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Returning US Steel workers receive surprise tickets to upcoming Gateway race

GRANITE CITY, Ill. – Gateway Motorsports Park is recognizing 500 men and women who are returning to work at the US Steel plant in Granite City.

Park president and CEO Curtis Francois visited the Granite City Works on Tuesday to hand out a pair of tickets to each of the 500 people returning to work for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, June 23.

“I think it's an opportunity to build momentum for this community,” Francois said. “You have people who are thrilled to be back at work, you have US Steel absolutely leaning into building this community and Gateway wants to be a part of that and we're doing the same at Gateway.”

The workers will also be recognized during pre-race ceremonies. The Granite City steel plant is less than five miles away from Gateway.

“It's huge! We've had a partnership with Gateway for a long time,” said Mike Patton, plant manager at Granite City Works. “I thank Curtis for bringing this to us. The employees are elated to get the opportunity,”

Gateway also hosted the Rally at the Raceway fundraiser for the idled workers in 2016 and are proud to be giving back again.

“I think it’s a fantastic morale booster; I really do,” said Tyler Sandretto, a US Steel employee. “Just the fact the plant is coming up just means so much. Not just to people coming in, but to the whole area.”

Francois said because people supported the NASCAR Camping race, they were able to land the Indy car event, which was a tremendous success for the entire area last August.

“When people come out and attend our Camping World Truck Series, they're helping grow the community and the strength of Gateway and helping to build racing as well,” Francois said.