Ahead of this weekend’s virtual NASCAR event in Richmond, Denny Hamlin and primary sponsor FedEx will donate more than 60,000 meals to the Chesterfield Food Bank. Demand at the food bank has increased since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, and the donation in Hamlin’s home county will provide much needed support. The 60,000 meals will provide food to more than 4,400 Chesterfield families for a week.

“Chesterfield will always be my home, so during these unprecedented and difficult times, we wanted to provide assistance to people in the community,” Hamlin said. “I am grateful to FedEx for supporting a community that is so close to my heart. The people of Chesterfield are in my thoughts, and I know we will come through this stronger than before.”

“Knowing that Denny Hamlin not only cares about those in need in his hometown, but that he is also stepping up to take action is happy news for our staff, our volunteers and especially for those in need during a difficult time,” said Kim Hall, the food bank’s executive director.

In this weekend’s race, FedEx and Hamlin will pay tribute to the 475,000 FedEx team members who are working to deliver shipments around the world during the pandemic. A “Thank You” FedEx paint scheme will recognize the FedEx employees. The No. 11 FedEx car will take the green flag for the virtual race Sunday at 1 p.m. live on FS1.

Athletes contribute to ‘Challenge’

With factories closed, tens of millions out of work and a recession looming because of the pandemic, athletes, teams, entertainers and business leaders are donating prized possessions in response to a challenge to feed families now in need.

The “All In Challenge” was started by Philadelphia 76ers minority owner Michael Rubin on Tuesday, and some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment have answered the call. After 24 hours, there was already an impressive roster of A-listers offering prizes.

They include quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton and Eli Manning; actors Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Hart and Matthew McConaughey; basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson; Chicago Cubs infielder Anthony Rizzo; and several NFL, NHL and NBA teams.

Rubin said the money raised will go to one of four organizations that feed the hungry: Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry.

A billionaire who made his money with an e-commerce company he started in 2011, Rubin has donated what might be the biggest prize. The winner of a digital raffle will receive a Super Bowl experience with 20 friends, along with tickets to the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final, World Series, Masters, Final Four, tennis’ U.S. Open, the Daytona 500 and the Olympic opening ceremonies.

Entries for Rubin’s prize can be purchased in amounts of $10, $25, $50 and $100. The winning ticket will be selected randomly by computer.

College sports’ return tied

to campus reopenings

The commissioners of the nation’s major college football conferences held a 30-minute conference call Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence and stressed that college sports cannot return from the coronavirus shutdown until campuses have reopened.

The 10 commissioners, along with the athletics director of Notre Dame, comprise the College Football Playoff management committee.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Pence was “hopeful and optimistic” about the fight against the coronavirus. The pandemic has shut down all major sporting events since mid-March and forced colleges to close campuses and move classes online.

Trump to seek advice from

team owners, league chiefs

President Donald Trump will seek the advice of two prominent Dallas businessmen to help claw the country out of the coronavirus economic predicament.

Trump included Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones among a long list of consultants from the sports and business worlds during a Tuesday evening news conference. He also listed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred as part of a group that he hopes will help guide the reopening of the country. He also included leaders of NASCAR, UFC, the golf world and soccer.

Tour de France is reset for August

PARIS — With the Tour de France pushed back to a late August start, race director Christian Prudhomme is hoping cycling’s showcase event can help bring back a sense of normality to a nation reeling from the pandemic.

Organizers announced new dates of Aug. 29-Sept. 20 for the race, a day after it was postponed. Prudhomme is optimistic that the three-week event will be able to feature its usual scenes of thousands of fans packed along the route each day.

The UCI also announced that the dates for the world championships will still take place Sept. 20-27. That will be followed by the Giro, initially scheduled for May, and the Spanish Vuelta, which is also owned by ASO and had been set to run from Aug. 14 to Sept. 6. No new dates have been given for those two races.

Layoffs, furloughs hit racetracks

Speedway Motorsports, owner and operator of eight tracks that host NASCAR’s Cup Series, has laid off 180 employees and furloughed 100 as part of a company restructuring during the sports shutdown.

Speedway Motorsports owns the Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Kentucky, Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Sonoma and Texas tracks. The pandemic caused NASCAR to suspend the season just four events into a 36-race schedule. To date, Speedway Motorsports races at Atlanta, Texas and Bristol have been postponed.

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