Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage announced Monday that the National Rifle Association, an organization which has been “tuning up” its campaign against gun control initiatives in Washington, is going to sponsor the tracks April 13th NASCAR Sprint Cup event. The NRA500 will be ran under the lights in prime time.
[box type="bio"] Gossage: The NRA has been involved in the sport for several years and a partner of (track owner) Speedway Motorsports, Inc. for many years in various aspects, and this race entitlement is just another extension of that business relationship.[/box]
The NRA has sponsored NASCAR Nationwide series events before, but Texas with it’s 190,000 capacity grandstands represents the pro-gun group’s first push at the crowned Sprint cup series, a move which is suspected to have cost the NRA around $1 million in sponsor fees.
In a video statement NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre told reporters:
[box type="bio"] “NRA members and NASCAR fans love their country and everything that is good and right about America. We salute our flag, volunteer in our churches and communities, cherish our families, and we love racing.” [/box]
Richard Childress, owner of the popular RCR race team that stables Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and Jeff Burton, is also a member of the NRA’s board of directors.
Interestingly enough, winners of the Texas Sprint cup race are usually awarded guns along with their race trophy – revolvers for the victor and even a shotgun for the the pole-sitter.
NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart holds the pole award, a Turnbull Model 1886 Take-Down Rifle, after qualifying for the Samsung Mobile 500 auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Friday, April 16, 2010, in Fort Worth, Texas.