NRA Re-enters Nascar as Sprint Cup Sponsor

March 4, 2013

The National Rifle Association (NRA) will sponsor the Sprint Cup race next month at Texas Motor Speedway, doctor the track announced Monday.

The NRA 500 will be held on Saturday night on April 13.

This won’t be the first time that the NRA will sponsor a NASCAR race. Last year, drugs the NRA sponsored the Nationwide Series race at Atlanta, which, like Texas, is owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc.

TMS needed a sponsor for the race after Samsung decided not to renew its deal.

When the NRA announced the sponsorship of the Atlanta race, NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said the sanctioning body had no qualms with the sponsorship by the controversial political advocacy group for gun owners.

NASCAR issued a statement Monday afternoon saying it had no issues with that deal.

“Race entitlement partnerships are agreements directly between the track and the sponsor,” the NASCAR statement said. “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 will have to abide by the sanctioning body’s guidelines that it uses to approve paint schemes as far as taste and messaging.

Guns are already prominent at Texas Motor Speedway, where the winners don cowboy hats and fire six-shooters in victory lane after the race.

Race sponsorships for major Cup events typically cost $1 million or more.

The deal is a one-year deal with a renewal option, TMS President Eddie Gossage said when making the announcement.

In a taped message, NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre talked about the relationship between the NRA and TMS parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc.

“The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in a long history of a growing partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports and the NASCAR community,” LaPierre said.

“NRA members and NASCAR fans love their country and everything that is good and right about our country.”