I covered the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana (Calif.), March 18-20, 2016, and had an idea for an opinion piece.
It was a very good idea, based upon current events which would garner the interest of a much larger audience. It could be a potentially important piece, if properly sourced. The kind of piece that would have raised some eyebrows.
But nobody wanted to talk. Why? The topic is something of a third rail.
I wanted to write the sampled opinions of average NASCAR fans about the circuit’s president, Brian France, and Sprint Cup Series driver Chase Elliott’s endorsement of likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
My colleague and I asked the young and old, tattooed and bearded of both genders about what they thought of France’s political statement.
Quite honestly, we got a lot of “I’m for Trump, too!”-type sentiment.
France’s endorsement clearly tapped into a vein of NASCAR fandom that is pleased.
We also saw a lot of people unwilling to talk. They’d say, “I’m not talking about that,” or “Why are you asking me that?” I interpreted these responses as what amounts to anti-Trump sentiment at a West Coast NASCAR event.
So of the 20 people we spoke to, 12 people didn’t want to talk, seven were pro-Trump in their responses, and one had never heard of Donald Trump (it’s true).
People were not happy to have been asked these questions, either. The overall response was negative.
What to do then?
We scraped it. There was just too little to go on.