FORTH WORTH, TX (WACH) - The National Rifle Association announced Monday it has reached a deal to sponsor the April Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.
The April 13 race will be called the NRA 500. Texas Motor Speedway president, Eddie Gossage, said the agreement is for one year with one-year options.
Gossage said the NRA has been involved in racing for years and is a generous supporter of Speedway Children's Charities, donating more than $500,000 to the charity's Texas chapter since the year 2000.
The charity serves impoverished, underprivileged and vulnerable children and families in more than 120 countries.
"This race entitlement is just another extension of that business relationship," said Gossage. "We look forward to another successful partnership with the NRA for our April race week."
It will be the first NRA-branded race in NASCAR's premier series. The organization sponsored a Nationwide Series race at Atlanta last season.
National Rifle Association executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre was not present at Monday's announcement but appeared in a pre-recorded video message.
"The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in the long history of a growing partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports and the NASCAR community," said LaPierre. "NRA members and NASCAR fans love their country and everything that is good and right about America. We salute our flag, volunteer in our churches and communities, cherish our families, and we love racing! On April 13, we'll all come together at Texas Motor Speedway."
The deal with the NRA comes on the heels of NASCAR'S announcement last month in Daytaon about efforts to raise funds and awareness for the 20 children and six adults in last year's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.
NASCAR put a Sandy Hook School Support Fund paint scheme on the No. 26 car driven by Michael Waltrip in February's Daytona 500. NASCAR chairman Brian France also donated to the fund.
NASCAR says sponsorship deals are between invidividual tracks and the sponsors, but the governing body does reserve the right to approve or disapprove of sponsorships.
This is not the first time the NRA has been involved with NASCAR. The NRA has previously sponsored a Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.