Let’s just file this story under the surprised category.
On Monday afternoon, Eddie Gossage and Texas Motor Speedway announced that the National Rifle Association(NRA) will be the title sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track in April. No you aren’t seeing things, it is that NRA. The pro-gun lobbying group is coming back to NASCAR.
TMS president Eddie Gossage said the NRA has been involved in racing for several years and a generous supporter of Speedway Children’s Charities, donating more than $500,000 to the charity’s Texas chapter since 2000.
This isn’t the first time the organization has been the title sponsor for a NASCAR event. Last season, the group sponsored a NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s executive vice president, was unable to attend the media event at Texas Motor Speedway, but did offer a statement via video saying “NRA members and NASCAR fans love their country and everything that is good and right about America. We salute our flag, volunteer at our churches and communities, and cherish our families and we love racing.”
The news comes at a time where the NRA is involved in a debate on gun control in the wake for the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The NRA and Texas Motor Speedway is the perfect match. The winner of the Sprint Cup race gets to fire off a six-shooter in victory lane, while the winner of the Coors Light Pole Award gets a rifle.
No word on if Michael Waltrip Racing will race the No. 26 tribute car, the same car raced in the Daytona 500, will be fielded at Texas Motor Speedway.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., winner of the Nationwide Series race in Atlanta last season, said he had a good experience working with the NRA.
“They take their stuff serious, they’re concerned with the tragedies that we’ve had throughout the nation,” Stenhouse said. “I think they do a great job at working from their side to help things as well. I think it’s a great partnership here at Texas