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Old 06-04-2010, 10:03 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,627,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadTraveler View Post
It isn't all physical.

Using you brain.............ability to think quickly and react accordingly............ it is all part of being an athlete.

Race car drivers ARE athletes!
And one big difference involved is the ability and necessity to concentrate for long periods of time at a high level. Unlike football or other stick and ball sports with breaks in play, motor racing is one constant event.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:32 AM
 
6,368 posts, read 13,969,189 times
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Ernest Hemingway put it best

“Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are just games.”


I used to race at the local short track back in the 80's and all I can say is:
1. I found out just how out of shape I was in
2. I found out how much fun it was
3. I found out how much time and money it required

I can only imagine the condition you'd have to be in to run a 500 mile race on a 90 degree day.

Yes, drivers are athletes.
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:29 PM
 
32,569 posts, read 26,511,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-ham 34 View Post
NASCAR to me isn't really athletic, so i wanted to know what the nation thought?
Quote:
Originally Posted by WFW&P View Post
I will disagree with you on that level because all drivers are not created equal. You have someone who is every fit like Mark Martin who is short and probably optimal stock car material then you have someone like Micheal Waltrip who was around 6'5".
My definition of an activity that is not a sport is one that that can be done very well by anyone with sucess and minimal conditioning/training
davey allison once asked his father bobby how he should prepare for his first winston cup race. bobby replied;

take a rowing machine, put it in a sauna, turn the temperature up to 140 degrees, and row for four hours straight.

if you guys think you can get into a sprint cup car with minimal training and conditioning, and run competitively, you are seriously deluded. do you have any idea what G forces you will feel against your body? do you understand that when you hit the high banks at daytona and talledega that your head feels like it is twice the weight that it actually is? are your neck muscles up to the task of holding your head up straight for four hours? are you strong enough to wrestle a 3500lb race car around the high banks for four hours? remember that these cars pull about 2.5 G's in the corners. and what if the power steering goes out? can you handle that as well?

driving 500 miles at 65-75 mph in a production car is easy. driving the same distance in a sprint cup car at 190mph is not.

and then there are the pit crew members. lets say you decide that you really cant haul that 3500lb race car around competitively, so you want to be in the pit crew. can you carry an 80lb tire and wheel while jumping over a 3ft wall and then running full speed? or can your haul and 80lb jack doing the same thing? how about can you lift a full fuel can? those thing weigh in at around 90 or so pounds. and you have to do your pit duties in under 14 seconds.

if you have never been in a race car, you have no idea just how tough it is to drive the things. and you have to be smart enough to be able to tell your crew chief what is going on with the race car so he can plan the needed changes for the next pit stop. and if you are that crew chief you have to know what changes to make, and big of a change is needed. you also need to be ale to keep your driver focused on his job.

and even if you decide that oval track or road course racing isnt for you, and that drag racing looks real easy, i can tell you that you are still deluded. while you dont have to worry about cornering G forces, you do have to worry about acceleration G forces, and you have to be able to read the track to know if you have enough traction to leave at 5000 rpm, or if you need to lower that to say 3500 rpm. you have to know how and how much to preload your suspension to get the car to launch straight. you have to know how your car launches in order to cut the best light(you snooze you lose, you leave early you lose). racing is a sport, and you do need to be in decent condition, and you need a fair amount of training to be successful. a newbie with little or no experience is going to win much if at all.

most of those guys have been racing since they were 5 years old, and all of them were winners and even champions at the lower levels.
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:34 PM
 
Location: The Lakes
2,372 posts, read 4,462,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimme3steps View Post
Ernest Hemingway put it best

“Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are just games.”


I used to race at the local short track back in the 80's and all I can say is:
1. I found out just how out of shape I was in
2. I found out how much fun it was
3. I found out how much time and money it required

I can only imagine the condition you'd have to be in to run a 500 mile race on a 90 degree day.

Yes, drivers are athletes.
This.

Beyond NASCAR and drag racing it can be even more intense. 24hrs at Le Mans can be RIDICULOUSLY intense. Hell, even staying up long enough to WATCH the race is a challenge!

But take it from the guy who used to run a 570hp V8 Jaguar XJS ('91 with a C5 Z06 motor and tranny) at the track.

A 30 minute race can wear you out faster than 90 minutes of soccer, and soccer is exhausting.



Also, unlike in basketball, one wrong move, enter one corner too fast, countersteer a bit too much, let the rear end get a bit too loose... You can DIE.

Easily.
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:57 AM
 
660 posts, read 1,332,525 times
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To make the case with actual facts, Google search for information of studies done by McGill University in Montreal on this very subject. They compare stats for other types of athletes to those who race cars for a living. In many ways, drivers are more athletic (heart rate, reflexes, etc).
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:58 PM
 
32,569 posts, read 26,511,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKUKUK View Post
This.

Beyond NASCAR and drag racing it can be even more intense. 24hrs at Le Mans can be RIDICULOUSLY intense. Hell, even staying up long enough to WATCH the race is a challenge!

But take it from the guy who used to run a 570hp V8 Jaguar XJS ('91 with a C5 Z06 motor and tranny) at the track.

A 30 minute race can wear you out faster than 90 minutes of soccer, and soccer is exhausting.
true that!!

Quote:
Also, unlike in basketball, one wrong move, enter one corner too fast, countersteer a bit too much, let the rear end get a bit too loose... You can DIE.

Easily.
and take others with you.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:15 AM
 
40 posts, read 101,068 times
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From a driver's perspective :

- Try hustling a formula car around a road course for 30 - 45 minutes ... Unless you are in excellent shape , you will either slow down or spin / crash .

- Not all race cars are created equal ... Classes that don't pull big G's are relatively easy , Classes with wings / slicks pull significant G's and will wear you out

- The 1st time I ran a 200 lap feature on an oval , the head rest was missing on the car , I was arrogant , said I could handle it ... after about 50 laps , I could not hold my head up , @ 75 laps , I was out

There's a reason why our sanctioning body requires a medical exam BEFORE we compete.

The bottom line is that endurance is an issue , hand / eye co-ord is an issue , concentration is an issue , judgement is an issue ... and with the really fast guys , God given talent is an issue.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:37 PM
 
835 posts, read 1,212,236 times
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To me is not a sport. I'm not saying that in a bad way, is just that auto racing is in a different league altogether.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Moose Jaw, in between the Moose's butt and nose.
4,970 posts, read 7,338,299 times
Reputation: 1722
Not really sure, not a team sport, maybe an athletic endeavor??....For sure it is a skill,
only a tiny % of the population can drive a car at 175mph or more, right behind someone and live to tell about it.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Upstate
5,806 posts, read 6,607,457 times
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So is Golf a sport?

A lot of people seem to think that you must be some super athlete in superior body condition for the activity they are in to be labeled a "sport".

We could go on and on what "sports" have conditioned athlete's. I feel that if it takes a skill that other people don't have and people want to spend good money to watch them do that skill then it could be considered a sport.

Racing is also a team sport btw... the pit crew (especially in NASCAR) are usually former football players and other types that change 4 tires, fuel and make changes to the car in 11 to 14 seconds. The winning teams crews are in terrific physical shape.
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