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Your candidate on a car?

Politicos, start your engines! The race to the White House may be coming to a speedway near you. But don’t look for a race car with Barack Obama’s name on it.

NASCAR’s BAM Racing team approached the presidential campaigns of Obama, John McCain and at least one third-party candidate about a sponsorship deal in the Sprint Cup series.

A presidential campaign has never before sponsored a car in NASCAR’s top series. The offer was first reported by Sports Illustrated.

BAM spokesman Rhett Vandiver had confirmed the offer to the Associated Press on Friday but said, “I don’t know how far along the discussions are.”

By late Friday, the Obama campaign had swerved around the proposal.

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“The Obama campaign will not be sponsoring a car in the Sprint Cup series, though we will continue to look for ways to reach out to voters and convey Sen. Obama’s message of change,” said Bill Burton, an Obama spokesman.

A partnership might have helped the Democrat woo “NASCAR dads,” a term analysts use for the white, working-class men who make up much of the sport’s fan base -- and tend to vote Republican.

Meanwhile, McCain’s camp made its own NASCAR news Friday when it announced that Cindy McCain would ride in a pace car today in the Firestone 200 IndyCar Series race in Tennessee.

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-- Kate Linthicum


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