Bristol Motor Speedway to Keep NRA as Co-Sponsor of NASCAR Night Race

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2018

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 19:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, celebrates in victory lane with his wife, Samantha, and son, Brexton, after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2017 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

The Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee will continue to have the National Rifle Association as a co-sponsor for its Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, according to Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com. 

"This has been a good long-standing partnership and we plan to continue," the Speedway said in a statement on Thursday.

The NRA has served as a sponsor of the event since Nov. 2015. The organization previously sponsored the NRA 500, a NASCAR Cup race in Texas in 2013.

Per Jacey Fortin of the New York Times, a number of companies have cut ties with the NRA or stopped offering its members special discounts or deals in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead. The companies include Delta Airlines, First National Bank of Omaha, rental car companies Avis, Budget Group, Hertz, Alamo, Enterprise and National and insurance company MetLife, among others.

That won't be the case at Bristol. According to Nick Bromberg of Yahoo Sports, "Speedway Motorsports Inc., the parent company of Bristol Motor Speedway, has a discounted ticket program for NRA members. That discount program will continue in 2018."

NASCAR's partnership with the NRA has been controversial in the past. The 2013 NRA Open came just weeks after the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy wrote a letter to NASCAR urging them to reconsider the partnership, per LeAnne Gendreau of NBCConnecticut.com.

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