NASCAR Goes Fast, Turns Left on Guns

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By Larry Keane

NASCAR is waving a caution flag on guns. In fact, it looks like it’s a pit stop when it comes to firearms advertising.

The sport borne of bootleggers and popularized by drivers running just on the inside edge of being out of control is now cautioning team owners that the ads on their cars can no longer feature modern sporting rifles or sniper rifles.

Internet firearms retail site K-Var was informed by the National Event Publications, which also sells advertising space for NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA, NHRA, & USA Today Lifestyle, their advertising was no longer welcome.

We just heard from NASCAR on a number of gun related ads and unfortunately, due [to] a gradual shift in NASCAR’s position on guns, these ads must be edited/changed—especially those that are depicted as assault-style rifles/sniper rifles. NASCAR is still open to some of the less controversial gun accessories, concealed carry, or classes.

                                                            –David Dolbee, The Armory (K-Var.com)

Imagine our shock. This is a sport that’s been steeped in a tradition of lawful firearms ownership, recreational shooting and hunting. It’s attracted firearms manufacturers and retailers for decades. CZ-USA, Beretta, Daniel Defense all advertise. Henry Rifles is sponsoring a race. Magpul has been a race sponsor. Remington had a long run on NASCAR. Bass Pro Shops sponsors a team. NRA sponsors a night race.

Nascar crash

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Exhaust Fumes

Now, though, NASCAR might be turning a corner. If the lead presented by their advertising buyers is true, they might also be leaving their heritage and some of their biggest names in the rear-view mirror.

NASCAR’s Vice Chairman Mike Helton is also on the board for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, of which NSSF is also on the board. He’s joined by famed NASCAR Team own Richard Childress, who until recently, also served on NRA’s board. He’s got a racing company there with Gary Bechtel, who owned a NASCAR team and two Busch teams.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex, Jr., Clint Bowyer are all hunters, celebrated by Realtree. Austin races in Realtree’s brand has even held the rifle awarded for taking the pole at Texas Motor Speedway and Ty Dillon ran the Daniel Defense-branded car.

Nascar crash

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Shared Roots

NASCAR roots run deep. They’re headquartered in North Carolina, which is also home to firearms manufacturers Remington Outdoors Company, Sturm, Ruger & Co., and Carolina Arms Group.

NASCAR, so far, hasn’t offered public comment. Right now, we’re all left with what their third-party advertiser tells us. It’s not that different, though, from the sad saga Daniel Defense endured in 2014 when they attempted to advertise during SuperBowl XLVIII.

Their ad was rejected then because the silhouette of the company’s DDM4, which it agreed to move, only to be told later it was rejected because of a ban by the NFL on firearms advertising. Officials for the NFL later said they didn’t reject it, that it never made it to their level, but would have rejected it if it did.

NASCAR’s supposed “gradual shift” is sounding more like grinding gears.

 

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation.

comments

  1. avatar Moltar says:

    Of course they are! They are trying to become a mainstream sport like GT racing in Europe. They don’t account for the fact that, at best, they’ll just be those weird rednecks down south that are only famous because the liberal media can hold them up as an example of the south finally coming into the enlightened 21st century and all gun nuts are racists stuck in the past.

    1. avatar Geoff "Hurry-up and *die*, Ruthie" PR says:

      Over the past few years, NASCARs popularity has been diving faster than Paris Hilton in the back of Limp Bizkit’s tour bus.

      A *drastic* drop. Smells like desperation to me…

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I would like to boycott Nascar. But how do you boycott something you’ve never watched?

        1. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

          Yep, pretty hard for me to give them less money, or be less interested….

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          @jem,

          Eggzactly. Never watched Nascar, never will. But how can they knowingly and willingly alienate a major portion of their viewer base in the Heartland? Isn’t a deer rifle by definition a sniper rifle? Isn’t an elk hunter’s goal to take down his target with a single cartridge?

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “But how can they knowingly and willingly alienate a major portion of their viewer base in the Heartland? ”

          The money is not in ticket sales, but in sponsorships. NASCAR likely did not ignore the power of sponsors lightly. Given the political volatility of guns politics today, NASCAR may have looked at the level of funding from the advertiser in the gun industry vs. the other sponsors, and determined the benefit to retaining the other sponsors outweighed the possible cost of losing revenue from the gun industry. While we rag on Dick’s Sporting, they admitted they did a serious CBA before making their decision.

        4. avatar CarlosT says:

          I see your point, but what is the value of a sponsorship for a racing series no one is watching? That’s what NASCAR is delivering to the sponsors in exchange for all that cash.

