NASCAR spark fan backlash after controversial Machine Gun Kelly booking

Jamie Woodhouse
Rapper Machine Gun Kelly on the Formula 1 grid in Brazil.

Machine Gun Kelly on the Formula 1 grid.

It is safe to say that NASCAR’s decision to book rapper Machine Gun Kelly for race-break entertainment has not proven widely popular with the fanbase. 

Machine Gun Kelly does not have the greatest rapport with motorsport fans, his awkward encounter with Martin Brundle during the Sky F1 pundit’s pre-Brazilian Grand Prix grid walk drawing a great deal of negative attention and landing him a spot in our F1 Grid Walk of Shame category.

Kelly, a guest at the event on F1’s behalf, would leave the Brazilian Grand Prix mid-race in a move which also earned him even more criticism. He is now set for fresh motorsport involvement with a NASCAR event performance, but the fans do not appear to be heavily behind that booking.

NASCAR fans hit back at Machine Gun Kelly appearance

NASCAR is set to begin Cup Series action for 2024 with the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum exhibition event on February 4, and it has been confirmed that Kelly will be in the house for a race-break performance.

Judging by the fan reaction to that news though, it has not gone down particularly well.

“And that just made everyone cancel their tickets,” one fan replied, another adding: “Seems like NASCAR doesn’t have a clue who their fan base is anymore.”

A fellow fan expanded on that point, arguing NASCAR was taking the risk of targeting a new audience at the detriment to its existing support.

“NASCAR is so out of the touch with the average NASCAR fan lol,” they posted. “Pushing for the new fans which aren’t guaranteed while also pushing away the old fans that were almost guaranteed is a hell of a business decision.”

“Good reason not to watch…I already don’t care for the clash so it made my decision easy on me,” another fan replied. “Not a family-friendly singer.”

“Thanks for letting me know when to change the channel,” another fan sarcastically posted. recommends

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Recently, Brundle reflected on his grid walk encounters across F1 2023, with Kelly and also basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, who had little intention of speaking to Brundle in Las Vegas, remembered as the low points, while he gave a very positive review of his chats with actor Florence Pugh and tennis legend Maria Sharapova.

Asked as part of a Sky Sports F1 Q&A to name his favourite grid walk interaction of F1 2023, Brundle replied: “Oh my goodness, what a year it’s been grid walking. I loved talking to Florence Pugh, for example, on the grid in Silverstone and Maria Sharapova in Abu Dhabi, just meeting nice people who are enjoying our sport.

“And then I’ve had some car crash moments with Machine Gun Kelly and Shaquille O’Neal, whose answer was short and sweet, but nobody’s ever called him short and sweet before, I don’t think.”

Brundle will soon be roaming the F1 grid once more, with the opening race of the F1 2024 season taking place in Bahrain on March 2.

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