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(Daily Sparks Tribune)   Study suggests race car drivers are as fit as other athletes. If by "other athletes" you mean bowlers and chess players....   ( divider line
    More: Unlikely  
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2286 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Dec 2002 at 7:20 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

116 Comments     (+0 »)

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2002-12-23 11:37:20 AM  

Here we go again...

The stresses a human body is subjected to in a Formula 1 race would put some serious hurt on your average Farker.

I'd be willing to bet professional F1 drivers are in better shape than most baseball players.

2002-12-23 12:13:02 PM  
It's not like an "athlete" does anything productive anyways so what's the difference?
2002-12-23 12:42:22 PM  
Show me some flabby-assed baseball player or pot-bellied footballer that could handle the physical stress a racer gets: G forces in the corners, seat compressing your spine down the staight, seats belts tearing your shoulders in hard braking, heat, noise, and the strength necessary to handle the machine. And they get it for 2 to 4 hours at a stretch, not the 10 seconds and breather in football.
2002-12-23 01:22:31 PM  

that could go either way there Eat More Possum, show me a skinny red neck that can take a hit from any linebacker.

He'd end up next to Dale Earnhardt.

2002-12-23 01:31:13 PM  
Guess you are right, Vegasj, each sport requires a different set of conditioning and physical attributes.
2002-12-23 02:52:07 PM  
2002-12-23 03:23:03 PM  
It seems that there should be a clarification of what qualifies as a sport as opposed to a spectacle.

Personally I feel that auto racing falls into the latter category.
2002-12-23 07:23:53 PM  
If any of you has ever sat in a racing seat you'd know that it's impossible for a fat ass to fit in one.
2002-12-23 07:24:03 PM  
Ahh yes, the unsolvable "what is a sport and what isn't" debate. Perhaps we'll know the answer when there's peace in the middle east.
2002-12-23 07:24:32 PM  
Baseball is about as much a sport as Golf.
2002-12-23 07:25:25 PM  
Um, Maasgarid, any sport in which it's very possible that your "retirement package" will be made out of wood and include convenient carrying handles for your six closest friends certainly qualifies as a sport in my book.

Dumbass submission tag. Nothing "unlikely" about the physical conditioning needed to compete at the top levels of racing.
2002-12-23 07:25:39 PM  
Actually, I think some chess players actually work out, as strange as that may sound.
2002-12-23 07:25:56 PM  
I know Michael Schumacher spends about 4-5 hours a day in the Gym.

Now as to NASCAR drivers, well I don't make it down to the state fairs so I wouldn't know.
2002-12-23 07:26:00 PM  
Artem: Or when the asshat researchers finally find a cure for cancer?
2002-12-23 07:27:09 PM  
what about that guy that drives the Dr. pepper car
2002-12-23 07:27:46 PM  

Full Contact Chess?
2002-12-23 07:27:56 PM  
Oh look another Flame post....
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2002-12-23 07:28:37 PM  
Alistair MacLean's novel The Way to Dusty Death features a race car driver as a detective, in the typical MacLean style. His lightning-fast reflexes do him a lot of good. Fun stuff.
2002-12-23 07:28:51 PM  
It does matter what context youre putting this in.
2002-12-23 07:28:56 PM  
talent, skill, pros? yes.
athletes? not so much.
i still have A LOT of respect for my Nascar Truck series buddies
2002-12-23 07:29:26 PM  
Tell Colin McRae he's not an athlete. He'll kick your arse.

[image from too old to be available]
2002-12-23 07:30:45 PM  
A sport is an athletic competition in which I can sit down and tell immediately who is winning. The only exception is golf, which is a game. Auto racing may not require the same athleticism as soccer, but it is still a sport. NASCAR drivers are professionals nowadays. It's not the same ol' Sunday-drive-then-a-beer like it was in the 50's and 60's, but it has, for some reason, yet to shed that image. I'd give this article the obvious, at least the interesting tag.
2002-12-23 07:30:56 PM  
Many bowlers are in good healthy physical contidion.

For instance, I bowl on several leagues, and people are always commenting on my team at the end of a long evening on the lanes. They always say something complementary, like: "look at you're in a fine shape again, tonight!"