      2. avatar pg2 says:

        Some truth here dpsht, the PTB are targeting anything fossil fuel related, NASCAR is on the chopping block. NASCAR distancing themselves from the 2A is like people pushing each other out of a lifeboat, hoping to increase their own chance their chance of survival, much like the segment of the gun community that embraces mandatory medical procedures and attacks people who resist government control over what gets injected into their families bodies.

    2. avatar Ashley says:

      These companies and leftist ceo’s are signing there own death warrant! There are well over 100,000,000 million gun owners in America. That’s about one third of the countries total population. The population of nascar fans that own guns is about 110 percent! These fools believe that not showing a picture of a gun on the side of a fricking car is gonna stop crazy people!! All these un-American idiots are doing is making themselves feel good and it’s disgustingly shameful!!! I’m waiting for all these liberal dumbasses in Hollywood to commit motion picture suicide! They’re so against guns then I’m sure that they’ll stop making movies with guns in them! Maybe it’s all those movies with glorified killers and video games where kids spend all day killing people in computers with no consequences. Maybe people are losing their grip on what’s real and what’s not! With the sorry ass parenting nowadays brought about by bleeding heart libiots, who knows. I think that when computer games are babysitters and kids demand instant gratification. Shit like these shootings will become more common place as it already seems to be! Then we have dumbass liberals blaming guns instead of people for crime! It’s pitiful. What about leadership and showing our kids what’s right? That’s right liberals don’t know right from wrong. Liberals have made it abundantly clear that they do not care about any law or civil rights that they don’t believe in. Look at the example that congress is setting for our youth. Half are up on corruption charges! Then Obama admits to making an illegal executive order DACA!!! The decay of politicians, family values and the world in general is bringing about all of these crazy times. But for all you liberals GUNS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM YOU ARE!!!!!!!

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “There are well over 100,000,000 million gun owners in America.”

        There are far, far fewer who would consider where they spend their money based on Second Amendment support of the companies who take their money. Far, far fewer. Based on the contained outrage over loss of freedoms, one must conclude gun owners are not synonymous with 2A activists (which we have known for quite some time). If 100 million gun owners put the Second Amendment ahead of all other elements in their lives, we probably wouldn’t even have pro-2A blogs.

  2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    What’s NASCAR and why should anyone care about them,sarc.

    1. avatar Kapeltam says:

      Its a sport thats easy to follow when you are hammered.

      I felt like being snarky. I’ll show myself out.

  3. avatar Alan says:

    I never did understand whatever it is or might be that attracts people to NASCAR in the first place. Possibly the hope or expectation of seeing bloody crashes? I wonder. As to NASCAR’s official position on firearms or any number of things, who cares.

    1. avatar Geoff "Hurry-up and *die*, Ruthie" PR says:

      “I never did understand whatever it is or might be that attracts people to NASCAR in the first place.”

      Seen in-person, it’s a sensory overload experience. Visually, as the cars pass you, it really brings home the observation that “These fucking cars are *fast*”.

      And (most normal) guys are hard-wired to like things that go *fast*.

      Sound-wise, besides being loud (foamy canal plugs make it sound better to me, as they do at rock concerts) the physical sensation of high-horsepower and straight pipes is a sound that hammers right through you. Focus on any particular body part as the pack goes by and you *feel* it.

      High-octane gasoline exhaust has a smell all it’s own, to me it smells a lot like 100 octane aviation gasoline, and I have very fond associations with that smell.

      Live, it’s a physical *experience* that hits all the right notes for me. A lot like shooting, actually. I love the smell of burnt double-base smokeless gunpowder and the sensation of big-bore magnums when fired cutting right through me.

      If you like the experience of shooting big-bore, big *boom* hand cannons, there’s a good chance you might like a NASCAR race experienced in person.

      (But then again, I like turtles… 😉 )

      1. avatar Bill B says:

        Things have changed in NASCAR over the decades. As Geoff noted, you feel the power as the pack dives off the banking headed for the green flag. Can’t really be described, it has to be experienced.
        It was even more so in the late 70s and early to mid 80s. Even sitting near the top of the grandstands at Daytona, your body literally shook as they came past.
        If you don’t care for NASCAR, that’s fine. If you’ve never experienced it as opposed to watching it on TV, your opinion holds less weight. And remember, it’s an opinion.
        Charlotte ROVAL September 29th. Seats in Turn 3. Cant wait. And the Cheerwine. Need my fix.

    2. avatar CWT says:

      When they still used actual stock cars it was fun to see the same make and model car you drove to work on the track run at its full potential speed, legally.

