NASCAR NRA 500 Saturday, April 13, on FOX has NASCAR stars under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway for a prime-time race.
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series stars go under the lights in this prime-time race at Texas Motor Speedway for the NRA 500 on Saturday, April 13, at 7pm ET on FOX. Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon hope the action on the track isn’t overshadowed by the National Rifle Association’s controversial race sponsorship. (Coincidentally, the traditional six-shooter victory lane celebration at Texas was being debated as possibly detrimental to sponsors. But the tradition will go on.)
Last night’s episode of Glee dealt with a school shooting. Immediately following the episode was a promo for FOX’s coverage of the “Texas 500.” It was unsettling to me, knowing that the race was actually called the NRA 500, and FOX was able to dodge that fact.
NASCAR made tributes to the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims at this year’s Daytona 500. Less than two months later, we have a race title sponsored by an organization trying to limit new restrictions that could perhaps prevent future school shootings. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, requested that FOX not broadcast the race.
It’s a confluence of current events and politics that makes the NRA’s sponsorship unfortunate. For NASCAR’s image with the general public, it doesn’t do much but reinforce stereotypes of gun-totin’ Texans and NASCAR fans as ignorant hillbilly folk. For the NRA, they’re just preaching to the choir. And anyone who changes their stance on gun ownership in either direction because of a NASCAR race should be subject to a background check and mental illness evaluation.
Photo: Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR