NRA signs on to sponsor NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in April
Fort Worth, Texas - Earlier this week, Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage announced that the National Rifle Association has agreed to serve as title sponsor for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the speedway later this year. Now known as the NRA 500, the race will take place on April 13.
"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 in a news release. "I suspect we’ll sell a lot of tickets to their members and folks who support their position on America’s rights and freedoms and the Second Amendment."
The one-year deal (NASCAR sponsorship deals typically run for three years) was reached after Samsung, sponsor of the race since 2002, decided to withdraw. The NRA has an option to renew the sponsorship package for the following two years.
"The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in the long history of a growing partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports and the NASCAR community," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. "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."
The Texas Motor Speedway opened in February of 1996. With a capacity to seat almost 200,000 fans, the 1.5 mile track has seen the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Jeff Burton lay claim to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
When asked about the announcement, NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "I think it’s great. I mean, the NRA is our core fan base. We all have guns, and all us racers love to go out and shoot. It’s part of who we are. So any time you have a sponsor that embraces their market and who they pull customers out of, it’s great for us.”