  4. avatar Donald Miller says:

    WELL FORK!!!!!! Looks like ANOTHER business is bowing to the left, which means another business I can no longer support. This is very sad, indeed.

  5. avatar Sal Palma says:

    You’ll see more of this since Remington’s case. The CT court ruled that Remington’s advertising their Bushmaster rifle could inspire an emotionally unstable individual to act out a crime. That’s a decision that would allow the Newtown families to sue Remington for damages. Remington has petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear the case. It was a ludicrous decision. Adam Lanza’s mother legally purchased the guns and ammunition. She didn’t secure her firearms costing her own life and the lives of the Newtown kids.
    This is possibly one of the most important cases in the industry.
    I would also advise to tone down the warrior culture thing.

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Agree. The judges in the Remington case clearly decided prejudicially rather than on the merits. How can any manufacturer be responsible for the reaction of a deranged person? Those judges decided the case before they heard it.

  6. avatar JimW says:

    The tide is turning. I don’t see 2A in the future.

    1. avatar Thixotropic says:

      Then we won’t count on YOU for the fight.

    2. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Of course the 2A will prevail, and so will gun owners. There are too many of us to stop and our numbers are growing.

    3. avatar Carlos Hathcock says:

      Then you’re blind….

  7. avatar Dan says:

    Keep turning left.

  8. avatar Truckman says:

    Nascar needs to take over its own choice of advertisers instead of letting others make the decision on what goes on there cars and remember where they come from and people that goes to there events own these guns

  9. avatar John says:

    Goodbye NASCAR ! As a Southern born boy of 65 years , I guess you don’t need my support anymore. Let the Millenials run your operation. Maybe you can start racing Teslas. You should stop promoting beer and other alcohol products as they kill more people than guns. You should also make the top speed of your tracks 55 as we ALL KNOW : SPEED KILLS.

  10. avatar Little Douche Coupe says:

    According to a Nacar ad, the only tool you need on their track is a BLUNDERBUSS!

    Ya’ll come on now, and go along for a ride on the BLUNDERBUSS!

  11. avatar David Cannon says:

    My family grew up with NASCAR from BEFORE it even had a name. My dad built part of the old “F-85” race that met it’s end at the CHARLOTTE speedway, just a few weeks before i was born. I knew Jr.Johnston, Buddy Baker, and a bunch of the original MEN that built NASCAR from a sandy beach! They were REAL PEOPLE! Not people that would turn their back on the people that had stuck out all of the good and bad times that they endured over the years. They were ALL brothers! And believe me, there were some sisters involved in the deal. And you cannot find ANY BETTER PEOPLE IN THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD ANY BETTER THAN THEM! And after all these years of backing NASCAR, I now say goodbye, and good luck NASCAR. YOU have pissed in your own cereal, and you will loose a lot more that that ONE BOLE! Dave Cannon, of Alabama!

    1. avatar Geoff "Hurry-up and *die*, Ruthie" PR says:

      Did you ever meet Tim Flock?

    2. avatar TXRabbit47 says:

      I echo your sentiments. Dad ran white lightning on the back roads in the Carolinas before and during the days of “NASCAR’s dirt tracks. Real men. Real racing. NASCAR needs to remember from whence it came!

  12. avatar Thixotropic says:

    ALL of this is happening due to the Globalist controlled MSM propaganda machine and their slush fund Arabella which dumps BILLIONS of dollars into front groups and ‘AstroTurfing’ annually.

    Arabella Advisors was started by the same people responsible for setting up the Clinton Foundation MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME. It was founded by Eric Kessler, whose bio on the firm’s website identifies him as “a serial entrepreneur who has started, led, and advised organizations pursuing social change across the country and around the globe.” Kessler served as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, an arm of the controversial Clinton Foundation.

    1. avatar Unrepentant Libertarian says:

      Thank you for the information.

    1. avatar Dave Huff says:

      The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

      1. avatar Tars Tarkis says:

        Jump, Virginia!

  13. avatar MN says:

    There has been a gigantic, very well funded, professionally staffed campaign against the NRA. We are talking close to $75 million in two years for that alone, out of about $400 million in annual gun control advocacy. Now that they have greatly hobbled the NRA, they are going after any corporation that supports the Second Amendment in any way.
    Do you guys even look at Twitter? Joann Fabric and Craft chain is among this week’s dozen targets.
    The selfish moron who did the AR 15 open carry “audit” on Walmart property the day after the big shooting gave the antis a lot of leverage for more and more successful pressure.

    1. avatar John Dougherty says:

      The difference here is the anti-gun money comes from the 1%’s who have all the money and wish to take all your protection and rights away. The NRA receives most of their donations from small donors trying to keep America free!

