03/13/2012 06:01 pm ET Updated Mar 13, 2012

Newt Gingrich: Liberals Wouldn't Let NASCAR Drivers Go Fast

Liberals are too weak to run NASCAR, Newt Gingrich said on a radio station dedicated to the sport.

"If liberals ran NASCAR, you couldn't go more than 35 miles an hour, you’d have to have a car that couldn't get in a wreck, you'd have to get 600 miles to the gallon and there would be no winners," Gingrich said during an interview Thursday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "Everybody would be given a first-place prize so that nobody would have their feelings hurt."

Many NASCAR fans are Republicans, and some GOP presidential candidates have made appeals to fans. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appeared at a NASCAR event in February, where he said he has friends -- who are also donors -- who own teams. Another front-runner, former Sen. Rick Santorum, sponsored a car in the Daytona 500.

Gingrich aides said in February that the former House speaker wanted to win over NASCAR voters by arguing Romney is more like a PGA golf candidate, according to the Associated Press.

Later in the radio interview, Gingrich went into some of his familiar criticisms of the president's energy policies, first mocking Energy Secretary Steven Chu because he does not own a car -- although his wife does -- and then the Chevy Volt, an energy-efficient American-manufactured car that the candidate nevertheless insults often. Obama has said he will buy a Volt "five years from now, when I’m not president anymore."

"What you have is a president who is anti-American energy, he is anti-people ... driving the kind of car or truck they want to," Gingrich said. "I keep telling people you can't put a gun rack in a Volt, so it's not going to become a popular car with normal Americans."

You can put a gun rack in a Volt, a fact Gingrich admitted earlier this month, although he joked then that a dead deer would not fit.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to show that the interview was on Thursday.