Are the drivers athletes?

Ford 222

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In my experience, too many people who opine that race drivers are not athletes are people who have never driven a race car in a race. They assume that it's pretty much the same as driving their street car on the highway, only maybe a little faster. Maybe those of us who still have access to racing vehicles should take some of those critics out to a track on a practice day and let them get a taste of actual racing. I used to do that with my racing karts - and they always ended up admitting that even at the kart level it was more intense that they had assumed. Plus they always complained about their arms and shoulders ached afterwards... I used to suggest that they then imagine being strapped into a very hot machine that could pull even more G-forces...
I’ll take you up on that. You close to WV?

Doing the Buck Baker/Seat Time School in Bristol in Oct. Maybe I’ll learn something to change my mind but hard work In harsh conditions doesn’t equal athlete to me. Especially when the car is doing the majority of the exertion.
 

antman12

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I find this question annoying and don’t usually entertain it with “casuals”. I also believe this question is very often asked only to try and discredit drivers (not saying anyone on here is doing that).

By the very definition previously posted they are athletes. Does that mean I think Chase could hurdle a linebacker for a TD or MTJ could hit a home run? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t athletes.
 

Ford 222

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Interesting. What does equal athlete to you?
Man to man (or whatever someone refers to themselves) competition. Driving certainly takes skill and endurance of conditions (temps, g-forces, ?) but the car is almost the greatest variable and more often than not is. Did Brad win last night because he’s in better shape than anyone last night, was strongest, endured more, was most skilled? I don’t think so.

The win was mostly the car and the preparation of it.

I have a harder time deciding if golfers (word?) are athletes.
 

aunty dive

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Man to man (or whatever someone refers to themselves) competition. Driving certainly takes skill and endurance of conditions (temps, g-forces, ?) but the car is almost the greatest variable and more often than not is. Did Brad win last night because he’s in better shape than anyone last night, was strongest, endured more, was most skilled? I don’t think so.

The win was mostly the car and the preparation of it.

I have a harder time deciding if golfers (word?) are athletes.
He had a good car.

He won because his fitness level permits laser focus and full control of his body after 375 miles of high speed racing in an extreme environment.
 

Ford 222

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He had a good car.

He won because his fitness level permits laser focus and full control of his body after 375 miles of high speed racing in an extreme environment.
He’s in shape. Ok, I’ll give you car racing shape....but I’d bet he couldn’t run a mile (Physical exertion).

But he is car racing shape in that he can endure g forces and extended concentration/focus during those forces. Plus a high HR due to the mental anxiety more than physical exertion.
 

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I’ll take you up on that. You close to WV?

Doing the Buck Baker/Seat Time School in Bristol in Oct. Maybe I’ll learn something to change my mind but hard work In harsh conditions doesn’t equal athlete to me. Especially when the car is doing the majority of the exertion.
Sorry, the operative words there were "used to". Mothballed all my stuff after my health went sour a few years ago. There are a bunch of tracks in WV - you might sweet talk your way into a local car's seat for a trial... but you'll have to lose the "prove your worthiness to me" attitude if you expect to get it.

Have fun at the Buck Baker school. If they can't earn your respect then nobody can... and nobody will probably want to.
 

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I'd call them competitors, not athletes. Highly skilled though, there is no doubt
 

Ford 222

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Sorry, the operative words there were "used to". Mothballed all my stuff after my health went sour a few years ago. There are a bunch of tracks in WV - you might sweet talk your way into a local car's seat for a trial... but you'll have to lose the "prove your worthiness to me" attitude if you expect to get it.

Have fun at the Buck Baker school. If they can't earn your respect then nobody can... and nobody will probably want to.
Sorry to hear about your health. Hope it improves or is such it doesn’t hold you back.

I’m sure my “experience” will be limited. Doubt I’ll feel what a real driver does in my 40 laps that a pro does in his 500 but I’m sure the HR will be up there. Definitely will have my Fitbit on to measure. Lol.

