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Va-Va-Vroom: Noem Commissions Race Car Face Wrap

Further demonstrating that she’s caught the strange Trumpist obsession with getting one’s face on things, Governor Kristi Noem went to Falls Park today to bubblingly reveal a race car with her face on it paid for by your tax dollars:

Kristi Noem, tweet, 2023.07.27.
Kristi Noem, tweet, 2023.07.27.

Live Fast Motorsports driver B.J. McLeod will race the South Dakota-sponsored NASCAR Chevy Camaro in two upcoming races in Bristol, Tennessee, and Richmond, Virginia.

…“We’ve looked at sponsoring NASCAR’s races before and partnering with teams in the past, because a lot of that demographic is who we’re talking to,” Noem said. “And so looking at who might be interested in moving to South Dakota, we knew it would be effective.”

The campaign has been funded with general marketing dollars, according to Chris Schilken, South Dakota’s commissioner of economic development. Some of the money also came in the form of leftovers from a less-successful workforce development campaign that offered direct resettlement payments to out-of-staters with in-demand skills.

Schilken confirmed that the NASCAR sponsorship dollars would be pulled from the $5 million pool, but said he can’t say yet what the final price tag of the car sponsorship would be.

…Noem’s photo and the number “605,” representing South Dakota’s area code, were on the vehicle displayed at Falls Park, but Noem said they will not be affixed to McLeod’s vehicle for the two races [John Hult, “Noem Turns Workforce Recruitment Focus to NASCAR Fans,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.07.27].

Yeah, boffo idea! We all remember how well Governor’s Houses sold when Governor Bill Janklow had his face painted on them:

Governor’s House, envisioned with Janklow branding, CAH/DFP, 2023.07.27.
Governor’s House, envisioned with Janklow branding, CAH/DFP, 2023.07.27.

And don’t forget Governor Mike Rounds’s smart branding of his face on the rump of every dairy cow funded by the Korean and Chinese investors to whom he sold green cards:

Mike Rounds EB-5 Dairy Cow
Mike Rounds-branded EB-5 dairy cow, CAH/DFP, 2023.07.27

And we surely all remember Governor Dennis Daugaard’s wildly successful plastering of his handsome visage on South Dakota’s workforce recruitment kiosk at the Mall of America in 2013:

Daugaard-branded Dakota Roots kiosk at Mall of America, 2013, CAH/DFP, 2023.07.27.
Daugaard-branded Dakota Roots kiosk at Mall of America, 2013, CAH/DFP, 2023.07.27.

So I don’t want to hear any complaining from Noem-haters about her spending lots of tax dollars to put her face on a race car. She’s just following in the tradition of great South Dakota Governors who recognized that the state’s single most valuable asset for promoting the opportunities and quality of life South Dakota has to offer is the Governor’s comely face.


  1. P. Aitch 2023-07-27 16:34


  2. Arlo Blundt 2023-07-27 17:04

    Have we touched all the bases on the Trump demagoguery playing field. ?? South Dakota and our Governor is certainly taking the lead in mindless “public relations”. Connecting the dots between NASCAR and attracting talented employees to work in South Dakota industries, requires a truly convoluted leap of faith. I wouldn’t call it rational. There was obviously no serious adult in the room when this decision was made.

  3. Lisa 2023-07-27 17:24

    Are you kidding me? It’s Kristi’s world here in SD, and the rest of us are just squirrels, trying to get a nut! Let’s pay for some more lip injections and whatever other plastic surgeries she has had too. How much longer do we have her as the face of this state? How much more does she think she deserves?
    Wake up South Dakota!

  4. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-07-27 17:38

    This could be A Very Bad Idea. As Arlo said, there was obviously no serious adult in the room when this decision was made.

  5. J 2023-07-27 18:14

    From the same people who brought us, “Meth-we’re on it!”

  6. Dyna 2023-07-27 18:19

    Promised us a “Camaro” and shows up with a “Mustang”… Typical Kristi!

  7. Mark B 2023-07-27 18:31

    South Dakota is hopelessly RED. Getting a new neighbor from PURPLE Nascar states like North Carolina for our ‘Freedumb’ simply raises the BLUE Hue where they ‘comed from’.

    Our 3 Electoral Votes wont change if 20,000 Nascar fans move here, but their absence could easily flip a purple state or 2 with 15 electoral votes each. GOP nationally gains NOTHING by having their Purples move to SD..

  8. Linda 2023-07-27 19:07

    Where are all these new workers gonna live?

    Has she not heard? There is an affordable housing shortage.

  9. Nick Nemec 2023-07-27 19:43

    51 year old woman pretending she is a teenaged boy (bro) wearing a baseball cap backwards.

  10. grudznick 2023-07-27 20:51

    Come on, Mr. Nemec. Are you telling me there are not 51year old fellows in Highmore that wear caps backwards and say “bro” and other such young person sayings? grudznick suspects there are. Are you being sexist by thinking a woman can’t do the same? Heck, grudznick suspects the women in your town spit chaw and wear hats backwards.

