NASCAR distances itself from Donald Trump after remarks

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR will not return to the Trump National Doral Miami resort for its postseason Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series banquet after Donald Trump's recent comments on the presidential campaign trail.

NASCAR moved that postseason awards ceremony to Trump's resort last year. It had not announced the location for the 2015 event. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Friday at Daytona International Speedway that the decision not to return was made earlier in the day.

"We started talking about it earlier this week, and we were evaluating everything," Higdon said. "We'll stick with our plan to announce later this summer where we will be going.

"We looked at obviously everything that we saw coming down and what we heard from our sponsors and our partners and what we feel we should be doing, and that is what led us to the decision today."

One of the biggest NASCAR sponsors lobbied to have the event moved. Camping World Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis wrote in a letter dated for Tuesday that neither he nor anyone from Camping World would participate in an event at any Trump property "due to recent and ongoing blatantly bigoted and racist comments from Donald Trump in regards to immigrants of the United States."

Trump has made several comments about immigrants while on the campaign trail.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," Trump said when announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination last month. "They're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."

An immigrant from Lebanon, Lemonis has seen success as the owner of Camping World and other businesses. He is the star of the CNBC show "The Profit" where he invests in struggling businesses.

"Our company will not stand to support any person or organization that associates with such beliefs, and we feel strongly about distancing ourselves from any negative and discriminatory comments made against any gender, ethnicity, age group or so forth," Lemonis wrote. "I would hope that the entire NASCAR organization would agree with my sentiments."

Trump attended the banquet last year, mingling with several drivers before the event and welcoming the crowd at the start of the program.

NBC Sports Network is scheduled to air this year's banquet. Higdon said the decision to move the banquet was not requested by NBC, which recently dropped Trump's beauty pageants from its network.