Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

NASCAR doesn’t want to be associated with Let’s Go Brandon

Updated Nov 28th, 2022 10:13PM EST
Joe Biden face mask
Image: Richard Harbus/MEGA

“I feel for Brandon,” NASCAR president Steve Phelps said in widely disseminated remarks Friday — and he wasn’t talking about “Brandon,” as in the euphemism for President Biden that was born at a NASCAR race in early October. That’s the race where the “Let’s Go, Brandon!” meme originated.

In this case, Phelps was actually referring to Brandon Brown, the winner of that early October race at the Talladega Superspeedway. Sportscaster Kelli Stavast at one point commented during an interview with Brown afterward how the crowd seemed to be chanting in his honor: ‘Let’s go, Brandon!” As everyone probably knows by now, that’s not actually what the crowd was chanting. The crowd was very clearly addressing President Biden, not Brandon. Only, with an f-bomb in front of the president’s name instead of “Let’s go!” Since then, that phrase has become massively popular with conservatives — which is why Phelps apparently decided he needed to now step into the fray.

‘I feel for Brandon’

Phelps, meanwhile, doesn’t want NASCAR to be associated with this thing at all.

The organization itself doesn’t want to be identified with politics on either side of the spectrum. “It’s an unfortunate situation and I feel for Brandon. I feel for Kelli,” Phelps said, in remarks reported by Fox News.  “I think, unfortunately, it speaks to the state of where we are as a country. We do not want to associate ourselves with politics, the left or the right.”

The part of Phelps’ comments that especially garnered scores of headlines has to do with the crackdown he promised on anyone using the NASCAR brand in connection with the Let’s Go Brandon meme. For example, linking both of them together on the same T-shirt for sale (because that’s the other thing, there’s been an explosion in LGB-themed merchandise as this phrase has exploded in popularity among conservatives).

“We will pursue whoever (is using the NASCAR brand) and get that stuff,” Phelps said. “That’s not OK. It’s not OK that you’re using our trademarks illegally, regardless of whether we agree with what the position is.”

Let’s Go Brandon meme – the NASCAR interview

You can check out the original video that started the whole Let’s Go Brandon meme above. Again, a warning: The crowd is very clearly dropping an f-bomb.

For more examples of how far and wide this phrase has spread, meanwhile, as we’ve noted previously the meme now adorns merchandise. Along these same lines, a Southwest Airlines pilot spurred a whole news cycle all by himself, simply for using the LGB phrase from the cockpit, over the intercom, during an announcement to passengers.

Bottom line: This meme has become hugely symbolic of the political dynamic in the country right now. It’s going to dog the president for the rest of his term. Nevertheless, the NASCAR organization basically wishes everyone would keep its name away from this whole affair.

“Do we like the fact that it kind of started with NASCAR and then is gaining ground out elsewhere? No, we’re not happy about that,” Phelps said Friday.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.