The National Rifle Association will sponsor the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in April.
The deal was announced Monday during the track's media day. The NRA sponsored a Nationwide Series race last September at Atlanta, but the NRA 500 on April 13 at Texas will be its first foray into NASCAR's top series.
"The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in the long history of a growing partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports and the NASCAR community," NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre said in a statement. "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 sponsorship agreement is for one year with a one-year option, said Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway.
"It's an organization we've enjoyed a long-standing relationship within the industry, including Speedway Motorsports and Speedway Charities," Gossage said.
NASCAR said in a statement that race sponsorships are negotiated by the tracks and the deal with the NRA falls within the guidelines of the sport's governing body. But NASCAR added that it does have the right to approve or disapprove.
After the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut and discussions about gun control in the country, there could create some debate about having the NRA as a title sponsor.
"We didn't get one piece of negative response that I'm familiar with," Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark said of the NRA-sponsored Nationwide race last year, according to ESPN.com. "Of course, there are a lot of people more protective about their rights being taken away, but we didn't have any negative comments at all."