News U.S.

Let’s Go (to Los Angeles) Brandon: NASCAR hits California

Let's Go Brandon Los Angeles
Source: Twitter

Red state America descended on liberal Los Angeles Sunday as NASCAR roared into town.

Tens of thousands of petrolheads gathered in the LA Memorial Coliseum to watch the sport’s top drivers thunder around a temporary track.

For 150 laps of the quarter-mile course, the two dozen competitors jostled for position; acrid fumes from their machines thickening the yellow-brown haze that hangs permanently over the city.

The stadium — home of the 1984 Olympic Games — acted as a funnel for engine noise, amplifying the already-deafening sound into something physical.

Fans were thrilled.

“I think the race was awesome,” said Oscar Gonzalez.

“Especially being here in the historic Coliseum, the first time NASCAR came out to Los Angeles.”

The sport’s spiritual home is the south of the United States, where it enjoys an avid following among mainly white, Republican-leaning Americans.

Last year as a crude anti-Joe Biden phrase swept through some sporting events, a NASCAR crowd in Alabama took it up.

The chant was audible as race winner Brandon Brown was being interviewed on television, but the reporter inaccurately described it as being “Let’s Go Brandon,” and a meme was born.

The minced oath became a popular rallying cry among conservatives, and has been printed on t-shirts, bumper stickers, hats and posters. It has also been taken up by mainstream Republican politicians, including the governor of Texas.

While NASCAR as an organization has distanced itself, insisting it is politically neutral, the phrase remains popular among fans.

The occasional cry of “Let’s go Brandon” erupted at the Coliseum on Sunday and there were some t-shirts with the phrase.

There was antipathy towards mainstream outlets among some in the crowd, with one man seen wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “The Deadliest Virus in America is the Media”, and some fans declined to speak to reporters.

But others were too busy enjoying the rare sights and sounds of their favorite sport in the heart of California.

“The nice thing about it is I mean, people get together and just have a great time and enjoy the sport,” said Richard Wilson.

“It’s not so much the politics it’s more of the sport and enjoying people’s company.”

About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

Daily Newsletter