NRA puts its name on Texas Motor Speedway’s April race

Posted Monday, Mar. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The National Rifle Association, a touchstone for gun-rights advocates in a national debate about gun control following the Sandy Hook shootings, is putting its name on the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in April.

The NRA 500 will be the name of the race scheduled for April 13 at the 1.5-mile track, part of a one-year deal announced Monday by speedway president Eddie Gossage.

“This isn’t a political platform. This is a sports marketing opportunity,” Gossage said. “Demographically, it’s a perfect match.”

A press release announcing the sponsorship did not mention the December shootings at Newtown, Conn., where 26 students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary were killed by a shooter with an assualt rifle. Last week at the Daytona 500, driver Michael Waltrip drove a car sponsored by the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

The NRA sponsored a NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Atlanta last September, the “NRA American Warrior 300.”

Gossage said this a one-year title sponsorship agreement with the NRA. He said the track normally signs three-year deals with title sponsors, but that the NRA has options for the following seasons. He said the NRA approached the track last fall about a deal, but that it was not finalized until last week.

The announcement was made during Media Day at Texas Motor Speedway, where drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Travis Pastrana and James Buescher met with reporters to promote the race weekend. In a video message, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said, “The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in the long history of a growing partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports and the NASCAR community.”

Gossage expressed no conern about any potential negative effects from associating itself with an organization that has come under criticism since Newtown tragedy.

Texas Motor Speedway said the NRA has has contributed more than $500,000 to the track’s Texas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. Speedway Motorsporsts, Inc. is the owner of TMS.

“I think it’s great. I mean, the NRA is our core fan base,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “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.”

The TMS spring Sprint Cup race had been sponsored by Samsung Mobile 500.

The NRA 500 is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 13, a Saturday prime time start that makes it the season’s first night race.

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407

Twitter: @calexmendez

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Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Tampa Bay0Final | Box
Baltimore «3
Pittsburgh0Final | Box
Cincinnati «4
Chicago Cubs0Final | Box
NY Yankees «3
St. Louis1Final | Box
Milwaukee «5
NY Mets «5Final | Box
Arizona2
Chicago Cubs0Final | Box
NY Yankees «2
Atlanta «1Final | Box
Philadelphia0
Cleveland3Bottom 9th | Box
Detroit2@theBallpark | TV: MLB N, STO, FSN-DET+
Washington «6Final | Box
Miami3
Seattle2Bottom 8th | Box
Texas0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-SW
Boston1Bottom 6th | Box
Chicago WSox1@theBallpark | TV: NESN, WCIU
Kansas City2Top 7th | Box
Houston4@theBallpark | TV: FSN-KC, CSN-HOU
Toronto0Postponed | Box
Minnesota0
Oakland0Bottom 1st | Box
LA Angels0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CA, FSN-W
Colorado0Bottom 1st | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-SD
Los Angeles0Top 1st | Box
San Francisco0@theBallpark | TV: SNLA, NBC Bay Area
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Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Chicago86Final(OT) | Box
Charlotte «91
Indiana «101Final | Box
Orlando86
Washington «118Final | Box
Boston102
Brooklyn85Final | Box
Cleveland «114
Dallas864th Qtr 5:52 | Box
Memphis84TV: FSN-SW, SportSouth, ESPN
Philadelphia934th Qtr 5:20 | Box
Miami82TV: CSN-PHI, SunSports
Atlanta «111Final | Box
Milwaukee103
Utah1074th Qtr 0:11 | Box
Minnesota107TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-N
Houston100Final | Box
New Orleans «105
Toronto904th Qtr 2:21 | Box
New York88TV: Sportsnet 360, MSG
Detroit1094th Qtr 3:20 | Box
Oklahoma City102TV: FSN-DET, FSN-OK
LA Lakers «113Final | Box
San Antonio100
Golden State 4/16 10:30 PM ET
Denver TV: ESPN, CSN-BA+, Altitude
LA Clippers 4/16 10:30 PM ET
Portland TV: FSN-PT, KGW
Phoenix 4/16 10:30 PM ET
Sacramento TV: FSN-AZ, CSN-CA
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No games this week
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Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal4OT 9:00 | Box
Tampa Bay4TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus3Final | Box
Pittsburgh «4
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Dallas01st Prd 18:18 | Box
Anaheim0TV: NBCSN, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
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