It’s a rare occasion when NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams get a day all to themselves for on-track testing, so it’s not surprising that more than 40 drivers are expected to take part in an open test May 2 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR XFINITY Series: Kevin Harvick and Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing); Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski (Team Penske); William Byron, Elliott Sadler, Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier (JR Motorsports); Tyler Reddick and Brennan Poole (Chip Ganassi Racing); Brandon Jones, Brendan Gaughan and Daniel Hemric (Richard Childress Racing); Matt Tifft, Christopher Bell and either Denny Hamlin or Erik Jones (Joe Gibbs Racing); Darrell Wallace and Ryan Reed (Roush Fenway Racing); Blake Koch (Kaulig Racing); Ben Kennedy and Spencer Gallagher (GMS Racing); Dakoda Armstrong (JGL Racing), Casey Mears (Biagi DenBeste Racing); and Brandon Brown (King Autosport). Entries from ThorSport Racing, GMS Racing, Red Horse Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Brad Keselowski Racing head up the Camping World Truck Series lineup. Scheduled on-track time for Truck Series teams is 3-9 p.m. ET. Testing is prohibited in the two series with the exception of two developmental tests for drivers with fewer than 10 career starts and two additional tests for those competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. Auton said Monster Energy Series drivers are allowed to participate in the one-day test. RELATED: Travis Pastrana set for NASCAR return, starting with test Teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series have several opportunities to test during the season — through Goodyear tire tests and organizational tests. XFINITY and Truck Series teams, however, are limited to additional track time during select race weekends. Each entry will get six sets of tires for the test and the use of telemetry on the vehicles will be allowed. According to track officials, grandstands will be open to the public from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. ET. Speedway Club members, season ticket holders, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ticket holders and anyone purchasing Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tickets on Tuesday will get infield access and can view the test session from the Pit Suites overlooking pit road. The Speedway Club will be open for lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. ET. “We met with the teams about testing and because we knew that Texas was going to be a repave, we’d already heard that Kentucky was going to be another repave and we knew we were looking at a new aero drag and restrictor-plate package at Indy; all the teams got together and asked us to let them have one full-blown test,” Wayne Auton, managing director for the XFINITY Series, told NASCAR.com.”They voted to have one test and they all picked Charlotte, which works out with the aero package and it’s before the two series race there.” Multiple teams from JR Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Team Penske, Richard Childress Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing are among those slated to participate in the XFINITY Series portion of the test, which is scheduled to run from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. ET at the 1.5-mile facility. The schedule mirrors actual race time for the two groups — the May 27 Hisense 4K TV 300 for the XFINITY Series is scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET start, while the May 19 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 for the Truck Series will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET. Auton said because of rules changes instituted this year, teams asked for and received additional on-track time at Atlanta and Phoenix. Practice time was also beefed up at Texas because that track underwent a repave earlier this year. Camping World Truck Series: Ryan Truex (Hattori Racing Enterprises); Travis Pastrana (Niece Motorsports); Noah Gragson and Myatt Snider (Kyle Busch Motorsports); Johnny Sauter, Spencer Gallagher, Justin Haley and Kaz Grala (GMS Racing); Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe (Brad Keselowski Racing); Cody Coughlin, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger (ThorSport Racing); Brett Moffitt and Timothy Peters (Red Horse Racing); John Hunter Nemechek (NEMCO Motorsports); Austin Wayne Self (AM Racing); Austin Hill (Young’s Motorsports); and Brandon Jones (MDM Motorsports). “The (Team) Penske cars wouldn’t get to test; the No. 98 (Biagi DenBeste Racing) which is part time with Aric Almirola most of the time, wasn’t going to be able to test. The owners called us and said they would like the opportunities to be able to test their cars.” “We made suggestion that no Cup drivers could come to the test,” he said. “If you look at the numbers in the XFINITY garage for example, that was going to leave a bunch of teams out and wasn’t fair. The owners wanted to know ‘Why can’t we bring our Cup guys if that’s who we have driving our cars?’ Drivers scheduled to participate in the test are: Truck Series teams can run telemetry during extra practice sessions, but Auton said XFINITY Series teams are prohibited from running the data-gathering devices at the request of the teams. The Charlotte test will give teams in the XFINITY Series to gather data from the new aerodynamic package through the use of telemetry on the vehicles.