Also highly doubt a team or even a track would allow me to drive one of their dirt cars. Been threatenI gotta to go down the road to Tyler County Speedway when the big boys race there but have not. Wife likes NASCAR but not the dusty dirt. My NASCAR buddies have all moved on.
 

ChexOrWrex

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Race car drivers are athletic for their sport. They cannot handle the ability it takes to succeed in other professional sports, and the reverse is also true. There is no static definition for “athlete” when comparing sports. Every premier athlete is in peak shape for their respective task at hand.

The argument eventually becomes “are nascar drivers the epitome of human physical shape” and the answer will always be “no”. Many other sports demand much more from the human body than auto racing. Sports such as boxing, gymnastics/dancing, skiing, hockey and tennis come to mind first in that realm.
 

Ford 222

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Race car drivers are athletic for their sport. They cannot handle the ability it takes to succeed in other professional sports, and the reverse is also true. There is no static definition for “athlete” when comparing sports. Every premier athlete is in peak shape for their respective task at hand.

The argument eventually becomes “are nascar drivers the epitome of human physical shape” and the answer will always be “no”. Many other sports demand much more from the human body than auto racing. Sports such as boxing, gymnastics/dancing, skiing, hockey and tennis come to mind first in that realm.
Good perspective. I like that argument.

I guess maybe the question should be is race car driving an athletic endeavor and I’m still of the opinion it isn’t. Some drivers are very athletic and some not so much. But even the not so athletic can whip up on the athletic.
 

ChexOrWrex

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I guess maybe the question should be is race car driving an athletic endeavor and I’m still of the opinion it isn’t. Some drivers are very athletic and some not so much. But even the not so athletic can whip up on the athletic.
This is a fallacy. Offensive and defensive linemen in football would seem “out of shape” at first glance but have the most strength and endurance out of the entire roster and are often the highest paid. Their job does not include the same agility and speed as receivers and the defensive secondary.

Most car racing series require the physical ability of fast reflexes and withstanding long hours of constant elevated heart rate and very high heat. The mental focus and talent of driving is another feat. Little of that requires physical physique.
 

Charlie Spencer

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I’d bet he couldn’t run a mile (Physical exertion)
I doubt many 'man to man' participants could run a mile. Like race car drivers, it's not the kind of endurance required in most sports. I'm sure most linebackers and outfielders would be gasping pretty quickly; I think a driver would get farther than either of those. Basketballers, hockey players, soccer; sure, they're on the go more than most other athletes.

Me, I consider someone an athlete based on their physical condition, not the specific activities he or she may do with that body.
 

Nitro Dude

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I doubt many 'man to man' participants could run a mile. Like race car drivers, it's not the kind of endurance required in most sports. I'm sure most linebackers and outfielders would be gasping pretty quickly; I think a driver would get farther than either of those. Basketballers, hockey players, soccer; sure, they're on the go more than most other athletes.

Me, I consider someone an athlete based on their physical condition, not the specific activities he or she may do with that body.
So a lot of porn stars are athletes...but some not so much. :D
 

Charlie Spencer

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Offensive and defensive linemen in football would seem “out of shape” at first glance but ... are often the highest paid.
That's because, other than the quarterbacks, they're in the positions that require the most brain power. Check any book by former players. Linemen leave the so-called 'skill positions' in the dust.
 

sdj

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Well I must say, I would like to have back my earlier posts in this topic from a few years ago.

I know what I was trying to convey but it wasn’t working at all... apologies.

I guess I wish there wasn’t such a ‘fixation’ on making our drivers equal to the likes of a LeBron James or Arron Rodgers. I look at race car drivers as doing something waaayy more outstanding than playing a ball game.
Amen brother! :booya:
 

Ford 222

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I doubt many 'man to man' participants could run a mile. Like race car drivers, it's not the kind of endurance required in most sports. I'm sure most linebackers and outfielders would be gasping pretty quickly; I think a driver would get farther than either of those. Basketballers, hockey players, soccer; sure, they're on the go more than most other athletes.

