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Special Article

May 15 - 2020
Read Time 2 Min

Toyota Drivers Give Back and Provide Entertainment During Challenging Times

Toyota Racing drivers, including Kyle Busch (pictured), teamed up to give back and provide COVID-19 relief efforts and entertainment to fans during the break from racing.Toyota Drivers Give Back and Provide Entertainment During Challenging Times

As the NASCAR season is set to resume on Sunday, May 17 at Darlington Raceway, it’s only fitting to reflect on how Toyota drivers came together and continue to support others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Toyota drivers teamed up to give back and provide fans an opportunity to interact and learn more about what they have been doing during the break from racing. From documenting behind-the-scenes activities, to hosting virtual Q&A forums, to donating to relief efforts, Toyota drivers really stepped up to give the community a positive distraction during these difficult times.

With live sports being halted in mid-March, motorsports was the first sports industry that gave fans the opportunity to watch sports again -- through virtual racing. Toyota drivers participated in virtual iRacing in many disciplines of motorsports during the break, including the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series where fans enjoyed watching each weekend on FOX Sports affiliates and through streaming electronically. Denny Hamlin used iRacing to donate money to the NASCAR Foundation following his Homestead iRacing victory in an effort to assist feeding families in the Homestead, Florida, area who were affected by COVID-19.

Along with iRacing, Camry driver Daniel Suárez connected with fans through forming and competing in tournaments on Nintendo’s Mario Kart game, challenging fans to fun racing competitions throughout the last month.

Multiple Toyota drivers, including Kyle Busch, Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. have donated their time and future special VIP packages on AllInChallenge.com, where fans can bid on these unique experiences with the money raised being donated to the Coronavirus relief efforts.

Toyota NHRA drivers Antron Brown, Doug Kalitta and J.R. Todd joined forces with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy ‘Athletes for COVID-19 Relief’ fundraiser to donate autographed items, including firesuits, apparel and a connecting rod for auction at the end of May with proceeds going to COVID-19 relief.

Busch was also one of many professional athletes to recognize heroes working on the front lines through ‘The Real Heroes Project’. The driver of the No. 18 Toyota Camry honored an EMT by putting her name on his firesuit. Busch and his wife, Samantha, also continue to donate money through their Bundle of Joy Foundation, giving couples the opportunity to assist with fertility treatments during the quarantine. They also provided healthcare workers at Novant Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, with lunch and Rowdy Energy drinks.

Truex and his longtime girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, also provided support to first responders and those in need during these difficult times through providing healthy and immune boosting meals and snacks to frontline workers in Truex’s hometown of Manahawkin, N.J., and also to Atrium Health and Novant Health in the Charlotte area. The pair also provided fans a unique experience through hosting a virtual concert on Truex’s Instagram page by country music singer Travis Denning to raise money for their Catwalk Heroes program. 
 
Hamlin gave back to his hometown as well by partnering together with FedEx to donate 60,000 meals to a food bank in Chesterfield, Virginia.
 
Erik Jones took a unique approach to giving back by taking time to read children’s books on a weekly basis live on his Facebook page. Jones read some children’s favorites, including ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!’, ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’, ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘The Racecar Alphabet.’
It’s time to get back to the race track as Toyota NASCAR drivers get behind the wheel of their race cars beginning Sunday at Darlington. To find the updated NASCAR schedule, please visit: