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Eldora Speedway donates nearly 3,000 facemasks to community

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Eldora Speedway has joined the effort in battling the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, donating critical supply

General manager Roger Slack said he began planning to secure facemasks in case Eldora Speedway decided to hold a few events without a crowd but needing masks for employees, their families and race teams.

Working with friends in Shanghai (who had warned about the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak), Slack took delivery on 2,800 masks from overseas last week – after the Centers for Disease Control had recommended limiting gatherings to fewer than 50 people.

HELPING OUT: Team switches to manufacturing facemasks

With Eldora Speedway remaining closed to the public (and its staff working from home since mid-March), Slack put out word in the region around the Rossburg, Ohio, dirt track that he would like to donate the masks to emergency workers who needed personal protective equipment. Within 30 minutes of contacting local hospitals and officials, all of the masks had been committed.

Slack said anywhere from 50 to 200 went to several local volunteer rescue squads that were rationing one mask per volunteer. More than 1,000 masks went to PremierHealth, which staffs Eldora’s infield care center with members of its Level 1 Trauma Center at Miami Valley Hospital and supports nearly every event with standby service via its CareFlight medical helicopter service.

“Nobody was greedy, they all just asked for whatever we could spare,” Slack told NBCSports.com

The half-mile track sent hand sanitizer, nitrile gloves and masks from its infield care center to a locally based manufacturing company that’s an essential business and was running low on personal protective equipment for its employees.

Eldora was scheduled to open its 67th season April 18, but Slack said last week “there will be early season events affected and postponed, but the situation changes so rapidly that it’s difficult to know how many or what dates are available for rescheduling.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”