Brandon Brown’s win at Talladega was one of the most memorable moments of the 2021 Xfinity Series season. In his 114th career start, the driver from the small family-owned team pulled off the improbable, out-dueled the big guys, and won for the first time.
Unfortunately, that race is significant to more Americans outside of NASCAR not because of the driver’s unlikely achievement but because of a euphemism that was born — “Let’s go, Brandon.” The 28-year-old has remained silent on the matter for months. Until now.
Brandon Brown claims first career win at Talladega
Competing for a small family-owned team, Brandon Brown dreamed of that against-the-odds moment when he would one day stand victorious after pulling off the upset to claim his first Xfinity Series win. However, any hopes of that dream coming true were almost crushed earlier in the year when his father, who helped fund the team, told him it was time to shut it down.
Unwilling to give up, Brown went with a Hail Mary move, producing his own used-car-salesman-style ad for social media. And it worked. He brought on several new sponsors and extended his career.
Those businesses’ logos were on his car late on a fall Saturday afternoon in Alabama when it finally happened. After battling for almost six seasons against much bigger teams with considerably larger budgets, David finally slayed Goliath.
“Oh my God. Wow. Just wow,” Brown said over his radio when NASCAR declared him the winner after calling the race due to darkness. “This is a dream come true. This is a dream come true.”
NASCAR fans direct derogatory chant at President Joe Biden
Little did Brown know that his dream coming true and the subsequent celebratory moment that would typically result in more sponsors coming on board was about to turn into something altogether different when his postrace interview with NBC’s Kelli Stavast became the major headline instead of his win.
“This is just everything we have hoped and dreamed for. This is everything I’ve ever wanted to do was take the trophy home to Mom and Dad,” Brown said to Stavast.
When the driver began to thank his sponsors, a group of fans in the background started audibly chanting “F*** Joe Biden!” With the camera now focused on the crowd, Stavast provided a cleaned-up version of the chant.
“As you can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’ the reporter said.
Brandon Brown surprisingly approves of chant in certain situation
Brandon Brown has remained silent on the subject for months. However, he reached out to the New York Times to get out what he thinks of the phrase that is now found on yard signs, bumper stickers, and t-shirts.
In a sport where sponsorship is critical to survival, businesses ultimately want to appeal to the largest audience and steer clear of divisive partisanship. In other words, Brown’s association with the phrase has hampered his team’s ability to sign on new sponsors.
“Our whole navigation is, you want to appeal to everybody, because, all in all, everybody is a consumer,” Brown told the Times. “I have zero desire to be involved in politics.”
Interestingly, during the same interview, when informed how the phrase is often used in Republican circles as a salute of sorts, Brown offered two different trains of thought, including one that seemingly approved of the phrase’s use.
“I don’t want it to just be the substitute for a cuss-word,” Brown said, before reconsidering his position. “I mean, if it’s making it more polite, then, by God, I guess, go ahead.”
It’s safe to say his last words will now serve as an invitation for Republicans who were already using the phrase to now claim they are being “polite.”
For Brown, he’s in a no-win situation. He didn’t ask to be here. He doesn’t want to be in politics. But it seems like everything these days can be turned into something political. And the young driver who is just trying to make a living on the racetrack is the latest to find this out the hard way.