    In case there is any doubt, grudznick disproves of the entire practice, be it Ms. Noem or the backwards-cap-wearing neighbors of Mr. Nemec.

    Wear your hats right, people, or you don’t get to wear hats at all.

  11. Donald Pay 2023-07-27 21:21

    Back in the 1960s that spot where that race car is parked was overgrown with scrubby trees, brambles and shrubbery. It was a dark drive with cozy and secretive turnouts where teens went to park, which led to making out, which led to…well, doubles or an occasional triple (one could hope). That was freedom. Parking that car down by today’s tamed Falls Park does not connote “freedom” to those of us old enough to remember The Falls as an overgrown lover’s lane.

    It’s much cleaner down there now, garbage-wise and morals-wise. Those of us who thought it would be nice to have The Falls put back to pre-settlement vegetation (prairie and some small cactus) and a couple stately burr oaks and some streamside shrubs lost out, and instead of praire grasses there is bluegrass (the plant). I guess they might have bluegrass at The Levitt. At any rate Freedom got defined down, I guess, because now freedom consists of being strapped into a car with all sorts of government-mandated safety equipment. and that woman is plastic, not a real woman.

  12. grudznick 2023-07-27 21:24

    Triples? explain…

  13. Curt 2023-07-27 22:21

    Grudz – Have you never reached 3rd base?

  14. cibvet 2023-07-27 23:37

    Will be quite fitting if McLeod finishes last or next to last like South Dakota does in so many ways.

  15. jakc 2023-07-27 23:48

    because watching BJ Mcleod finish 24th at Bristol will make people say, hey let’s move to Belle Fourche? I am curious as to who these people who might want to move to SD are and why Kristi wants them versus say other people who might want to move to SD. Why, I bet for $5 million you could get a lot of Hondurans to move to Vermillion or Tea or Madison. Heck, you might get some Lakota to move back from Denver or Minneapolis. Or you could sponsor local drivers at BH speedway

  16. All Mammal 2023-07-28 00:05

    Let people wear their hats the way they please. What’s it to ya, Mr. G? I like mine rally style. Like back in the dugout days.

    A Mustang??!! Noooooo! That’s like grinding salt and broken glass into the wound.

    Governors and all politicians should be the most boring lame stooges you can find. When did we start voting for our reality star idols? What, never heard of BTS?

    Why would we pay to attract the same broke people we already have living here? .. except with longer hair and no experience driving in snow. Just what we need.. more racists chanting “let’s go brandon!”

    We could invest in better pay for teachers and teacher housing. Because we specifically need to attract teachers, not bearded dudes named Poonter. No offense, Poonter. Not you. It’s just a coincidence my example and you have everything in common… see ya at the house.

    We’ll get through this guys. Just buckle down.

  17. DaveFN 2023-07-28 00:30

    Nick Nemec

    “51 year old woman pretending she is a teenaged boy (bro) wearing a baseball cap backwards.”

    You summarize it so very well.

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-07-28 07:01

    I wonder why she needed to spend tourism dollars on second car with special decals on it that, per the KELO-TV report helpfully provided by epo, is going to tour South Dakota for ten days. The point of the campaign is to market to people not from here to get them to move here. Is she going to park the face car at Sturgis?

    I wonder if Live Fast Motorsports and/or driver BJ McLeod will move to South Dakota. LFM is based in North Carolina. Driver and co-owner McLeod is from Florida. Co-owner Matt Tifft is from Cleveland. Are any NASCAR drivers or teams based in South Dakota?

  19. e platypus onion 2023-07-28 08:45

    Billy goats Grudz, watch and pay close attention to this music video and enlighten yourself from your Puritan roots.

    Lyrics provided so even you can decipher the meaning of this song.

  20. e platypus onion 2023-07-28 08:49

    Wearing the hat backwards might mean that little boy inside Noem is struggling to get out

  21. Jenny 2023-07-28 08:51

    All Mammal – isn’t it obvious the double standard when it comes to women?
    As a straight woman here’s how I rate male politicians that never get judged on their looks.

    Dennis Daugaard -Nice looking enough for an old guy, but to me, always gave out gay vibes. (Closet gay? Who knows.)
    Rounds – Decent enough in the looks category for an old guy but too short and getting chubby. He’s also into good old boy clubs (who knows what they do there) and has that fake businessman ‘I care about you’ attitude. (Never trust an insurance salesman)
    Janklow – as ugly as it gets….just bad and with a bad personality. (SD didn’t mind having to look at this man’s wormy mean-looking face for 12 years as governor! Amazing.)
    Ravnsborg – Just a creepy and I mean creepy, creepy incel, definitely gay vibes going on here (ugly doesn’t even begin to define this man’s appearance.)
    John Thune – Tall and athletic for an older guy. Decent enough in the looks category but premature wrinkling started way too early. Never thought he was all that and quite full of himself. Probably thinks he’s god’s gift to women.

