A U.S. Senator for Connecticut is asked NASCAR to "reverse its decision to name" one of its races after the National Rifle Association.
Earlier this week, the NRA signed a one-year agreement to be the title sponsor for the April 13 race at the Texas Motor Speedway.
"The NRA has been involved in the sport for several years and a partner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. for many years in various aspects, and this race entitlement is just another extension of that business relationship," said Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage. "We look forward to another successful partnership with the NRA for our April race week of activities."
The decision to sign the contract is the Texas Motor Speedway's and not NASCAR's.
"As you may or may not know, race sponsor entitlement partnerships are agreements directly between the track and the sponsor," NASCAR told Eyewitness News Thursday.
The race, which will be called the NRA 500, is part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The NRA 500 is first prime-time Saturday evening race of the 2013 season, according to Texas Motor Speedway officials.
"The NRA 500 is the latest announcement in the long history of a growing partnership between the NRA, Speedway Motorsports and the NASCAR community," said NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre. "NRA members and NASCAR fans love their country and everything that is good and right about America."
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who has been outspoken on gun control and against the NRA, urged NASCAR to change its decision.
"They should stay out of political debate about gun violence," the senator tweeted Thursday.
The decision to rename the race comes almost three months after Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother as she slept in her bed Dec. 14.
He then traveled the few miles to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he proceeded to shoot out a security window, make his way into the building and kill 20 children and six adults. He then shot and killed himself as police made their way into the school.
During an interview with Eyewitness News, Murphy called the decision to rename the race "irresponsible during the most important debate over gun control in a generation."
At the Daytona 500, Michael Waltrip, who is a two-time winner of the race, drove the No. 26 Lean1 Swan Racing Toyota representing Sandy Hook.
NASCAR officials met with Newtown town officials, first responders and victims' families before making their decision.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 24 2013 10:53 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:53:19 GMT
Ryan David Jones/Source: RCSO
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been investigatingMore >>
The Richmond County Sheriff Office has charged Ryan David Jones with 3 counts of Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:54 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:54:11 GMT
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.Robert Donald Holden, Jr, of Hephzibah, was pronounced dead at the scene on the 3500 blockMore >>
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:00:17 GMT
For 12 years Denise Glasford's sister fought in the Army, but died last year on Memorial Day. "Thinking about her and wishing she was still here with us," Glasford said. "It's been a tough year for the family." GlasfordMore >>
Glasford and her niece and nephew are three of dozens of family members paying tribute to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Here at Fort Gordon's Warrior Remembrance Memorial Day Ceremony, they're honoring those killed, and remembering those they left behind. Soldiers say the national holiday is much more than a day off from work to barbeque and celebrate.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:43:19 GMT
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.That's off of Deans Bridge Road.Residents in the area say that two people were shot and taken to the hospital.More >>
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:07 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:07:55 GMT
Praying and singing through their grief, dozens of people remembered the lives of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones Thursday evening. "It hit me hard because this was like another family to me," saidMore >>
Praying and singing through their grief, dozens of people remembered the lives of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones Thursday evening.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:53 PM EDT2013-05-24 02:53:59 GMT
An Aiken County man is in the hospital after being hit by a car in an alleged domestic dispute.The Aiken County Sheriff's Office received a call just after 7:30pm Thursday evening about a pedestrian beingMore >>
An Aiken County man is in the hospital after being hit by a car in an alleged domestic dispute.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:03 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:03:57 GMT
President Obama addressed the nation with the counter-terrorism policy which includes the controversial plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay. FOX54 has the exclusive interview with a former military defenseMore >>
President Obama addressed the nation with the counter-terrorism policy which includes the controversial plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay. FOX54 has the exclusive interview with a former military defense attorney who represented one of the GTMO prisoners. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:10 AM EDT2013-05-23 12:10:07 GMT
The images we're seeing in Oklahoma having a heavy impact on viewers around the country and here in the CSRA. Lindsay Findley says she was heartbroken when she found out about it. "It's just so sad toMore >>
Thirty disaster relief volunteers and vehicles have been sent to Oklahoma; three of them from the Palmetto region. And at any moment, volunteers with the Aiken chapter could be deployed.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:34 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:34:56 GMT
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it. The parking limit downtown has beenMore >>
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:20:40 GMT
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night. The vigil for Roosevelt Jones, Edna Jones and their son Russell JonesMore >>
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night.More >>