  14. avatar Hoyt Claggwell says:

    Couldn’t care about NASCAR, ever since the drivers became celebrities in the 90s. Watching grass grow is more interesting. As far as NASCAR’s opinion on guns, might as well be the Democratic Party’s opinion on guns…USELESS!

  15. avatar Chris Brown says:

    There is nothing that nascar does that I need to support…..

  16. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Successful attacks from all angles, while we stand watch for the SWAT team, sandbagged in our home, waiting to go out in a blaze of muzzle flashes, screaming, “Made it, Ma, top of the world”.

  17. avatar former water walker says:

    Can’t boycott what I have no interest in…years ago I wanted to drive really fast. Now I have boo-lits travelling 3000fps for that speed fix😏

  18. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    None of this will matter.
    As a former 40+ year fan of Nascar. Its slowly killing itself. Alienating its base wont help any.
    No drivers anyone really cares about left racing. Replaced mostly by kids they don’t have to pay large salaries to.
    Sponsors no ones heard of. But most of all.
    EMPTY SEATS!!!!!!
    Todays ho hum race at Indianapolis. Almost EMPTY few if any go to the races anymore. Me included.
    I haven’t been to Daytona in 20 years. Or Homestead in the last 10.
    Personally Id rather leave the Hallmark Channel on all afternoon.

    1. avatar PMinFL says:

      MAN !! That’s bad!

  19. avatar Charlie S says:

    What a very,- “SAD” day,,..!!
    Looked forward to every race since the 80`s…
    NASCAR needs to realize who there base fans are…it sure the hell aint the left liberals buyin the tickets…it is gun toting 2A supporting Americans,,..!!
    Been to quite a few races at the MIS track… In 7 seven years & 14 races I witnessed “1” fight,- one swing & the fight was over..20 minutes later they were shaking hands… North-South-East-West,..We All Need To Stand Together For America,,.!!
    Gonna miss all of the super nice folks/fans I have met in NASCAR..!!
    NO way in hell are they gonna get mine or anyone else`s support whom is a 2A American….
    The “Leftist” shit has gone way to far.. Time to put a stop to it..
    1st thing….Quit caving to the bullies &,..Take a “STAND” to what is right..
    Being loud & violent doesnt make you right.. NO fear here.. I can be a lot louder myself..
    This is the United States Of America… !!!!

  20. avatar RidgeRunner says:

    Had my fun at NASCAR events in the ’80s, pre-restrictor plates, Talladega and Bristol were a damn good time. Never was a car junkie, I just got a kick out of the people, the events, and lots of cute girls hanging around. It was a Southern thing. Geoff gave a pretty good description, but what’s disappointing is NASCAR fans, at least the ones I knew, SHOULD be the backbone of 2A supporters. For the left, this is an easy victory in the culture wars and the NASCAR fans of yore would have never stood for it. And the people this appeases would never attend a stock car race no matter what. They’re laughing.

  21. avatar Phil LA says:

    I turned on the Brickyard 400 today for the first time in years. The stands were blantantly empty. Whatever is banned by NASCAR will go unnoticed due to the lack of spectators.

  22. avatar TOM BLUE says:

    Chairman Mike Helton RAN NASCAR INTO THE GROUND ANYWAY !!!!!!

  23. avatar Rattlerjake says:

    I stopped paying any attention to NASCAR around the same time I quit listening to “modern” country music, they are ALL going over to the dark side!

  24. avatar sound awake says:

    “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.”

  25. avatar ozzallos says:

    Nascar just joins a long list of entertainment professions i wont fund or encourage my children to partake. It joins soccer and football as sports to boycott. In fact, im waiting for tbe first driver to take a knee and disown the betsy ross flag.

  26. avatar " keep your paws off my dead guy" possum says:

    To the best of my knowledge I have not seen a gun advertising on a NASCAR car, DuPont and it’s gunm powder would be about it, can’t member a Winchester or Rem logo in any car. And as much as I like NASCAR it’s getting a little to refined,, not much further away then Formula One with all its rules. And NASCAR ain’t NASCAR unless I can go down to the car dealer and buy me a car like the racers, with a little tweaking, motor suspension and what not. So NASCAR ain’t NASCAR really. If anyone noticed the turn out at Bristol wasn’t that good. I like my driver’s and I like my teams however I’m getting a little discusted .

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I would think fast cars are the stuff of nightmares for a possum.

  27. avatar Ralph3 says:

    America! 1st and 2nd Amendment is under attack. Attack Back! Our America is under attack from Enemies foreign and Domestic.

    I watched racing then they changed the rules of the game, made cars much the same, and i lost interest.

