Sabates sent the following open letter to the Observer and ThatsRacin.com today in response to Smith's comments:
I am a very proud American that happened to be born in Cuba. America has been my home for over 50 years and America is the greatest country in the world - not even the politicians in Washington can screw that up. I love both countries and when I see irresponsible comments such as the ones made by my good friend of over 40 years, Bruton Smith (AKA Money Bags), it saddens me. He knows better than to take a swipe at a whole country (believe me I learned the hard way). He must be mad because he will never get the last race of the Chase. In fact, he used to have the last race of the season in Atlanta but lost it because he could not draw anything close to a full field.
Perhaps he is afraid that if the political unrest ever came to and end and Cuba was free again, then some of us Cuban born Americans might build a proper world class road course in Havana. A track specifically built for stock cars with all the amenities Las Vegas has to offer, plus white sand beaches and the cool trade winds of the Caribbean Sea. All of a sudden there will be no need for NASCAR to take our premier series to such far-away places like Sonoma. NASCAR teams will take just a short ride to a new Paradise with a track built specifically for NASCAR and where passing would be routine rather that the exception.
Anyway, Bruton be nice to your Cuban neighbors and friends. You are a great promoter and a great American success story. We might let you buy in for a little piece of our new race track in Havana. It won't hurt as much when you lose a date.
PS, Cuban coffee is good for the soul.