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.”

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.