The jubilant postings on the Facebook page “We Don’t Want Donald Trump to Drive the Indy 500 Pace Car” tell the story: “Awesome news!” and “VICTORY!” and “Na-na-na-na. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye.”
More than 17,000 people had joined the social media effort aimed and removing real estate mogul and 2012 potential GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump as driver of the Indianapolis 500 pace car on the event’s 100th anniversary. Although support was slow at first, recent media reports of the group’s creation by Indianapolis attorney Michael Wallack produced a swell of attention Wednesday.
Speculation early Thursday was that officials with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway would be removing Trump as the official pace car driver, but once the news was made official, Trump said he was dumping the event because it could interfere with his other obligations.
A new pace car driver has not yet been announced. Fans are pushing several other celebrities as well as U.S. military personnel as possible replacements. Although a few have mentioned other politicians, there does not appear to be widespread support for anyone associated with politics.
Racing fans took exception to the selection of Trump after the New Yorker began voicing strong criticism of the certificate of live birth produced by President Barack Obama. In addition to the Facebook effort, a few religious-based organization such as an Indiana group of Baptist ministers had come out against Trump’s participation, voicing their opinion that the attacks against Obama’s birth are racially motivated.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Trump spokesman Michael Cohen told the IndyStar. “Donald Trump doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.”
Cohen contends that those who created the Facebook page and other movements against Trump were all Obama supporters.