Of course that statement isn't accurate, but I'm sure we'll hear it more and more as the dividing line between Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite continues to blur.
Levanduski provides us with more information about this marriage between NASCAR and the Scottish Rite that Slate.com called a "bizarre" partnership. Some things I didn't know before:
- Frank Cicci, the owner of the race team now known as Scottish Rite Racing, is the owner of one or more Quick Stop Beverage liquor stores in the Elmira, New York area. Cicci now lives in North Carolina.
- Cicci's racing team has been struggling financially and on the track. Last year the team had to pull out of several races after poor showings early in the season.
- Joe Hill, spokesman for the new Scottish Rite Racing team, admits that the current no-cash sponsorship deal is intended to attract prominent and wealthy Masons to get interested in NASCAR racing and eventually pony up cash to support the team.
- Driver Brian Conz, who is a Scottish Rite Mason, has been inactive in recent years, and was not approved by NASCAR to compete in the season-opening Orbitz 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17. Cicci team spokeswoman Christina Cicci said Wedesday they have yet to sign a substitute driver for Conz at Daytona.
UPDATE Sat. Feb. 10: Frank Cicci Racing announced Feb. 5 that Mike Bliss will pilot the #34 Scottish Rite Chevy during the Orbitz 300 on February 17th. Owner Frank Cicci said, "I'm confident that Mike will do a great job. He did an excellent job for us last season and we're excited to have him back. It's unfortunate that Brian [Conz] is unable to start off the season with us; however, we look forward to the necessary testing to enable him to get behind the wheel as soon as possible."
Despite Cicci's stated excitement at having Bliss as the team's driver again, it should be noted that Bliss was the team's driver last season as well, before Cicci decided to put Conz in the driver's seat. According to the Star-Gazette article, Bliss scored only one top-15 finish, placing 12th in the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in April. The team cut back on their activities for the rest of last season.
It's interesting that the early stories about Conz becoming the Scottish Rite team's driver played heavily on the fact that he was a Scottish Rite Mason, but now the team will have a driver that isn't (or if he is, is not being billed as such) a Scottish Rite brother. Is it coincidence, fate, karma, or just another Illuminati conspiracy?
Masons | Masonic Sponsorship | NASCAR | Freemasonry | BurningTaper.com | Scottish Rite | Frank Cicci | Brian Conz | Mike Bliss | Burning Taper