The $26.5 million in public funds affixed to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s race car in the form of a National Guard logo is an attractive target for lawmakers in the midst of a military budget squeeze.

But a U.S. House attempt to ban armed forces sponsorships of professional sports — co-authored by Savannah Republican Jack Kingston — has touched a nerve within NASCAR.

After the provision was included in a defense spending bill set to hit the House floor in the coming weeks, Earnhardt told reporters, “The Republican from Georgia, he hasn’t even been to a NASCAR race.”