KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray no longer lives in Joplin, Mo., nor does he have family there anymore. But McMurray's thoughts and prayers were with the tornado-stricken city where he was born.
"My heart goes out to all the people that have been affected by the devastating Missouri tornado," McMurray said in a statement on Monday.
"It is difficult to put into words the emotions I have when I see the devastation and destruction that was caused by this storm. My thoughts and prayers are extended to all the people who are dealing with so much loss."
McMurray moved to the Charlotte, N.C., area several years ago, but his car is sponsored by Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops, and he is associated with southwest Missouri.
"I would like to thank all those that have reached out to me to express their concerns," McMurray said. "Although I don't personally have any family in Joplin any longer, there are still many people there that need our support and prayers."
McMurray probably will visit the Joplin area next week before the Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway on June 5. McMurray and his father, Jim, usually fish with Bass Pro Sports founder Johnny Morris during the week of races at Kansas, but their plans for next week are not final.
Kansas Speedway announced Monday that it will let fans drive their own vehicles around the track for either a $25 or $50 donation to the American Red Cross, which will assist the relief efforts in Joplin and also Reading, Kan., which was struck by a tornado Saturday.
For a $25 donation, fans can drive around the Kansas Speedway track during 2-7 p.m. June 24. For a $50 donation, fans can drive around the track during 6:30-10 p.m. June 18 as part of the first event under the lights at the speedway.
"In times of crisis, it's important for everyone to come together and help those in need," Kansas Speedway president Pat Warren said. "We have several ticket holders in each of these devastated areas and we wanted to make sure they know that they, along with the rest of their communities, are not forgotten during times like this."
Cash and check donations will be accepted at Kansas Speedway during the upcoming June 4-5 race weekend. Vouchers will be given to fans redeemable for the date that corresponds to their donations.
All vehicles must be street legal and equipped with enough seatbelts for all passengers. RVs, tractor trailers and motorcycles will not be permitted.
Royals Charities announced Monday that it contributed $35,000 to the relief efforts of Olathe, Kan.-based Heart to Heart International, which is working in Joplin and Reading.
The Chiefs will also contribute $35,000 to disaster relief and will hold a bottled water drive with the Salvation Army in Lot C on the east side of Arrowhead Stadium Tuesday and Wednesday.