File this one under things we're surprised to learn didn't happen 50 years ago: the folks at Texas Motor Speedway announced today that the National Rifle Association -- as in the rabidly pro-gun lobbying group -- is now the title sponsor of the NASCAR race there this spring.
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But no. This is new. So bid farewell to the AAA Texas 500, as the race was known in honor of the mild-mannered travel organization, and say hello to the NRA 500.
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president, couldn't attend today's media day at TMS, presumably because there are no liberals to troll at a NASCAR track, but he did offer a statement by video: "NRA members and NASCAR fans love their country and everything that is good and right about America. We salute our flag, volunteer at our churches and communities, cherish our families and we love racing."
All that love will be on full display at the NRA 500 on April 13 as tens of thousands of fans show their patriotism by watching brightly lacquered cars go around and around a concrete track. No word yet on whether Michael Waltrip will be driving his special No. 26 car in honor of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook massacre.
But seriously, LaPierre's right. The NASCAR and the NRA were made for each other, sort of like alcohol sponsorships and driving at ridiculously high speeds. We're just waiting for NASCAR to start stocking the infields with white-tailed deer so drivers will have somewhere to aim their AR-15s.