may have cost the driver in the long run, since he hasn’t been able to shore up his funding, and the cryptocurrency is now worth next-to-nothing. There’s “no going back from the decision to get political no matter if it pays off financially or not,” wrote Nick Bromberg for Yahoo!.
Brown confirmed that his association with the conservative slogan was jeopardizing his ability to find a new full-time seat in an interview with Frontstretch.
“I can be viewed as divisive because of the chant. It’s really hard to convince companies that, ‘Hey, that’s not me. That’s just what the crowd was chanting.’ It does make it hard,” he said.
This weekend at the Xfinity Series race in Indianapolis, another driver will take Brown’s regular car and he’ll drive in one that’s less likely to win. Brown told Frontstretch that he’ll continue to do what he can to secure his future in racing.
“I’m going to have to start working pretty hard to secure sponsorship for myself to maybe try my hand at some other cars. Maybe try and work into some different series,” he said.