Are the drivers athletes?

Ford 222

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“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.
Lol. That video pretty much explains exactly what I’m saying. Don’t get fooled by the HR over time compared to a distance runner. That distance runners low HR is because they are in great condition even though they are exerting themselves aerobically. The drivers heart rate is more a function of adrenaline from excitement/situation/danger/etc. Very different. Extreme heat too but made much easier with “cool” air coming into their helmet helping that internal temp.
 

ChexOrWrex

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Don’t get fooled by the HR over time compared to a distance runner. That distance runners low HR is because they are in great condition even though they are exerting themselves aerobically. The drivers heart rate is more a function of adrenaline from excitement/situation/danger/etc. Very different.
This is false. It would be a correct premise if the heart rate spiked at random intervals and sustained a lower BPM overall, but they do not. Drivers average 115-150 consistent BPM over the course of a race due to the physical exertion they are giving. Drivers do not sweat pounds of body weight from adrenaline.

This data comes from a driver who is also a marathon runner and biker.

Extreme heat too but made much easier with “cool” air coming into their helmet helping that internal temp.
Many drivers do not have, or even use, their cooling fans for much of the race. Reserving power to the battery is critical for other functions of the car.

You are not well educated on this topic but continue to push an argument on it.
 

Kiante

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The term athleticism varies per sport.

Race car drivers are a different breed. You have to have cardiovascular fitness to deal with the constant exertion of steering inputs. They have to do this for two in a half to four hours or more at a time. Your back and core have to be solid to deal with the g-forces placed into the body.

The body has to be trained to deal with the pressure on the nervous system with the elevated heat in fire-proof underwear and a full firesuit.

This is an excellent example featuring Marco Andretti driving on slicks at a wet Belle Isle, probably one of the more physically demanding tracks on the IndyCar schedule:

Remember, they have no power steering in IndyCar. Focus, throttle control, the precise steering input, the upper body exertion, hand-eye coordination.

This is extremely difficult, I would have wrecked leaving pit lane.
 

Kiante

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I posted this after the Atlanta race.

Lajoie works out a ton as well:
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I explained it to my brother and his jaw dropped. Miss me with all of the "they are not athletes" stuff. Atlanta that Sunday, then Martinsville was that upcoming Wednesday. That's a quick turn-around.

This also goes to show the work of driving a backmarker car.
 

Ford 222

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Drivers average 115-150 consistent BPM over the course of a race due to the physical exertion they are giving. Drivers do not sweat pounds of body weight from adrenaline.
WHAT physical exertion? Against g-forces? I can accept there is exertion there but it's like any labor intensive job, you get used to it over time. And one can sweat pounds of body weight in a sauna....UFC fighters and wrestlers do it all the time to make weight for competition. That body weight is water. Dehydration. People do it every day working in hot climates for 8-12 or more hours a day. Oilfield workers now have to do it in fire retardant clothing covering their entire body for extended hours.

Where is this education you refer to?
 

Ford 222

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Skip to 1:26:51

Yeah because Letart says so?

Again, adrenaline from the excitement of the moment is what is causing that. I actually had to work (my job is pretty sedentary as a safety geek) this past Saturday from 7am to 11 on my fathers land clearing downed trees then went to a party where we watched our college Football team play. Was looking at my HR for that day on my FitBit app and my HR was almost as high during the game drinking beer and watching that as it was cutting with a chainsaw, dragging and throwing limbs, and carrying firewood. 7-11 was physical exertion and work. 12 to 4 was just the excitement of the moment. So breathing hard and a high HR doesn’t indicate athleticism to me.
 

aunty dive

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"Expertise" without experience or a baseline reference does not make a strong argument.

Do 3g's 500 times at Martinsville.
 

ChexOrWrex

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"Expertise" without experience or a baseline reference does not make a strong argument.

Do 3g's 500 times at Martinsville.
For reference 3Gs is the same that astronauts experience during launch, and that’s only for ~8 minutes. Astronauts are considered to be some of the most physically fit and athletic people on the planet to experience their environment and perform the way they do.

