The notion that NASCAR drivers should be considered “real athletes” often is met with a chorus of laughter — which is extremely unfair.
Although most people who don’t follow motorsports like to argue that racers simply sit still for a few hours and drive in circles, drivers actually are subjected to extreme conditions inside the cockpit that make turning left more challenging than it sounds.
Don’t believe us? Let Chip Ganassi Racing driver Jamie McMurray hit you with some truth:
From a logistical and competitive standpoint, a NASCAR race and a cycling race have virtually nothing in common. But as McMurray shows here, the physical tolls these events take on the human body are eerily similar.
Temperature and heart-rate statistics aren’t the only evidence you need to know that NASCAR is filled with great athletes. Jimmie Johnson, like McMurray, is a hardcore cyclist, and Danica Patrick perhaps is the most fit driver in the sport.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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