While guns and gun control remain controversial topics around the country — particularly in light of the recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary — there are no such qualms in the state where everything’s bigger. That goes doubly true for Texas Motor Speedway, as NASCAR events in Texas don’t even really require any jokes be made.
However, score one for liberal sensitivities, from the racetrack’s president, Eddie Gossage.
On Monday, Gossage announced that this year’s Sprint Cup Series race at the Speedway would be called the NRA 500, which, even in the land of stock car raising, made a few headlines. However, particularly in light of Sandy Hook and driver Michael Waltrip‘s tribute to the tragedy at the Daytona 500, Gossage says he’s willing to tone down some of the track’s more in-your-face traditions — namely winning drivers being adorned with an oversized cowboy hat and handed twin six-shooter pistols filled with blanks — according to ESPN.
“It’s a big part of the celebration, one of the things that makes us here unusual,” said Gossage. “It’s kind of our sip of milk in Victory Lane or the green jacket of Augusta. I think they’d rather do that than get the check.
“In looking at it [Victory Lane celebration], I just wanted to be sensitive to everybody involved because today it’s so difficult with anything you do … there are people that are opposed to it that you’ve got to be careful. This was probably more than most.”
Gossage says the plan is to meet with teams representing each driver taking part in the upcoming race, to see if there are any concerns.
“I want to be sensitive to the teams and their sponsors and didn’t want to place anybody in a potentially compromising position,” said Gossage.
Nonetheless, Gossage says that the response to the race’s name has been “overwhelmingly positive” in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Moreover, he says a driver has never refused or even seemed hesitant to take part in the post-race celebration involving the pistols. However, if a driver did refuse, Gossage says he wouldn’t have a problem with it.
“Shooting those blanks in Victory Lane, that’s all in good fun. But I want to make sure we don’t step on somebody’s toes and make somebody uncomfortable. It could be a sponsor on the driver’s uniform or something like that just because this race has the very direct connection to the NRA.”
Mike Moustakas had some fans on hand on Tuesday in Surprise, AZ.
“My team in Orlando was a team full of people that nobody wanted.”
–Dwight Howard, being much more honest than he probably should be
So, this is how Kobe Bryant manages to be so effective at age 34.
Right now, a hobo is waking up in a train yard, wearing a surgical gown and missing his arm just above the elbow.—
(@netw3rk) March 06, 2013
Because of course the best night to score a hat trick is the game they give away free hats. No, not that kind of free hat.