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NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Has Controversy


Getty images sport- Ronald Martinez

The boys and girl of NASCAR are having their first night race of the year at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday.  It’s the NRA 500 and it has controversy.

Some folks are up in “arms” because it’s sponsored by the National Rifle Association. Now politicians are getting involved. Democrat Senator Chris Murphy (from Conn.) has sent a letter to Rupert Murdoch asking Fox not to broadcast the race on Saturday night. He says the race is taking place during Senate consideration of legislation to reduce gun violence in the wake of the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

Murphy said the race will give national attention “to an organization that has been the face of one side of this heated debate.”  He also questioned the Victory Lane tradition at Texas, where the winner gets a cowboy hat and can fire six-shooters loaded with blanks into the air.

“I think the fact that they’re not loaded is a fairly safe thing,” said Eddie Gossage, the president of Texas Motor Speedway. Gossage has repeatedly said that the NRA’s sponsorship is “not about politics. It’s about sports marketing.”  When he was asked about ticket sales for Saturday night’s race, he said he expects a similar crowd to last years race.

Fox 40 will be broadcasting the race Saturday night beginning at 8pm.

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