Trump out as pace car driver

May 5, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has officially announced that Donald Trump is out as pace car driver at this year's Indianapolis 500.

Further, Trump's statement indicated that he won't even be here for the race.

"I very much appreciate the honor, but time and business constraints make my appearance there, especially with the necessary practice sessions, impossible to fulfill," Trump said. "I look forward to watching the race from New York."

Anyone out there actually believe that those are his reasons? And that the decision has anything to do with "business constraints" and nothing to do with the mounting tide of opposition?

Nonetheless, I'm now looking forward to a 500 that's more about the fun and festivities and less about Trump's ego. And I'm glad to say that the 500 folks did the right thing (Oh, wait, this was Trump's decision. I forgot.)

And now I'm looking forward to the rest of May.

Your thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Trump pace car
    What a bunch of bull!! I suppose that you dear Lou are a democrat, not hard to guess that one. I am done with the 500 from here on out! I am 68 years old and have spent many years going to the races. They have now made this ugly..
    • Good
      Glad to see he has stepped aside. This was a terrible decision by the IMS folks. I have either listened to, watched, or been to every race since 1956. It would have been very disappointing to hear about the Donald on the morning before the greatest racing event in the world.

      Very glad he's gone.
    • Yes, Virginia, politics isn't the issue
      Virginia,
      You can speculate all you want about my politics. My objection to Trump--going back to the original announcement--has to do with his me-me-me lust for attention and his lack of connection to the 500. His obnoxious actions since then just support that. I was perfectly happy with Gen. Powell. I wouldn't have objected to former Pres. Bush (either one). Ideally, though, this should be someone with racing in his or her blood.
      Respectfully,
      Lou Harry
    • Good-bye Mr. Trump
      I hate that Donald Trump has turned this into a political event. The 100th Indy 500 deserves a classy pace car driver, one associated with the 500 and/or Indianapolis/Indiana.
    • My Man Mitch
      How about Govenor Mitch Daniels! Perfect choice. Great opportunity for exposure if he should decide to run for President. Loves the road...
    • No Trump Please
      Donald Trump does not represent the racing world. We don't need the negative energy he would bring to our city. He needs to spend money and time helping the youth in New York City.
    • Social media strikes again!
      I'm glad the Donald finally saw the light and backed out. I have to believe the "Dump Trump" Facebook page had something to do with it.

      I doubt any Navy SEALS would be allowed to do it, so go with the next best choice... A.J. Foyt!
    • What took so long?
      My only comment is what took so long? This is a great decision for Indy Race Fans who should be able to now concentrate on the joys of the festivities.
    • Finally
      This started as someone's bad idea, and then the IMS realized it and made it right. Good. Bring in someone connected to racing - this is a momentous race.
    • You're Fired
      Politics aside. Trump was a bad pick. I don't care if Foyt is a Commie, he is a 4-time winner. As an Indiana resident my entire life, this is our race. The 100-year anniversary should be special in every way. Trump was picked because of the NBC and Versus relationship. He has no ties to Indiana and no ties to the 500.
    • Hoosier Hysterica
      Just adds to the "Indiana mystique" - that Indiana is chock full of nut jobs. Elaine Mellancamp, Robin Roberts, Jim Caviezel (Jesus?) have all driven the pace car - so now, all of a sudden, it's "special"? Maybe they should drive it counter-clockwise, so it would help Hoosiers turn back daylight savings time?
    • It Is Political
      Lou-

      Your politics are crystal clear here. If your argument for this topic were only that the pace car driver should be associated with the 500, then Trump's recent activity and comments shouldn't have any bearing. Your description of Trump's recent actions as "obnoxious" clearly illustrates your political position in this matter - a position I clearly disagree with. The ONLY REASON anyone has had any issue with Trump driving the pace car was because he demanded proof of the President's citizenship. To be quite honest, I think we should take more time to verify all of our politicians qualifications - if we had done so with Charlie White, we wouldn't be in the situation we're in now. Just my two cents worth. Have fun at the race.
      • It is not all political
        You are correct in that there was very little media attention paid to the Trump selection until it became political; however, there were a lot of people upset about the pick long before it became political. My problem is that he has no ties to Indiana or the race. Had he been picked last year or next year, then I probably do not care; however, for the 100th anniversay, you need to choose someone with ties to Indiana or the race. Jane Pauley, Mears, Foyt, Letterman, Manning, etc. I can think of hundreds who are more deserving/appropriate.
      • the only Chioce
        AJ, AJ, AJ, he is the only Choice and the perfect choice for the 100th running of the Indy 500.
      • politics
        Cramer,
        You insist on seeing things black and white. Well, save that for the checkered flag. Truth is:
        1. My initial post came long before I heard anything about Trump pushing the birther issue.
        2. I believed Trump was obnoxious long before the pace car honor. (Having spent many years in New Jersey, my dibs on this opinion go way, way back.)
        3. I would have made the same objection if Bill Maher had been asked four years ago. Inappropriate, divisive, and no real connection to the race.
        4. To be honest, I wouldn't object if George W. Bush were the pace car driver this year.
        Respectfully,
        Lou
      • Bad idea from the get-go
        I cringed the moment I heard Trump was picked in the first place because of his lack of connections and the reality-show atmosphere he carries with him. Then it just got worse when Trump started pulling political stunts. Political controversy doesn't belong at the 500--if you're going to pick a politician, pick one who's no longer involved on a major scale, and one who's from Indiana. Dan Quayle would be a better pick than Donald Trump.
      • Bad idea from the start
        Choosing Trump was a bad idea from the start. It's the Centennial of the speedway, for crying out loud, choose someone with a connection to racing or a national figure who hasn't made his name by being a pompous jerk. I didn't support this from the beginning, but his recent actions only made it worse. A.J. was the first four-time winner of the Indy 500 and should have been the original choice. Too bad he ended up second, but still best, choice.
      • Donald, You're Fired!
        For anyone to think that Donald Trump was a good choice to drive the pace car maybe they should stay away from the track. Keep politics out of the 500. AJ should have been the first and only choice for this one. The person who pick "The Donald" should be fired and soon. That was a very dumb choice. Maybe they should bring back Tony and let him run it again.

      Post a comment to this blog

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT
      1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

      2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

      3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

      4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

      5. Oh wait. Never mind.

      ADVERTISEMENT