Let's AssumeIt was buried deeply in the agate results of a major racing sanction. There, among the legitimate names of individuals in competition, was an apparent assumed name. In fact, it was so ludicrous, it had to be an assumed name. However, in order to protect everyone involved, we're going to assume the name was Lucky Dogg.
When I saw the name in the results, I thought there would be one of two reasons for having it there. The first was as an inside joke on some unfortunate competitor. The second thought was that the entry was placed there to see if anyone in the media was paying attention. Neither scenario was correct. There was an actual competitor on the track racing under the name. The track announcer had to say it, so it was tangible in that regard.
It's absurd to assume that this is the driver's given name. It is more likely the driver is collecting disability checks for an injury and wants to keep racing without losing the income. While I can safely say I want the sport to grow, I'm not hyped on the idea of defrauding the government in the process. This sport has enough of a reputation as it is.
The idea of using an assumed name leads to a lot of questions in my mind. How does Lucky Dogg sign the waiver form to get into the pits? If the track pays by check, which isn't necessarily a common practice anyway, who gets the check? You can probably beat this by having the check paid to a car owner or crewmember.
There are those who say racing is not a sport, but is, in fact, sports entertainment. If that is truly the case, then it stands to reason that some would use assumed names. A fair number of radio personalities use names other than the ones they were given at birth. If a guy has two first names (like Mike Stevens or Matt Allen), there is a good chance he's using his first and middle names because the last name is five syllables and doesn't play well. Of course, there's a certain amount of anonymity in the radio world. These guys use their real names to pay taxes and open bank accounts. Actors have been using contrived names on the silver screen for various reasons. Would Marion Michael Morrison conjure up the same macho image as John Wayne? I think not.
There is usually no effort to defraud anyone with this activity, so this is harmless fantasy. The use of an assumed name in racing could be a completely different matter, but it would be shortsighted to assume that there's an evil purpose behind it in every case.
Assumed names have been part of the heritage of the sport. Even in the early days with sanctions like the AAA or USAC, a driver who wanted to race had to do it with a different moniker. The rules at the time provided that a driver could lose points or be banned for just racing on the side. There are some famous circumstances with drivers using names like Luke Warmwater in order to compete. In this case, a sanctioning body was being thwarted. I'm not sure it's a good idea to mess with the government.
Another question comes with the role of the promoter or the sanction. If they know the individual is doing something untoward, aren't they a party in this charade? Nobody wants to get in the middle of someone else's situation, but it could happen. If this charade should unravel, the worker's compensation people would have nothing on the sanction or the promoter, but they do have friends in high places within the government.