By: Ashleigh Meyer
What comes to mind when you think of NASCAR? Your favorite driver? A cold adult beverage and the loud rumbling of a weekend track? Fast cars and freedom go together like peanut butter and jelly, and the sport of racing has been a long-celebrated tradition of the American South. It seems, however, NASCAR may be pulling away from some other dearly-held values, chief among them, guns.
In what they’ve described as a “gradual shift in [their] position on guns,” NASCAR has recently rejected several requests by gun companies to advertise on their platform. K-Var, an outdoor and shooting sports retailer, was one among the affected companies. The NRA reports that NASCAR told K-Var they would need to make changes to an ad that had previously been approved because it depicted “assault-style/sniper rifles.”
Naturally, fans are questioning the organization’s stance on Second Amendment freedoms, as the audience for guns and NASCAR typically overlaps.
“This is a colossal mistake,” said David Dolbee, general manager of K-Var Corp. “Do they not understand their own base? They are a sporting organization trying to take sides on a political issue. That never goes well for any company.”
As we’ve witnessed recently, Dolbee is not wrong. We’ve seen backlash against companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods, who directly alienated their customer base after removing the AR-15 and similar rifles from their shelves and taking a more leftist approach to firearms ownership. CEO Ed Stack told Business Insider the choice to move away from firearms retail cost him $250 million, and who knows how many previously loyal customers.
It is too early to determine how this decision will impact the stock-car racing organization, of course, and whether their notoriously brand-loyal fans will respond by boycotting racing events or avoiding purchases from NASCAR sponsors.
One thing can be inferred: all those left turns have made them dizzy.
Ashleigh Meyer is a Conservative political and professional writer from rural Virginia.