Me, I consider someone an athlete based on their physical condition, not the specific activities he or she may do with that body.
I promise you, everyone on a pro football team and even college and most HS, could run a mile before the season starts. It's part of their conditioning. My HS coach made us run 5 miles once a week until we got into the season. Everyone was expected to run it and beat him.

And I could see where running and other types of aerobic conditioning could help a driver when their heart rate gets to the numbers we see. But doing it over and over builds that endurance. And possibly even familiarity and comfort with what they are doing. Going those speeds to me would elevate my heart from adrenalin AND fear where a guy that is used to it wouldn't be affected as much.

But I don't view driving a race car as an athletic activity.
 

Ford 222

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This is a fallacy. Offensive and defensive linemen in football would seem “out of shape” at first glance but have the most strength and endurance out of the entire roster and are often the highest paid. Their job does not include the same agility and speed as receivers and the defensive secondary.

Most car racing series require the physical ability of fast reflexes and withstanding long hours of constant elevated heart rate and very high heat. The mental focus and talent of driving is another feat. Little of that requires physical physique.
I don't think I said anything about physique? Said athletic. Like Brad vs Denny. Denny is a baller on the basketball court. Brad appeared to barely be able to dribble in that hard to watch video where he tried to make a basket at a pro or college game. It's obvious who is the natural athlete. But on the race track, they are way evenly matched.
 

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I don't think I said anything about physique? Said athletic. Like Brad vs Denny. Denny is a baller on the basketball court. Brad appeared to barely be able to dribble in that hard to watch video where he tried to make a basket at a pro or college game. It's obvious who is the natural athlete. But on the race track, they are way evenly matched.
Does a pro football or hockey player have to be decent at basketball for you to consider them an athlete? Do you need hockey players to be skilled a tennis? I dont understand the comparison to other sports. Brad is a pro athlete in racing not anything else.
 

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Does a pro football or hockey player have to be decent at basketball for you to consider them an athlete? Do you need hockey players to be skilled a tennis? I dont understand the comparison to other sports. Brad is a pro athlete in racing not anything else.
Good response. Mine would be not really, but someone athletic can go from sport to sport and not look completely out of their element. It was obvious Brad's coordination wasn't on the high end of the spectrum. And that may be unfair given Brad has probably had NO interest in anything besides cars so that may very well have been his first time dribbling a basketball.

I guess athleticism is in the eye of the beholder like beauty. With race car drivers, I don't see it in what they do.
 

wi_racefan

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I doubt many 'man to man' participants could run a mile. Like race car drivers, it's not the kind of endurance required in most sports. I'm sure most linebackers and outfielders would be gasping pretty quickly; I think a driver would get farther than either of those. Basketballers, hockey players, soccer; sure, they're on the go more than most other athletes.

Me, I consider someone an athlete based on their physical condition, not the specific activities he or she may do with that body.
I think in any sport physical condition will only take a person so far. In reality it comes down to talent. Whether that's hitting a baseball, reading a defense, shooting a basketball or driving a race car.

Baseball and football are full of stars that were far below the best physical condition, but their God given talent made them great.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

ChexOrWrex

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Good response. Mine would be not really, but someone athletic can go from sport to sport and not look completely out of their element. It was obvious Brad's coordination wasn't on the high end of the spectrum. And that may be unfair given Brad has probably had NO interest in anything besides cars so that may very well have been his first time dribbling a basketball.

I guess athleticism is in the eye of the beholder like beauty. With race car drivers, I don't see it in what they do.
I’m sure Lebron James would ruin a half million dollar race car in less than 5 laps at full speed too.

Your “sport to sport” reasoning is determining how multi-faceted someone is, not their athleticism. If you take a basketball athlete, who’s main muscle motions are running and jumping, of course they will adapt well to other sports like football. They will not adapt well to sports like swimming, boxing, or auto racing.
 

