FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — If Clint Bowyer wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas and gets to fire the six-shooters that are a Victory Lane tradition there, he plans to lock those trophy guns in a safe when he gets home.
National outdoors retailer Gander Mountain. Co. said Wednesday it will sponsor Bowyer's car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup NRA 500 in Texas next week with a paint scheme that includes the words: "With Rights Comes Responsibility; Secure Your Firearms."
Bowyer, an avid outdoorsman who keeps his guns locked up, said it is "a great message" he fully supports.
"We know there's a lot of debate around firearms ownership and it's very significant right now in our country," said Steve Uline, executive vice president of marketing for Gander Mountain. "But the one thing that we feel very strongly is that it's the personal responsibility of everyone that owns a firearm or is thinking about owning a firearm. That responsibility is paramount, and it's not something that's optional."
Gander Mountain's partnership with Bowyer is part of an initiative the company is also launching in its stores and through newspaper ads in markets where its stores are located. Uline said Gander's partnership with MWR and Bowyer provides an ideal stage, with a prime-time race with a national television audience, to deliver its message of responsible firearms ownership.
Bowyer drives the No. 15 car for Michael Waltrip Racing, which for the season-opening Daytona 500 had Waltrip driving a Toyota with a paint scheme supporting a relief fund for victims of the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Texas Motor Speedway announced last month that the National Rifle Association would be the title sponsor for the April 13 race. TMS president Eddie Gossage said then that the NRA's sponsorship was "not about politics. It's about sports marketing."