NASCAR drivers experience 3Gs for 3+ hours and they aren't athletes? What a piss poor argument.
 

LJ7201

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There's plenty of physically taxing jobs and activities that aren't competitions so they aren't sports. It's the combination of exertion and competition. Idk why you keep isolating those two.

Going out and hauling around a heavy rock for the hell of it isn't a sport. Doing so competitively against others in a strongman competition is a sport. Driving around isn't a sport, racing is.
 

Kiante

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So what exactly would make you consider a driver being an athlete?

Racing in anything is about as demanding as anything else. With the introduction of stages breaks, it may create a lull in the action for the driver. However, it's not like a timeout or anything of the sort as other sports do.

These guys are in literal ovens for hours at a time and lose 5 to 15 pounds a race.

There is a reason why many drivers train seriously with advances in nutrition, reaction training, and other science involved. This is why Josh Wise, who is the driver trainer and coach for Ganassi, and helps many drivers train to perform better.

There would be no reason for these fitness centers driver eccentric training is based on for any imaginable level.

This stuff is no joke and some like the Keselowski's, Bowyer, Newman, and Truex are different. A lot of them work outside on farms. Hell, Keselowski admitted he doesn't workout. Yet look at him, some guys are just experienced and know their bodies. Some are just in driver shape after doing it for so many years.
 

aunty dive

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Assume your head / helmet weighs 30 pounds.

At 3g it weighs 90 pounds. Keep it off the headrest because you want to see straight. Your neck is complaining bitterly.
 

racefan41

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I think it may depend a little on the day at the track. A great handling car on fairy cool day, not so much athletic. A not so good handling car on a warmer day, more-so athletic. Even more athletic if they are driving an ill handling car toward the front of the pack.
 

Ford 222

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To me athletic competition involves the participants strength, skill, agility, and endurance pitted against another’s. One’s action reacted to by another’s singularly or as a team. To a small degree this applies to racing but the machine is the true athlete. The true competitor. The true advantage (usually) between drivers. We probably alL agree anyone driving a Chevy has been at a disadvantage for a few years now. To me, equipment shouldn’t be a big factor. And usually, it’s the equipment that fails and the competitor has to quit because of it. I concede the driver has to endure high temps and g forces and that probably adds to the high HR and respirating BUT the majority of the effort, strength, agility, etc is the difference between the machines and then preparation the teams put into them. That’s my opinion.
Again, not saying some of these guys are not really good athletes. But being a good driver doesn’t take a lot of athletic talent. JMO.
 

racefan41

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Mental athletes than? I know I feel drained after driving on a highway in a big vehicle for half a day with the wind whipping as opposed to a calm day.
 

ChexOrWrex

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To me athletic competition involves the participants strength, skill, agility, and endurance pitted against another’s. One’s action reacted to by another’s singularly or as a team. To a small degree this applies to racing but the machine is the true athlete. The true competitor. The true advantage (usually) between drivers. We probably alL agree anyone driving a Chevy has been at a disadvantage for a few years now. To me, equipment shouldn’t be a big factor. And usually, it’s the equipment that fails and the competitor has to quit because of it. I concede the driver has to endure high temps and g forces and that probably adds to the high HR and respirating BUT the majority of the effort, strength, agility, etc is the difference between the machines and then preparation the teams put into them. That’s my opinion.
Again, not saying some of these guys are not really good athletes. But being a good driver doesn’t take a lot of athletic talent. JMO.
Saying the car does all of the heavy lifting is the same as saying the coach is the reason for success. Any player will be a winner under Belicheck or Saban right?

Totally ignores the work and commitment of the players/drivers.
 

Ford 222

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Saying the car does all of the heavy lifting is the same as saying the coach is the reason for success. Any player will be a winner under Belicheck or Saban right?

Totally ignores the work and commitment of the players/drivers.
Not at all. But the bulk of the heavy lifting and a HUGE factor in the contest is the vehicle. Vehicle is the instrument and the driver is limited or enhanced by what the vehicle ultimately can do.
 
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