    Now On to the obviously better state of MN-
    Tim Walz – a sweet dependable lovable teddy bear, an all around good guy! Ladies don’t mind a little pudge on good guys with great personalities. (we’re not as simple-minded as men when it comes to looks.)
    Mark Dayton – Good looking for an old guy and super rich but really cares about the working class, a true rarity.
    Keith Ellison – Super smart, has our back, and knows how to get stuff done. Nice looking and has that sexy black guy mystique going on, just needs to watch his weight. (What MN woman wouldn’t go out with our AG? Interacial relationships are very commonplace here. ; )

  22. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-07-28 10:01

    Since SD is the Mississippi of the north, narcissistic and vain Kristi Lynn is cynically marketing her precious, plastic booty AND pandering to red state rednecks in her quest for adulation, horny ultra-rich contributors, and national office. She obviously has nothing to offer other than her body, but that offer has seldom failed historically.

    Smarter people than I have predicted KL’s political vanishing, but I think her “hey, fellers, fantasize about my cooch” approach could work, and she’s flogging it for all the SD tax payers are worth.

  23. Phil 2023-07-28 12:05

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier to just ring up her buddy Governor Abbott? He’d be happy to send up busloads of freedom seeking workers who would jump at the chance to apprentice a trade.

  24. Donald Pay 2023-07-28 13:26

    I appreciate Jenny’s rundown. If it proves anything, it proves women can be just as superficial as men.

    I don’t rate politicians based on looks, but after I consider policy stances, I look to intelligence, honesty and leadership style, which tend to favor females. Women are just more intelligent, more honest and better leaders than most men, on average. Not all female politicians meet my standards, though. Noem would be one who doesn’t. Too dumb, too deceitful and too dictatorial.

  25. Jenny 2023-07-28 14:10

    Donald, ask any woman and they would say that men are more superficial when it comes to physical looks . Since men (most for sure) are always judging women on their looks and bodies in the media, I was just giving men a piece of their own medicine.

  26. grudznick 2023-07-28 15:18

    I’m sure you are very pretty, Ms. Jenny.

  27. Jenny 2023-07-28 15:49

    What do you look like, Grudz?

  28. grudznick 2023-07-28 16:13

    Gruesomely hideous on the outside, but a delicate, beautiful flower within.

    Sort of the opposite of Ms. Hubbel and Dr. Boz.

  29. grudznick 2023-07-28 17:17

    That’s a candid photo from way back in grudznick’s youth.

  30. LaurenSD1 2023-07-28 18:03

    Boy oh boy!
    Cruella is at it again. Plastering that rearranged botoxed back surgery mug on cars.
    Very Palinesque. That didn’t work out that well for Palin who after shakin’ hands and politicking at the Daytona 500 in 2010 got a speeding ticket back home in “Alaaaska”. Palin quipped, “I wasn’t speedin’ I was qualifying.”
    (Noem has 26 traffic citations, including 20 speeding tickets.) One for 95 in a 75.
    Lock her up.

  31. grudznick 2023-07-28 19:07

    Who amongst you has not shot a neighbor’s dog, back in the day? Let bygones be bygones, and release the NDS coursing thru your brains.

  32. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-07-28 19:16

    I’ve never shot a neighbor’s dog; just the thought is appalling. And I don’t know what National Design Specifications have to do with car wrap.

  33. M 2023-07-28 20:20

    Noem’s face belongs on a pink porta potty for the bikers to use at the rally.

  34. cibvet 2023-07-28 23:35

    Thumbs up for M

  35. Richard Schriever 2023-07-29 11:39

    grudz, trucker/baseball hats worn askew originated with the big city rapper crowd. This is an interesting series of cultural appropriations. Sort of like looking at the genealogy of fashion trends.

  36. Richard Schriever 2023-07-29 11:45

    Donald, I was one of those teenagers (actually slightly pre-teen) who dared to dive and swim at the falls back in the day. Then, in the 80’s I took a different sort of interest, and whenever I ventured there, I attempted to remove trash and jammed up tree branches from various areas. Eventually, in my absence from SD, the city deemed it reasonable to turn my meager efforts into official city policy @ caring for that resource. When I o there now and look at the rocks I dove from and the pool I dove into – I am quite surprised I survived.

  37. grudznick 2023-07-29 13:31

    You were probably wearing your hats the right way, Mr. Schriever. grudznick is most glad you survived.

  38. Ben Cerwinske 2023-07-30 09:56

    Jeff Foxworthy once said, “If you decide to move to South Dakota because you saw an ad painted on a stock car…youuuu might be a redneck…

  39. Jackie 2023-08-03 14:15

    The State is under an informal hiring freeze, but there is money for this. How much did this whole thing cost?

  40. Donald Pay 2023-08-03 16:44

    Richard, Yeah, I dove in once. That was it for me. Definitely the place needed to be cleaned up. There were remnants of the prairie and cactus near the rocks. In pictures, it looks as if they are all gone. I think it would have been better to restore the prairie elements, rather than plant bluegrass.

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