And even if a more extensive program were available, there is a stigma attached to counseling, he said. She uses some special techniques to help officers “air their dirty laundry,” so to speak. “It just becomes part of the equipment,” she said.“We’re finding that the people who come out of it are stronger for it,” Groeneweg said. But it isn’t always one big event that can trigger anger, resentment or a range of other emotions that can lead to family problems, depression, anxiety or suicide. “It wears them down, not just physically but mentally,” Groeneweg said. They end up hoping for a fire, because that’s what they train for. They never wish injury or pain on anyone, but they do enjoy their job, which includes using the training they’ve received. “Probably my wife needs to go to counseling,” he joked. But many can’t, and the mentality that only weak people need counseling is old, Groeneweg said. But “99 percent of the people you don’t know from Adam,” he said. Today, he is very vocal about recommending counseling for first responders. “They call it a tune-up,” she said. They also start to second guess every little thing, said Ritter. Did I do everything I could to avoid the result? Should I have been more polite? More clear? More firm? Am I going to get sued? That attitude comes from the higher-ups, the people who can influence the mindset of the entire department. “We really do pride ourselves on being a family,” Groeneweg said. They run to calls that turn out to be false alarms: a faulty hydrant, a false fire alarm or someone who looks hurt but turns out to be napping in the park. They go out on a lot of medical calls, like injuries or escorts from doctor’s offices to hospitals. But 90 percent of those patients could probably drive themselves to the hospital, said firefighter Ryan Hammeck. The trauma and stress does take a toll on police officers, he said. Until recently, “nobody knew you could get rid of (the pressure). You just learned to live with it,” he said. First responders develop a thick skin, Fiscus said, and the stress and bloody scenes don’t really bother him. Fiscus said he doesn’t feel a huge need for counseling because of the low call volume they have. “I can’t remember the last cardiac arrest I ran,” he said. The process involves using lights that flash on a board or anything that makes the patient’s eyes move back and forth; left, right, left, right. While doing so, the patient recalls certain events or memories. “There is absolutely no stigma attached to it,” Ritter said. In fact, it’s almost a badge of honor to go, he added. Majerus said she often sees officers who say their wives, partners or family told them it was time to come in because they were acting particularly angry or irritable. “I talk to my family (about problems at work),” Cheyenne police officer Jon Allen said. The Family Support Network consists of spouses, children, parents, siblings or other family members of the troopers who support each other. But not every day is a good one. Fiscus said he once had to perform CPR on his friend’s 18-month-old daughter. “She didn’t make it,” he said, staring into the giant pan of ground beef he was making for dinner at the house. And that was hard, especially because she was a child and because he knew her. They even came back to be with the trooper’s wife when his uniforms were removed from the house. Ask them about their worst day on the job, and most first responders will tell you about the time a baby died while they performed CPR, the time they responded to a car fire where the driver was burned beyond recognition, the night they had to listen to threats on their family or the three-hour-long gun battle with a suspected murderer. When there’s an incident where an officer has to point a gun at someone – even if it’s never actually fired – that can shake people up, said Mike Ritter, a state trooper and member of the peer support program. In 1985, Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper John Jerkins spent three hours in a gun battle with a murder suspect who had committed armed robbery, shot a deputy and shot several other people. Seventeen years later, he approached a psychologist to thank her for her work with a friend of his. “You’ve never going to be able to totally forget about it,” Trooper Mike Ritter said, but the treatment helps him feel better and think more clearly. Describing a situation he had seen, Jerkin said: “You can’t be at a crash scene with a dying father telling his daughter goodbye, with two dead sons laying on either side of him, and not be affected by that.” After EMDR treatment, Ritter said, he is able to clearly remember the event in black and white, without a lot of the emotions he felt at the time or right afterward. That helps him benefit from the experience of it without having to relive the sights, sounds and smells of the accident every time he thinks about it. “It’s the best job I ever had,” Cheyenne firefighter Will Fiscus said. She asked him how he was doing, and “all my innards just jumped,” he said. “I had a violent physical reaction to that question. She said, ‘Maybe you need to come see me.’” A solution exists “Most cops will not do it,” he said. “They would have to be forced.” “I didn’t even know that it had taken over a lot of aspects of my life,” he said. Cheyenne Fire and Rescue firefighters live in a relatively constant state of flux. One minute they might be cooking dinner, cleaning the firehouse or relaxing in a recliner. They might even be fast asleep in the middle of the night when that alarm goes off. Within minutes, they’re halfway to the fire that everyone else is running away from. After counseling, “I’m a lot better man than I was.” Even Jerkins’ father is glad that his son is a much more laid-back guy now, Jerkins said. CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Statistically, law enforcement officers are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. From the top down She uses a technique called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, to help the officers recall memories more clearly and be better able to deal with them rationally. Counseling is offered through their health insurance, but he doesn’t see many people using it. Allen’s windshield camera caught video of a woman he arrested for a hit-and-run accident in Cheyenne. The woman was drunk and yelled strings of profanity at him. “In the grand scheme of things, that’s probably why there is so much alcoholism