NASCAR Spotters Criticized For Posting Meme Comparing Chicago To A War Zone

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Not excited about that Chicago street race, eh?

The NASCAR Cup Series will roll into Chicago for the first time on the 4th of July weekend as the series hosts its first ever street race, an event that will feature free concerts by Miranda Lambert, Charley Crockett and more.

But it seems that not everybody in the sport is excited for the historic race…

Obviously Chicago has a reputation for having more than its fair share of crime. And after yet another violent weekend in the city saw 75 shot and 13 killed, a few NASCAR spotters took to Twitter to address the violence in the city that will be hosting their first NASCAR race in less than two weeks.

Aric Almirola’s spotter Joel Edmonds posted:

“60 shot over the weekend in Chicago Boogity Boogity Boogity”

And Couch Racer, a NASCAR fan lifestyle brand which was founded by Brett Griffin, a part-time spotter for Kaulig Racing who’s formerly worked with drivers like Clint Bowyer and Elliott Sadler, and Freddie Kraft, spotter for 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace, posted a meme comparing the city to a warzone:

Griffin and Kraft have become recognizable names among NASCAR fans as host of the popular Door Bumper Clear podcast, where the spotters have been known to ruffle feathers and give controversial takes.

But not everybody appreciated the jokes about Chicago.

Many people on Twitter criticized the Couch Racer tweet, as well as Edmonds’ remarks, as being “thinly-veiled racism,” and questioned why the same jokes aren’t made about other cities in which NASCAR races that have higher crime rates than Chicago.

And of course Chicago hosts many other sporting events, with the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox and Blackhawks all playing regularly in the Windy City – among many others.

JR Houston, an engineer for 23XI Racing (the same team that Kraft works for), said that there are some spotters (and though he didn’t say who, I think we can guess) that give the rest of them a bad name.

Kraft then responded to his teammate, seemingly defending Griffin, to which Houston responded:

And the outspoken Griffin also took to Twitter to respond to Houston directly:

Houston then responded to Griffin, with criticisms that again seemed to be directed to him and Edmonds:

Seems like it’s going to be an interesting week on the spotter’s stand – and in the 23XI Racing shop.


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock