Donald Trump fired from driving Indy 500 pace car at annual auto race?
Donald Trump is having a difficult time staying away from controversy. The real estate mogul and star of The Apprentice was offered April 5 the opportunity to drive the official pace car for the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. But now the star celeb and possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination has backed out of the job, saying the race would interfere with the responsibilities involved in considering a bid for the Republican nomination, according to the Indianapolis Star. But is that the whole story?
Sources say Donald Trump’s decision to back out of the pace car honor is more a result of more than 18,000 fans liking a Bump Trump page on Facebook. One Indy fan, Michael Wallack, set up the page April 8 because he feels Donald Trump is not a real fan. Wallack became more upset when Trump started in on the Birther spectacle in reference to President Barack Obama.
Michael Wallack explains in a report by the Huffington Post:
“To me, when they first named Donald Trump, it just felt wrong. He has no relationship to the track, to the race, to racing, to Indianapolis, and I think I would have been bothered anytime with something like that. But to do that on the 100th anniversary, it made no sense.
“Then when he started going off on the birther stuff, that prompted me to do more and that’s when I started the page.”
One blogger, Kent Sterling, even suggests that officials at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) actually got cold feet over the mounting opposition and asked Donald Trump to back out. The Indianapolis Star reports from May 4, 2011, that they were considering the backlash of the Facebook page as well as from a group of Baptist ministers who protested Trump’s involvement, calling the celebrity out for his “petulant, poisonous and racist remarks.”
However, Michael Cohen, an executive vice president and special counsel to Donald Trump, told the Indianapolis Star on May 5, 2011, that Trump “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.” Nevertheless, Cohen did remark that the Facebook page set up by Wallack seems to be a collection of Barack Obama supporters. An aide to Trump also had said earlier in the day that Trump wouldn’t give up the post. Mixed messages?
Michael Cohen told the Indianapolis Star on May 5:
“They have 11,000 followers, right? There are over 300,000 people coming to the Indy 500,” Cohen said. “That sounds like a very small number of people who are probably not even Indy 500 fans.”
Michael Wallack, 45, the man who set up the Facebook page on April 8, disagrees. He says he’s missed just two Indy 500 races since 1972. That sounds like a die-hard fan if ever there was one. Despite some confusion about who did what, when, and where, one thing seems certain: Donald, you’re fired!