The Xfinity Series is the NASCAR equivalent to other sports’ minor leagues. That is to say, it’s something of a “proving ground” for racers who are trying to make it to the sport’s top tier. The series often holds a “support race” on the Saturday before Sunday’s major NASCAR race at the same location as the main event.
On Saturday, for the race at Florida’s Homestead-Miami track, Weatherman’s car, Number 47, was thoroughly bedecked in Blue Lives Matter symbolism, complete with a “thin blue line” flag across the hood.
Mike Harmon Racing supports our LEO’s and First Responders, we THANK YOU for your service, sacrifice and dedication‼️
— MHR Racing (@MhrRacing) June 13, 2020
The phrase “Blue Lives Matter” has emerged in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and refers to the practice of protecting and honoring the police. Similarly, the “thin blue line” refers to a re-imagined American flag with a blue line across it, representing the police.
Weatherman’s team, Mark Harmon Racing, said that the redesign was intended to support law enforcement officers and first responders. However, Yahoo Sports writer Ryan Young notes that first responders such as EMTs and firefighters aren’t represented on the car.
Weatherman himself referenced firefighters in a tweet, however.
“A lot going on in the world right now and I wanted to express that most first responders are good people. My uncle is a firefighter and he would do anything to help save lives,” he wrote.
Later in the same Twitter thread, Weatherman got into an exchange with a user who referenced, albeit obliquely, that Black Lives Matter has been a part of the conversation lately.
“Could choose the good on both sides?” the user asked.
Harmon responded, “I absolutely I support the black men and women of this country and also support all first responders also. LOVE EVERYONE.”
According to NASCAR, Harrison Burton won Saturday’s race, while Weatherman didn’t finish in the top ten.
The “Blue Lives Matter” car debuted after Bubba Wallace raced in a car bearing a “Black Lives Matter” paint scheme.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Wallace, who is the only black driver in all of NASCAR’s major- and minor-league series, called on his sport’s governing body to ban the Confederate flag its races. The sport had banned it years ago from being used in official capacities, such as on drivers’ cars or uniforms, and had encouraged fans to not bring it, even though they frequently did. Not long afterward, the league did officially ban fans from bringing the flag to its events.