Scientology is newest NASCAR sponsor JEFF ELDER Staff Columnist WCNC video | Scientology racing car Tom Cruise came to Charlotte in 1989 to film "Days Of Thunder." Little did we know that someday his idealogy would come zooming back to NASCAR as a sponsor.
Racin' fans, brace yourselves for some couch-jumping news: Scientology is ridin' shotgun.
A No. 27 red Taurus emblazoned with "DIANETICS" and featuring the volcano from the cover of L. Ron Hubbard's book has been tearing around California's Irwindale Speedway.
(No word on whether the car can fix itself; Cruise recently bragged that wife Katie Holmes needed no anti-depressants for her post-partum depression.)
NASCAR is decidedly reluctant to comment on scientology's sponsorship. "This has generated a lot of interest the past few days," NASCAR PR man Scott Warfield tells me. Not surprisingly, he didn't want to say much more. "It's not really something we want to comment on. It's a minor league, small-team sponsorship deal."
Yes, and it's also the weirdest sponsorship since Boudreaux's Butt Paste, the diaper-rash cream that began sponsoring a Busch Series car in 2005.
Driver Kenton Gray, of La Verne, Calif., will drive the DIANETCS car Saturday in its official debut in a NASCAR Weekly Series race in Irwindale.
Gray spouts Scientology praise with enthusiasm that would make the celebrity couple known as TomKat proud:
"'Dianetics' is a book that helped me in many ways since I first read it many years ago. It helped me get better control over the obstacles I had to get through to reach goals I was passionate about. It's a great honor to have a sponsor relationship that's so directly related to my making it this far." (In a truly bizarre scene in March, Gray appeared at the Irwindale track with the voice of Bart Simpson, Nancy Cartwright.)
The publisher of "Dianetics" is also putting together a Web site called dianeticsracing.com.
The Jehovah's Witnesses could not be reached for comment about any possible NASCAR sponsorship.