The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)
3 awards for Talladega at Safeops Summit
Talladega Superspeedway received three awards during the annual NASCAR Safety and Operations Summit in Concord, NC.
Dr. Bobby R. Lewis was presented the Excellence in Track Services Award for his more than 27-year career as Medical Director for Talladega Superspeedway Emergency Services, while Courtney Carruba received the 2022 Nursing Director of the Year Award. In addition, the 2022 Teamwork Award was presented to the Talladega Superspeedway Infield Care Center staff.
The 2.66-mile venue hosts two NASCAR weekends each year, featuring the GEICO 500 in the spring and the Yellawood 500 in the fall – both drawing more than 100,000 fans from all 50 states and 22 countries. The 2023 season at the 33-degree-banked track kicks off a tripleheader weekend April 22-23, with the GEICO 500.
The Excellence in Track Services Award recognizes any individual who has made significant contributions to the improvement of track services at a single track over the course of a career spanning 10 years or more. Lewis, DMD, MD, is Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Operations for the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, Ala. He has been involved with medical services at the superspeedway since 1981 as a member of Lifesaver Helicopter Crew before becoming Medical Director for TSS in 1995.
Carruba, from Hoover, AL, has worked for the Talladega Superspeedway for 20 years and started with the Lifesaver crew, and has been the Nursing Director for five years at the iconic venue. Her tenacity starts with thorough pre-event preparation and continues by arriving early for set-up day, which includes helping colleagues and the NASCAR industry during the event. Always smiling, Carruba’s positive attitude shapes the event weekend for her care center team, patients, and NASCAR.
The Teamwork Award defines teamwork as “a cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause.” Talladegasuperspeedway’sexceptional group of medical professionals worked consistently together, knowing each other’s part and doing it with purpose.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Jordan Anderson, who relied on the TSS Emergency Services team after an on-track accident last October, was on hand during the awards presentations and gave each member of the TSS team a “hug,” as a gesture of thanks for what they do. Randy Ballard, RN, CRNA, is the track’s Emergency Services Manager.
These incredible individuals will be back at Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500 weekend. It will feature a trio of races, including a Saturday (April 22) doubleheader – the General Tire 200 for the ARCA Menards Series and the Ag-pro 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series – before culminating with the Sunday (April 23) the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500.
Ross Chastain, runner-up in the 2022 Cup Series Championship, is defending champion of the GEICO 500.
Chase Elliott won last fall’s Yellawood 500.