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From Romney’s perch, NASCAR is a rich man’s sport

By Laurie Bennett

February 27, 2012 at 8:05am

In an appearance at the Daytona 500 rally in Florida on Sunday, Mitt Romney was asked whether he follows NASCAR.

“Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans,” he replied. “But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

While many might consider this another insensitive comment during an economic crisis, Romney was also - deliberately or otherwise - giving a nod to current and prospective campaign donors.

Team owners can be an affluent group, and they tend toward the right. The Muckety map above shows three owners who have contributed to the Romney 2012 campaign.

They are billionaire Roger Penske, Andy Hillenburg and Richard Childress. Romney visited with Childress on Sunday.

Of the three, Penske, an experienced race driver who went on to found the Penske Corporation and Penske Racing, has the deepest pockets.

All three men gave the maximum donation of $2,500 to Romney’s primary race. Penske’s wife also gave the Romney campaign $2,500.

Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Romney, has not reported any contributions from the three.

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