Roush Fenway Racing Develops Tool to Aid Medical Professionals Battling Covid-19
CONCORD, N.C. (April 14, 2020) — The COVID-19 pandemic has unexpectedly paused the NASCAR Cup Series season. Like most teams in the series, Roush Fenway Racing is anxious to get back to racing. However, instead of dwelling on the unexpected hiatus, the team has pulled together and responded to make a difference and try to support our healthcare workers.
A few weeks ago, the brother-in-law of Marcus Marty, Roush Fenway’s simulation director, reached out to the team operations director Tommy Wheeler to see if Roush Fenway had the capacity and capability to create something to provide another line of defense for essential medical professionals while treating patients with COVID-19. Wheeler and the team immediately jumped on the opportunity.
“I would call it a glorified salad bar, sneeze guard kind of transport box,” Wheeler explained. “We took the initial concept, modified it and then completely redesigned it to come up with something that met the needs of the medical professionals here.”
The box design request came to Roush Fenway on a Thursday and by the next day, the first prototype designs were produced and ready to ship. The unit is intended to limit exposure from physicians, doctors and nurses to their patients, while still providing the access they need to treat them.
“We built and delivered about 50 boxes in those first couple of days,” Wheeler said. “We have continued to enhance and improve the box to make it easier to use by any medical professional. To date, we’ve donated about 150 boxes to various healthcare facilities.”
Since the initial delivery of the first box, requests have come in from doctors across the region, and units have been delivered throughout North Carolina, as well as Texas, West Virginia, Maryland and Florida.
“The NASCAR industry is a fast-paced environment and Roush Fenway Racing prides itself on building fast racecars that are both safe and secure; it only made sense to use that to advantage of the medical professionals battling the virus.” Wheeler said.
“We are competitors at core,” Wheeler continued. “One of our things on which we pride ourselves is our time to market. How fast we move in this industry is very uncommon in the real world. By using that strength, we were able to deliver these boxes in hours and days, not weeks. And, it was something our whole company could rally around, which was obvious by the number of employees offering to volunteer their time to make this happen.”
“These are our communities and the heroes continue to be the healthcare workers on the front lines,” Wheeler said. “And we can’t think of a better way to be spending our time and resources right now.”