    Now they Dis all the Gun community.
    Soon it’ll be vilifying to buy, own, sell, make or use any Gun. And its time to buy 80 lowers and make a few “items” for storage, caches, and the eventual Need. We are under attack! Attacked For our Values, beliefs and American way.. stand up, do something now, write your politicians. Write on Facebook, join GOA or NRA or both.. (i personally dont like NRA) help out with the community show a gun owner isnt a bad guy, express tactfully daily the good of guns, the reasoning why we need them. Same as Christianity! Stand For It, stand by it, fight for it or it WILL fall. We cant give up. Soon there will be bans, and we cant give up our firearms to bans, or Register them. Use our Rights granted to us! If i worked for Nascar i would resign, a gun owner staying and working there is collaborating with the Enemies against our Freedom’s & our Rights..
    I hope the Gun Companies Sue Nascar!

  28. avatar Ronald West says:

    Well if they don’t walk away or put a stop to this none sense of gun control. Then they need to get in their cars and see how fast they can get out of America.

  29. avatar John says:

    NASCAR is losing more and more fans every year. They’ve gone so far as to actually remove a whole lotta seats from various NASCAR tracks. The cars they run all look exactly alike, and everything on them is exactly the same. I use to really enjoy watching the races on TV, but haven’t watched one in many years. To me, NASCAR today is like a parade of fast cars going around a track advertising as many stores, products, and services as they can fit on to the car wraps. And, from what I’ve heard they run more commercials than any other televised events. A friend told me he stopped watching due to the number of commercials. He said it felt like every 5 to 7 minutes there was 2 to 3 minutes of commercials. LOL that’s insanity.
    I’ve also read that many of their big sponsors have left them altogether. With a dwindling audience both on TV and at the tracks, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense that they would turn down advertising from a perfectly legal and legit business. but hey, what do I know? I don’t think NASCAR will actually survive much more than another 5 years if they don’t figure out a way to bring people back into it. I’m actually shocked someone hasn’t started a competing form of racing with a much lower cost of entry for the teams. I’d love to see real racing again, instead of this generic product they have now. YMMV

  30. avatar John in AK says:

    All that this implies is that NASCAR has joined all of the other ‘professional’ sports organizations in their firm belief that their ‘fans’ are pretty much irrelevant sheep, who will continue to pay to watch grown men (or women) play with each other–whether it be with sticks and balls, sticks and pucks, balls and baskets, or cars that can only turn left–for vast sums of money, no matter what the ‘teams’ or ‘leagues’ or individual players do to insult them, to tell them that their values are skewed, that their way of life is wrong.
    And we have encouraged them in this belief.
    NASCAR can say ‘f*ck all’ to firearms owners. The NFL can let their players spit on the Flag and kneel during our Anthem. Female LGBTQRSTUV ball-kickers can insult us and dishonor our country. ‘Stars’ can go to foreign fiefdoms and denigrate everything about us, and will still be honored when they come back.
    And we sit back and watch these ‘sports’ figures rake in literal millions for a few years of playing games for money, while our military personnel are paid a relative pittance for risking their lives in real combat (and sometimes losing them). The ancient Romans had nothing on us when it comes to bread and circuses.
    Don’t just stop with boycotting NASCAR; The rest of ‘professional sports’ is equally corrupt.

  31. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    NASCAR is now just like the NFL. I don’t watch either.

  32. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    Send NASCAR an email letting them know your opinion.
    Their email address is : [email protected]

    Send this email address to all your friends so they can also.

    I have no expectations it will change anything but it cannot hurt.

  33. avatar art KUNSTMANN says:

    I didn’t know some cars even advertised firearms or ammo…as fast as they go how could you see the logo’s??….I watch nascar….usually the last 10 laps or so, the rest of it is …………….

  34. avatar 2Dogs says:

    I used to work security at the Daytona 500 race. I don’t recall ANY liberals attending and the fans were more and more open about their politics as the day progressed.
    Best of luck NASCAR.

  35. avatar John McPherson says:

    Maybe the NASCAR folk need the seating for something more important. NASCAR has been in decline for some time, reports of death are to come soon.

  36. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    “southerner recognized for driving in circle prowess.”

    1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

      Give it a try if you think it is easy

  37. avatar Trapper Dave says:

    I am a die hard stock car fan and gun owner. My family and I spend roughly $5K a year going to small, local, short track stock car races around the northeast. NASCAR – especially NASCAR Cup races — will never see a dollar of my money. It looks like NASCAR has joined other failed institutions (Hollywood, media, et cetera) as an “enemy of the people.”

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