Man Commits Suicide in Infield During NRA 500

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IApril 15, 2013

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 13:  Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head during the 2013 NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night.

The Tarrant County (Texas) medical examiner's office officially ruled the death a suicide Sunday afternoon.

The man—42-year-old Kirk Franklin from Saginaw, Texas—reportedly got into an argument with some campers on the infield during the Sprint Cup race, and alcohol may have been a factor in the man's death, Fort Worth Police spokeswoman Cpl. Tracey Knight confirmed.

Texas Motor Speedway officials have not yet commented on this tragic incident, Fox Sports Southwest's Anthony Andro reported.

NASCAR spokesman David Higdon issued the following statement Saturday regarding the controversial partnership decision, via Terry Blount and ESPN.com:

The NRA's sponsorship of the event at Texas Motor Speedway fit within existing parameters that NASCAR affords tracks in securing partnerships [...]. However, this situation has made it clear that we need to take a closer look at our approval process moving forward, as current circumstances need to be factored in when making decisions.

Kyle Busch led for 171 laps and ended up winning the NRA 500. The 27-year-old currently ranks third in the Sprint Cup standings after finishing 13th last year.

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