Rifle association to sponsor Texas NASCAR race
In a move guaranteed to stir up controversy, the USA’s National Rifle Association has been confirmed as the naming rights sponsor of next month’s NASCAR Sprint Cup fixture in Texas.
The move comes at a time when gun control is a particularly hot political issue in the United States as president Barack Obama attempts to push through tougher gun ownership laws following December’s latest school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
The NRA acted as title sponsor for last September’s Nationwide Series race in Atlanta as part of a long association with Speedway Motorsports Inc – the firm which owns the Atlanta, Texas, Bristol, Las Vegas and Charlotte NASCAR tracks.
NRA executive vice-president and CEO Wayne LaPierre emphasised the strong relationship between the NRA and the NASCAR community in a video statement played at the sponsorship announcement.
“The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in the long history of a growing partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports and the NASCAR community,” he said.
“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 Motor Speedway.”
Richard Childress, owner of his eponymous NASCAR team team, is a current NRA board member.