and divorce in law enforcement.” Jerkins was almost shot and killed more than once during the incident, he said. “Sometimes you have to put your emotions in your pocket. But most people don’t bring them back out. You’ve got to get rid of that stuff,” Jerkins said. Emotional baggage “I’m going to laugh when you get killed. I hope your kids know how you got killed.” Groeneweg described an incident when a trooper died of a heart attack. He said the Family Support Network made sure the house was cleaned, took care of the yard work and made sure the refrigerator was full of food. Getting rid of it “It’s not just a program, it’s a philosophy that says ‘people first,’” the Highway Patrol’s contracted therapist, Kathy Majerus, said. For first responders, the hours or days after a traumatic event used to be filled with paperwork and a few beers with the guys. Today, for some, the days after a traumatic event also can include counseling. The goal, said Majerus, is to separate memories of traumatic events and help the officer take the important parts – the experience, the facts, etc. – and let go of the emotional trauma and second guessing. “We don’t just point guns at people willy-nilly,” he said. “I have Hepatitis C,” she yelled from the back of the car. She spit on the glass between them. “Now you can give it to your wife.” He used to have nightmares and used to be angry, irritable and stressed, he said. Doctors told him he was headed for a stroke or a heart attack. The psychology As he drove her to the jail, Allen calmly turned up the music in his patrol car and turned the camera around to face her. Responding to a child can be tougher. A call of a choking child will get your blood pressure up, he said. The peer support members can help the officer give a more accurate report of what happened and help them “stay grounded” until they are able to go in for counseling, said Ritter. The peer support segment is a group of trained troopers who go to the scenes of critical incidents and help fellow troopers think through what happened. It’s a three-part program: Family Support Network, peer support and counseling by a professional. The last part of the program is professional counseling, which is required by the Highway Patrol no more than 24 hours after a “critical event,” like an officer-involved shooting or when first-aid efforts fail. The EMDR International Association Web site, www.emdria.org, says, “EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less-distressing way.” Today, Jerkins said, he is glad he did. He learned that the 17-year-old gun battle had been ruling his life. While it seems only natural for a civilian to seek counseling after a traumatic event, often first responders just chalk it up to being part of the job. A thick skin What psychologists sometimes call “stacked trauma” can lead to the same issues. Counseling might be helpful, he added, but, “you can’t force somebody. It’s got to be up to the individual. Everybody handles stress in their own way.” But that doesn’t happen in Cheyenne very often. Family pressure But the Wyoming Highway Patrol has found another solution. Major Keith Groeneweg, support services commander at the patrol, advocates the program that the patrol has implemented. Each time an officer responds to an injury or fatal wreck, or any other type of incident, it’s like weight being added to emotional baggage that the officer must carry. Whether it weighs as much as a baseball or a bowling ball, it adds up. Miraculously, they both lived, but Ritter still remembers the vivid colors of their bloody injuries. While some first responders are able to shrug off those situations as part of the job, others might want to seek counseling. But many believe they’ll never live it down with the guys back at headquarters. It’s not uncommon for officers to alter the events of traumatic situations in their memories, Groeneweg said. Sometimes after an officer-involved shooting, the officer will say, “I emptied my gun on that guy,” when really he or she only fired one or two shots, he said. The Cheyenne Police Department doesn’t have a specific counseling program for its officers, Allen said. “It has saved a tremendous number of careers in this agency,” he said. Not everyone needs counseling, however. Ritter said he knows “really well-adjusted” officers who could deal with the “bad (stuff) that happens” on their own. At 8:30 every night that he is able, Allen takes a break from patrolling to go home and say goodnight to his 5-year-old daughter. Even though after a while fatal wrecks can become “just another fatal,” it adds up. Ritter said he had to respond to an accident once where he was sure the little girl and her mother, who were T-boned by a truck, would soon be dead. “The stigma evaporates from the top down,” said Majerus. If there are no repercussions for seeking counseling, tangible or intangible, treatment becomes standard when subjected to trauma. Besides that, there’s a stigma about going; a sort of “macho” thing, he said.
One case of Covid-19 infection was detected in the “bubble” of the upcoming US Open Tennis Championship in September, the US Tennis Association reports. Content will continue after the ad Advertising According to the USTA chief physician, the affected man is not a tennis player and has not experienced any symptoms. A test performed three days ago was negative, but infection with Covid-19 was detected on Tuesday.Since August 13, approximately 1,400 tests have been performed at the home of the tournament, which will also host the New York Premier Tournament.Several tennis stars will not be able to see the Covid-19 pandemic at the US Open.Several favorites have withdrawn from this year’s tournament, such as last year’s champion Bianka Andrescu, Simon Halep, Ashley Barthy, Kiki Bertens, Jelena Switolina and other high-level tennis players. Anastasia Sevastova and Elena Ostapenko are among the participants of the tournament.Last year’s men’s tournament winner Rafael Nadal will not go to New York to defend his title won last year.“We always respect the decisions of tennis players. It’s up to you to decide whether to play or not,” commented USTA CEO Mike Douss on the multi-star refusal.New York was one of the worst-hit U.S. cities in March and April, when the Covid-19 epidemic took over the United States. The temporary hospital was even set up on the indoor courts of the US Tennis Center. The US Open tennis championship tournament will start on August 31.