• May 1st 2008 at 7:30PM
  • 12
Yes, racing is a sport, even NASCAR. Talented people always make difficult things look easy, but wrestling a vehicle traveling well in excess of one-hundred miles an hour would beat down most mortals in short order. Wired has put up an informative rollover-fest that gives credence to the idea that while us auto writers might be the walking embodiment of a Boston Creme donut, professional racers don't share our gooey center. Driving race cars to win takes dedication on many levels -- time and money are biggies -- and success is unlikely if the mind and body are not as finely tuned as the chassis.

To capture the checkered flag, drivers toil in an environment that's hot and loud, and controls require strong, sure inputs. This ain't your two-finger cruise up the interstate in air-conditioned pleasantness. A regimen of weight training is necessary for the physical performance, while we really like the fact that gaming helps train the eyes and brain to process high speeds. What we don't like is that crunches are apparently necessary. How are we going to be taken seriously in a room full of auto journos if we're all trim and good-drivery? Thanks for all the tips!

[Source: Wired]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      NASCAR is as much of a sport as the home run derby. Or the 3-point shooting contest. Does it take skill? obviously. Is it complete? no.

      Very cool link, though. Makes me think of how helpless Richard Hammond was behind an F1 car, which is indicative of what most of us would be like in that situation.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting read
        • 7 Years Ago
        Except the bit on "eyes" might be pushing it a bit :/
        • 7 Years Ago
        ...Or maybe not: calculating distances from a distance while moving and approaching at high speeds, shaking, compensating G forces, doing all the required hand/foot work, paying attention to any gauge/display warning and still focusing only in what matters to the driving, isn't probably for everyone... (and I've probably missed a few critical things ;) )
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tony Stewart hardly looks fit to me. Then again, I guess Sumo wrestlers are considered fit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Crucial things, sounds maybe better
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good stuff, for the most part.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey Bulldog,

      I'm sure as in most MOTORSPORTS being fit helps, but you are right about the "Cesil Fielder" of NASCAR.

      I'd like to see a Decathlon between Moto GP riders and NASCAR drivers. Take the median score of each group to see what's what.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Stewart Drives Indy cars as well. I don't think it's about being skinny. I think it's about having your core muscles strong (the pilates thing). For the pit crews it's about legs and arms.

      But if I were Stewart I would try to drop a few pounds off the middle.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have been racing in formula cars for about 7 years now, and I have always been amazed at how people thing driving at the edge is not physical at all. It will tear you up and spit you out like someone biting into the wrong candy.

      If you really want to prove how physical things can get, or find out for yourself, go find some place where you can drive a kart for a day. Not the indoor karts mind you, find some place where you can get into a real, fast, hard hitting, racing kart, and do it with an instructor who can push you to real racing speeds.

      You will be sore, you might throw up, and you won't be able to get the grin off your face for a week.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Take a ride in a car once, or better yet, try driving on via the Richard Petty Driving Experiance.
      You NASCAR haters will change your mind.
      We did 3 laps around Chicagoland but for those three laps at a much lower speed you really get a sense of how difficult driving one of those cars is that fast.
      You can't see, it's loud, it's shaky, and the g-forces in the corners threaten to pull your head off.
      Anyone that can do that, faster, for 3-4 hours, is an athlete in his/her sport.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Its hard to take NASCAR seriously when you have... well... any road racing out there.

        I do have a ton of respect for the crews in NASCAR, though. They make or break the drivers.
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