Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Texas Motor Speedway has acquired
sponsorship from the National Rifle Association for its NASCAR Sprint Cup
Series race next month.
Track president Eddie Gossage announced on Monday that the April 13 race will
be titled the NRA 500. The racetrack, which is owned by Speedway Motorsports
Inc., and the gun-rights advocacy group signed a one-year agreement, which
has a renewal option in it.
"The NRA has been involved in the sport for several years and a partner of
Speedway Motorsports, Inc. for many years in various aspects, and this race
entitlement is just another extension of that business relationship," Gossage
said. "We look forward to another successful partnership with the NRA for our
April race week of activities."
The NRA has had a business relationship with the NASCAR industry for more than
a decade. The organization has supported SMI's Speedway Children's Charities
and its fund-raising events since 2000. It has contributed more than $500,000
to the Texas Chapter of SCC at Texas Motor Speedway as well.
"The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in the long history of a growing
partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports (Inc.) and the NASCAR
community," NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre said in a
video message during a media event at the track. "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. On April 13, we'll all come together at Texas
The NRA is in the middle of a nationwide gun control debate following last
December's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.,
which killed 20 children and six adults.
NASCAR released a statement shortly after the announcement of the sponsorship
"Race entitlement partnerships are agreements directly between the track and
the sponsor," NASCAR's statement read. "NASCAR reserves the right to approve
or disapprove those sponsorships. The race sponsor for Texas Motor Speedway's
April event falls within the guidelines for approval for that event."
The NRA sponsored a 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race last September at
Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The Sports Network