Texas NASCAR Track Ditches Pistol Celebration Following Church Shooting

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You might not have noticed, but Kevin Harvick’s victory lane celebration after the AAA Texas 500 was unusually quiet.

Following a mass shooting outside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Texas Motor Speedway amended its post-race festivities, according to USA TODAY Sports. The race winner at TMS traditionally fires two revolvers into the air, but the track decided more gunfire was the last thing Texans needed to hear.

A gunman opened fire Sunday morning at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs outside of San Antonio, killing 26 people and injuring at least 10 others. The incident came one month and one day after the deadliest mass shooting in United States history, which left 56 dead and 546 injured.

“In light of what happened, it was the respectful thing to do,” TMS president, Eddie Gossage, told USAT.

The pistol celebration reportedly has been a source of controversy in the past, especially in the wake of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as the National Rifle Association formerly sponsored the spring Texas race.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

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