Scientology sponsors No. 27 “Dianetics” car of NASCAR driver Kenton Gray

When most people think of NASCAR, they think of fast, flashy cars highly decorated with the markings of their sponsors.

The kinds of sponsors have varied greatly over the years, from cigarette and beer companies, to food products and even Viagra. But a new entrant to the circuit is raising a few eyebrows: Scientology.

Driver Kenton Gray, of La Verne, Calif., is piloting the No. 27 “DIANETICS” car, featuring the erupting volcano from the cover the 1950 book by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

Gray says he’s proud to have Dianetics as a sponsor, saying techniques he’s learned from Scientology have helped him.

“It’s markedly improved my focus and my consistency,” he said. “Through Dianetics I’ve handled stress and increased my performance and ability to compete – both on the track and in life.”

NASCAR officials are not looking to intervene.

“The sponsorship at the weekly and regional touring level are made independent of NASCAR, unlike our three series on the national level,” spokesman Jim Hunter told the Associated Press. “However, we would step in at any level if we deemed it to be in bad taste or bad for the sport. But in this case, we don’t think it is.”

The deal has already received national television exposure on NBC’s “Today” show.

Last November, Scientology was featured in an episode of “South Park.”


Greta Van Susteren of Fox News is a Scientologist

The program included a cartoon boy on the show being mistaken for Hubbard. A portion of the show had Scientologists explaining the basic beliefs of the faith, including aliens populating the Earth, with a statement that flashed on screen reading, “This is what Scientologists actually believe.”

The faith has been featured prominently in the media in recent years, with high-profile members including John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze and Fox News Channel host Greta Van Susteren.

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