In the wake of the recent deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., multiple corporations have distanced themselves from the National Rifle Association — Delta Airlines, Wyndham Hotels and MetLife Inc., just to name a few.
One NASCAR track is standing by the NRA, however.
Bristol Motor Speedway has elected to stick with the NRA as the associate title sponsor of August’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg reported Wednesday. Furthermore, Bristol’s parent company, Speedway Motorsports Inc., will continue its discounted ticket program for NRA members in 2018.
“This has been a good long-standing partnership and we plan to continue,” BMS said in a statement to Yahoo Sports.
Bass Pro Shops and the NRA took on sponsorship duties of the race in 2016. One of the most popular events on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series calendar, the annual night race has had 10 other names since its inception in 1961.
But many wondered whether Bristol would shift gears after Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. Delta, United Airlines and Hertz Corp. are just some of the companies that recently have ended discount programs with the NRA. And just this week, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart announced they would raise the minim age for gun buyers to 21.
When Bristol first revealed the NRA would be an associate sponsor for the night race, Richard Childress Racing owner Richard Childress — a high-ranking NRA member — praised the move for creating “the perfect opportunity to highlight conservation on a national stage.”
There currently are no NASCAR Cup drivers sponsored by the NRA, though Austin Dillon tweeted in support of the organization in December. Dillon’s post came shortly after Childress — his grandfather — thwarted an attempted robbery by firing three shots at the suspects, causing them to flee.
Thumbnail photo via Randy Sartin/USA TODAY Sports Images
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