Well, the purge continues. In the wake of NASCAR making swift and decisive action toward taking measures of inclusion to welcome people of all races and lifestyles into the sport, there have been a few that have attempted to resist change. Ray Ciccarelli, a part-time NASCAR Truck Series team owner and driver announced on Wednesday, that he would be selling off his team at season’s end after NASCAR ruled that the Confederate Flag was no longer welcome at any event or race track.
On Thursday, one of the most prominent helmet painters in the sport — Jason Beam of Beam Designs — also began to implode his career within the sport.
It all started on Wednesday, when Beam blamed NASCAR for Ciccarelli choosing to leave the sport. Beam responded to The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck on Twitter.
Then, Beam tweeted thumbs down emojis and called Bubba Wallace’s paint scheme supporting racial equality, “Garbage.”
Then, Beam walked it back and attempted to save face by responding to a video of Bubba Wallace talking about NASCAR banning the confederate flag. Beam said in a Tweet, “Thank You NASCAR and Bubba Wallace, I fully support the removal of the confederate flag. will rise above the challenges of equality.”
Bubba Wallace wasn’t fooled, neither were Twitter users who had seen the previous messages from Beam.
Wallace, who has used Beam Designs as his helmet painter, shut down Beam immediately.
Nah homie, as person I’ve done business with in the past and ALWAYS respected the work you’ve done for ones in the industry. You made it clear of where you stand in today’s matter. All respect lost for ya dawg. #garbage https://t.co/x9hqscckOS pic.twitter.com/DgYjWtrsTo
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 11, 2020
As other Twitter users urged Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Blaney — who also use Beam’s painting service — to ditch Beam, Beam doubled down and said that he is working on new helmets for Johnson as we speak and that Johnson would not disassociate with him because Johnson doesn’t, “let opinions on history get under their skin.”
Well, apparently Beam misjudged the situation completely, as shortly after that tweet, Johnson — who has used Beam Designs throughout his entire NASCAR Cup Series career — took to Twitter to announce that he was parting ways with his long-time helmet designer.
Due to recent posts on social media I have decided to end my relationship with Beam Designs.
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) June 11, 2020
According to Beam’s Twitter bio, he has been a helmet designer and painter in the industry for over 35 years. Beam Designs has had their paint on the helmets of many influential drivers throughout the history of the sport including defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch. However, no matter how good your work is, your actions can result in consequences. Beam has learned that can even mean losing a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion as a client.
After Wallace and Johnson cut ties, Blaney — a really good friend of Wallace — announced that he would no longer use Beam Designs’ services:
In light of some inappropriate tweets, I will no longer use the services of Beam Designs.
— Ryan Blaney (@Blaney) June 11, 2020
Joey Logano, who is teammates with Blaney, also announced on Thursday, that he will no longer be a Beam Designs client:
I’m proud of the recent decisions our sport has made and it’s important for me to be associated with like minded people. For that reason due to some recent tweets from Beam Designs I will no longer be utilizing their services.
— Joey Logano (@joeylogano) June 11, 2020
The Associated Press’ Dan Gelston also confirmed that Kyle Busch has also opted to drop the design company in light of the social media words that were posted.
Kyle Busch joins Jimmie Johnson & Ryan Blaney & cuts ties with Beam. He will not collaborate with them going forward. https://t.co/cv126FZWBa
— Dan Gelston (@APgelston) June 11, 2020
While there have been a few folks within the NASCAR industry that have attempted to resist changes that are for the inclusion of more people into the sport, the majority of the industry and fan base seem to be very welcoming of the changes.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.