Five NASCAR Drivers Decline President Obama’s White House Invitation

UPDATE A reader writes, Dear, SB Nation's Jeff Gluck is clueless, or he's just another mainstream media liberal … This is interesting from a cultural perspective. If you're going to ridicule Americans for loving NASCAR as many liberals do, don't expect their stars to lend their names and faces to a photo op for a liberal president. The sneering condescension of the left for "NASCAR Dads" has not gone unnoticed among the ranks of drivers – most of whom have a pretty good PR sense when it comes to their fans. Like C&W singers for example, the bond between a driver and his fans is very close and it is not surprising that since most fans of NASCAR have strong feelings against the president, that drivers would forgo the opportunity to be a prop in his re-election campaign. As for Gluck's "patriotism" shot – is he really equating patriotism with being an extra in a campaign commercial for a candidate they don't support? Besides, I don't recall hearing that argument during the Bush years when dozens of lefties from every walk of life dissed Bush by either turning down invitations, or by showing up and "speaking truth to power." Politics is politics and what's good for one side, is good for the other. You go, boys !!!!- I'm your newest fan. Glenn, Palos Verdes Estates CA

09/02/11 President Barack Obama will honor NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and the 11 other Chase drivers from last year in a White House ceremony on Wednesday – but nearly half of the 2010 playoff contenders won't be there.

NASCAR said Thursday that five drivers – Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart – will not be attending the White House visit due to "schedule conflicts."

They must be very busy people. Regardless of one's political views, the president is still the president – and an opportunity to speak with the leader of the free world is a rare and special one.

You'd think whatever photo shoots or sponsor appearances these drivers have lined up on Wednesday afternoon – if that's indeed the reason – could be rescheduled. After all, this is the President of the United States we're talking about here.

For a sport that prides itself on patriotism, having so many drivers turn down the president's invitation simply seems strange.

Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth will attend. SB Nation

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