Ford 222

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I’m sure Lebron James would ruin a half million dollar race car in less than 5 laps at full speed too.

Your “sport to sport” reasoning is determining how multi-faceted someone is, not their athleticism. If you take a basketball athlete, who’s main muscle motions are running and jumping, of course they will adapt well to other sports like football. They will not adapt well to sports like swimming, boxing, or auto racing.
Sure, if you put them into a completely different element anyone can look like a fish out of water. But an athletic person would ultimately be able to make great strides. I still say racing a car is not an athletic endeavor. That doesn’t mean some drivers are not athletes. Just that because one is good at racing a car, doesn’t make them an athlete.
 

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Sure, if you put them into a completely different element anyone can look like a fish out of water. But an athletic person would ultimately be able to make great strides. I still say racing a car is not an athletic endeavor. That doesn’t mean some drivers are not athletes. Just that because one is good at racing a car, doesn’t make them an athlete.
Racing gets you into a pretty specific but still good shape. Brad K doesn't look athletic but has excellent aerobic and muscular endurance just by racing. This fits your insistence on sport crossover because I'd assume most pro drivers would fare better in cycling than many pro football, basketball, and baseball players. Imagine David Bahktiari or Jason Peters on a road bike - it would be ugly. Both are still world class athletes. Your crossover game works both ways.

Athleticism isn't just flashy things like speed, jumping, and strength. Often times great athletes look extremely average. Tony Stewart doesn't look like a great athlete, sure, but most NASCAR drivers look more athletic than Wayne Gretzky did in his prime. Semi Ojeleye looks athletic as can be but isn't half the player Nikola Jokic is or Zach Randolph was.
 

Ford 222

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Racing gets you into a pretty specific but still good shape. Brad K doesn't look athletic but has excellent aerobic and muscular endurance just by racing. This fits your insistence on sport crossover because I'd assume most pro drivers would fare better in cycling than many pro football, basketball, and baseball players. Imagine David Bahktiari or Jason Peters on a road bike - it would be ugly. Both are still world class athletes. Your crossover game works both ways.

Athleticism isn't just flashy things like speed, jumping, and strength. Often times great athletes look extremely average. Tony Stewart doesn't look like a great athlete, sure, but most NASCAR drivers look more athletic than Wayne Gretzky did in his prime. Semi Ojeleye looks athletic as can be but isn't half the player Nikola Jokic is or Zach Randolph was.
I do think there is such a thing as "racing shape" but racing isn't aerobic training. Not a great deal of exertion except dealing with g forces in turns and God forbid wrecks. Unless he is training routinely (and he may be) with running I highly doubt he can do much aerobic exercise. I can be wrong, just my opinion.

Endurance of g-forces and heat for 3-4 hours, I certainly concede that. Not athletic though.
 

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Sounds like you are describing iRacing gamers, not the actual Cup series drivers.
I mean, yeah....isn't that the story on William Byron? So there is translation there....Just add heat and g-forces.
 

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Honestly, I come to the sport for the cars. I just love them. Lee White once told me that all a driver does is screw up a perfectly engineered car. So, I don't care what you call the least engineered part of the car....just don't screw it up.
 

Ford 222

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Honestly, I come to the sport for the cars. I just love them. Lee White once told me that all a driver does is screw up a perfectly engineered car. So, I don't care what you call the least engineered part of the car....just don't screw it up.
I love it all....the cars, the technology (even though it isn't cutting edge-I like to check into F! for that stuff), and the drivers. Even the ones I don't care for (as drivers. I'm sure in everyday life, they are all pretty good dudes but it's still fun to take some joy in the misfortune of some and the fortune of others like we all do).
 

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I mean, yeah....isn't that the story on William Byron? So there is translation there....Just add heat and g-forces.
“Just add heat and g-forces”. This can’t be a serious argument? If it is, it shows how much you don’t understand about the physical forces and exertion drivers go through.

This was almost a decade ago.
 
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