They run half-marathons the same week as the Daytona 500, they take on 100-mile uphill bike races, they find time to golf during race weekends and they go for jogs hours before racing. And many pit crew members played football, among other sports, in college before joining NASCAR.
But whether or not NASCAR drivers are athletes based solely on their day jobs (versus their extracurricular activities) is always a popular topic, especially among those who aren't racing fans. It's just sitting in a car and driving, right?
Not exactly. And drivers regularly remind people why they're athletes, what kind of shape they need to be in to race and the toll a single race can take on their bodies. MORE