NASCAR Dads Making Their Way into Presidential Politics

Politics and cars may seem to be an unlikely mix, but this year a new term is entering the dictionary of presidential politics.

NASCAR dads may be waving a checkered flag for presidential hopefuls.

"These are the ones that have been hurt by the war, they're also the ones who are losing their jobs as manufacturing jobs are moving overseas, so of course there is a desire to appeal to these people," said Political Science Professor Patrick Stewart.

NASCAR dads are defined as middle-aged, mostly white, culturally conservative southern men, who once voted democratic, but switched parties to vote for Reagan. President Bush is scheduled to attend the Daytona 500, which is also being called an unofficial campaign stop.

"This is his chance to say to the American people, hey I'm a regular guy, I watch auto racing like you do," said Stewart.

Some NASCAR officials are downplaying the significance of this new group, saying it stereotypes the country's 75 million racing fans.

"There's just as many women that comes in here and buys that are excited about the races as there are men," said NASCAR Superstore Owner Tian Sorg

Even though Sorg doesn't agree with the notion that NASCAR is just for men, she does believe NASCAR fans are just as passionate about racing as they are about their livelihoods.

"They'll throw out the politics and the economy. The economy seems to be the biggest thing right now that everyone discusses," said Sorg.

There is concern out there. The question is which way will these voters go?