NASCAR owner Richard Childress resigns from NRA board

National Rifle Association first vice president Richard Childress chairs the NRA Annual Meeting of Members in Indianapolis, Saturday, April 27, 2019. On Saturday, retired Lt. Col. Oliver North announced that he will not serve a second term as president of the NRA amid inner turmoil in the gun-rights group. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Childress had been the first vice president for the NRA. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Richard Childress is no longer a member of the National Rifle Association’s board of directors.

Childress submitted his resignation in a letter dated Monday, Aug. 19, two days after the NRA was a co-sponsor of Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“At this time, it is necessary for me to fully focus on my businesses,” the NASCAR team owner and Hall of Famer said in a statement. “I owe that to my employees, our partners, my family, and myself. Since proudly agreeing to serve on the NRA Board, I have supported the organization and its important mission to preserve and protect our Constitutional rights. But when, as now, I am no longer able to be fully engaged in any commitment I have made, it becomes time for me to step down. I have reached that point in my ability to continue to serve the NRA. As such, I must resign.”

The NRA has been a co-sponsor of the Bristol night race since 2016. The Bristol sponsorship came after the group had previously sponsored the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway.

NRA president Oliver North stepped down in April. Childress read North’s resignation letter at the organization’s board meeting. Since North’s resignation, stories about the use of money and disputes within the organization have emerged as donations have dropped for the group. The Washington Post and other outlets reported earlier in August that NRA CEO Wayne Lapierre had looked into purchasing a $6 million Texas mansion with NRA funds in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

Childress is the fifth member of the board to resign this month. He had previously taken over as the NRA’s First Vice President in 2017.

Richard Childress Racing, which fielded a car for seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt for much of his career, currently has two cars in the Cup Series and one car in the Xfinity Series. While Tyler Reddick leads the Xfinity Series points standings and has four wins, Austin Dillon — Childress’ grandson — is 23rd in the Cup Series points standings and Daniel Hemric is 25th.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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