Are NASCAR Drivers Athletes?  

rm_PurryKitty2 48M/49F
12865 posts
2/20/2006 6:58 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Are NASCAR Drivers Athletes?

I am sitting here listening to the radio and they are discussing do we feel NASCAR drivers are athletes or is it skill?

I say they are athletes but then one listener had a good view point and stated Tony Stewart is not an athlete. He gets out the car huffing and puffing and Carl Edwards gets out and does a back flip!!!

What do you think?

Purry {=}


freetime648 52F

2/20/2006 7:19 am many people drive for 4 hours at 180 mph in a car with the temperatures up to 120 degrees inside.....sometimes without their power steering and also with 42 other drivers doing the same thing.......think about it.....ANd Stewart only huffs and puffs because he works at it....Edwards does his back flips cause he has not done much in the race to get tired out....

xx FREETIME648 xx

tazzerman2000 58M
18960 posts
2/20/2006 7:39 am

Having had the luck of being able to drive in an IRL race car at over 190mph on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I can DEFINITLY tell you that those guys HAVE to be athletes. No doubt about it in my mind. The g-forces that they endure for 400 or 500 miles are INCREDIBLE. No way you could be out of shape and survive Not to mention the eye-hand coordination, reflexes and split second decision making that are needed. -tm

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im_your_man77 39M
961 posts
2/20/2006 7:39 am

He might get out the car huffing and puffing but thats because he has been sweating buckets and fighting g-forces for 2 hours. The driving itself is a skill yes, but you need to be fit to drive them for that length of time, most of us would be able to drive the cars for a certain period of time based on our fitness but for the majority of us to try to do so for say a 2 hour race it would be dangerous. Our bodies are not designed to fight g-forces, its a strain on the neck and the head, doing so lap after lap tires the body. When the body is tired the mind doesn't think as clearly, accidents happen, often resulting in a crash. So nascar, formula 1, rally drivers are all skillful but they also need to be athletes and train throughout the week just for that 2 hour race on a sunday. Of course some drivers are fitter than others, but then you can say the same for marathon runners.

Sweetpickles69 47F

2/20/2006 7:56 am

Hell Yeah they are!!! Have you seen Dale Earnhardt Jr. without a shirt????? OMG!! I'd love to play with him!


aascrompn 42M
6444 posts
2/20/2006 8:14 am

I consider them to be very skilled drivers, but hardly athletes...

rm_Lottie_Dah 68F
53 posts
2/20/2006 8:56 am

That seems to be an endless argument. I've also heard lots of debate about whether or not pit crew members are athletes. I can accept that drivers and also crew members can benefit from physical training to do their jobs, and that's one definition of "athlete."

Have you ever heard the claim that poker players are athletes because they participate in a "sport"? Apparently there must be some poker players desperate to be called athletic.

rm_Keystone3812 65M
583 posts
2/20/2006 9:02 am

Stewart should be suspended for his driving. But that's just my opinion....... and do away with restrictor plate racing! Let 'em put the pecal to the metal! This driving in a straight line gets boring....

rm_Keystone3812 65M
583 posts
2/20/2006 9:02 am

Stewart should be suspended for his driving. But that's just my opinion....... and do away with restrictor plate racing! Let 'em put the pedal to the metal! This driving in a straight line gets boring....

rm_JohnMacLaine 50M
585 posts
2/20/2006 9:13 am

They are athletes in my mind...

Hell I get tired just driving 60-70 miles an hour for four hours, I couldnt imagine doing it at 190. These drivers have to train, stay physically fit, as well as mentally tough, because one wrong decision or one wrong move and they are scraping up his brains off of the asphault. (sorry to be so graphic)



"I can retain neither respect or affection for a government which has been moving from wrong to wrong in order to defend its own immorality" Mahatma Ghandi

fun4allin2006 53M
1583 posts
2/20/2006 9:34 am

Well, that posses a good question, I believe they are very skilled drivers, but with that said what is a athlete? According to the dictionary---It is "A person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility, and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts" So ya they would need to be considered a Athlete by the definition.


SilkenKiera 37F  

2/20/2006 10:06 am

Hmmm, I have to say both. Physical because you are using your body to manuver a 1000 + lbs vehicle around turns and other vehicles. I would also assume that you are holding your breath a lot, which causes breathlessness and shallow breathing. Skill because it really comes down to experience, hand-eye cordination, and excellent judgement in distance and speed.

I am an equestrian and some people believe that we are not athletes, yet we do everything that I just discribed above. We manuver 1,000 + lbs animal around turns and in my case, over jumps. I require a great sense of hand-eye cordination, and excellent judgement in speed and distance. My horse and I have to think alike in order to survive, we all know what the end result can be if one of us makes it over the jump and the other does not!

im_curious_4u 50M

2/20/2006 4:58 pm

They're definitely athletes. The hand eye coordination and reflexes that are needed are way above the average person. Granted some of them don't look like athletes, Tony Stewart, but neither do most NFL lineman or good old Babe Ruth.

HotSexyCupl 46M/42F

2/20/2006 6:38 pm

Hey Purry, Didja see my NASCAR page that I dedicated to you? hotsexycupl I posted some photos that I took of the drivers.
Yes, they are athletes. They make split second, life altering decisions for extended periods of time.

boydcounty 67M

2/20/2006 7:24 pm

Carl has a hyper-active problem that he takes meds for. Tony has a stomach problem that he drinks beer for. As for Tony's driving, he's no worse than most of the others. He's just much higher profile because he's just damn good. I don't like him but his driving skills are just a bit better than most of the other drivers. My favorite has to be the old man - Mark Martin.


KDR305 46M/46F

2/20/2006 11:34 pm

Let's play make-believe for a minute, okay?

Let's pretend that the average person who claims that NASCAR drivers aren't athletic could even manage one lap in a 3000 pound car with 800 horsepower. 120 degree temperatures and 42 other guys vying for the same goal. Some of whom are willing to take it by force if they can make it look like an accident.

Let's further pretend that no matter what the fab-shop, crew chief or pit crew does will affect the outcome of the race.

Based purely on endurance alone, I have never met a single person in my adult life who could even maintain the speed necessary for the time necessary to stay on the lead-lap. Even with a perfectly tuned car on an empty speedway.

There are plenty of drivers who's attitude or demeanor turns me off. There are even more who's driving style seem questionable, but I will NEVER bad mouth anyone who attains the Cup level of NASCAR racing in such a way as to claim they haven't earned it.


menmahunne5662 54M/60F

2/21/2006 3:00 pm

They are athletes in all aspects.. Motivation to win, skill and physical conditioning.

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