Texas Motor Speedway drops pistol celebration in light of mass shooting at Texas church

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kevin Harvick’s victory lane celebration on Sunday lacked something that has been tradition at Texas Motor Speedway: the celebratory firing of a pair of pistols into the air.

Track president Eddie Gossage told USA TODAY Sports said the decision was made out of respect for the 26 people killed at a church outside San Antonio.

“In light of what happened, it was the respectful thing to do,” Gossage said.

The six-shooter celebration been a part of most race celebrations here since the track opened in 1997.

Harvick, who earned his first career Cup Series win at Texas Sunday, had never participated in the six-shooter celebration before.

The celebration has come under scrutiny before, including including when some questioned the National Rifle Association's sponsorship relationship with the track after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn in 2012.

In the April 2013 NRA 500 at Texas, a man who was camping on the track's infield shot himself in the head. The Tarrant County medical examiner's office ruled the death of 42-year-old man a suicide.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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