Did I mention our team is called "Team Bud Light"?
2002-12-23 07:31:28 PM  
Wait, wait, wait. People actually watch NASCAR for the racing? I thought people just watched for the high speed crashes.
2002-12-23 07:32:04 PM  
I remember this debate from when Jacques Villeneuve won the athlete of the year over some baseball player. Everyone was completely up in arms about it. There's no doubt these guys are in kick ass condition. The days of James Hunt, staying out all night drinking, banging anything that moved, then going out and winning races are long gone.
2002-12-23 07:33:22 PM  
Main Entry: 2sport
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 a : a source of diversion : RECREATION b : sexual play c (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in
2 a : PLEASANTRY, JEST b : often mean-spirited jesting : MOCKERY, DERISION
3 a : something tossed or driven about in or as if in play b : LAUGHINGSTOCK
4 a : SPORTSMAN b : a person considered with respect to living up to the ideals of sportsmanship c : a companionable person
5 : an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue
synonym see FUN
2002-12-23 07:33:31 PM  
Hey! Try throwing a 16-pound ball down the lane at full speed 60 times without spilling your lite beer!
2002-12-23 07:37:06 PM  
2002-12-23 07:38:04 PM  
AlienOmega, no you only want the guys ahead of the team that you like to crash, run out of gas or blow an engine
2002-12-23 07:39:22 PM  
At least the article isn't calling cyclists non-athletes.

2002-12-23 07:39:38 PM  
i dunno why you guys keep referring to auto-racing in the 50's and 60's like it wasnt competitive and they didnt take it seriously. even as far back as the 40's auto racing has been taking as seriously by the competitors as it is now.
2002-12-23 07:40:23 PM  
I don't know about the hillbillies in NASCAR, but Formula 1 drivers have to be in excellent shape. They are subjected to massive G forces. I think those guys have to spend an inordinate amount of time on neck exercises just to be keep their heads from flopping around in the corners.
2002-12-23 07:41:29 PM  
If you want to pick on somebody pick on baseball-
steroid heaven for way,way overpaid pansies
2002-12-23 07:44:28 PM  
Blubble, NASCARS roots may be in the south but the current Winston Cup Champion and the former Champion did not come from the south
2002-12-23 07:44:55 PM  
every single sport that is competitive at the national or international level has a suprisingly large number of steriod users. you just cant compete anymore without using steroids yourself, and they dont test for them much at all.
2002-12-23 07:47:43 PM  
Good to see F1 getting a nod in this thread. The car's braking power is pretty much limited to what the driver can tolerate, they are capable of much harder braking.

200 to 80 in under 3 seconds, no thanks!

Schumacher spends hours and hours in gyms, and awards himself one cookier per year as his junk food. One friggin cookie.
2002-12-23 07:53:11 PM  
I used to be involved in national championship rallying and in addition to having to shift up and down rapidly every few seconds, you also had to manipulate the steering wheel side to side every moment you were out on the racing stage. So you have to move your legs, feet, arms and hands rapidly for several miles on slippery roads in variable weather conditions at speeds that were several times higher than any average motorist could handle. Imagining that just because a racing driver is sitting in a seat doesn't mean they're not getting a workout, if you look at the physiques of most modern racing drivers they are very thin, just like marathon runners which is very similar to what a rally is: racing for most of a day and sometimes into the night with little opportunity for rest. In addition to that, you have adrenaline racing through your body as long as you're out on the stage. I can't imagine any kind of auto racing where someone *isn't* getting a substantial workout. In professional racing today, if you're not in an intense professional workout routine as well as racing practice which takes place several times a week, you're not going to be competitive. There may be persons who are overweight at the amatuer level, but they will never make it with the pros.
2002-12-23 07:53:28 PM  
I'm not a huge NASCAR fan, but a 500 mile race in a closed-top racecar is an out and out trial.

Cool-suits have become common all the way down to club racing, but in-car temps can get pretty high. These guys are wearing multi-layer fire suits and stuffy balaclavas and helmets. Air conditioning, 6-disk CD changers, power brakes, and power steering aren't common in racecars. The guys who ran Sebring, Le Mans, Daytona, etc. back in the day were among the toughest around.

With modern tire technology and aerodynamics, cars are a lot more demanding on the body.

Any racecar driver who doesn't work out and stay at peak fitness is not a serious driver.
2002-12-23 08:02:10 PM  
I always thought Speed Racer was buff....
Rex was ripped too
Got to be fact
2002-12-23 08:03:12 PM  
Show me some... pot-bellied footballer that could handle the physical stress a racer gets:

Will he do?

[image from too old to be available]

Granted, he wasn't pot-bellied or anything, but still... he didn't retire to the golf course, that's for damn sure.

And just in case anyone here has any doubts as to the athleticism of pro racers, go ahead and try driving from, say, Chicago to Indianapolis. In two hours. Without using interstates. Oh, and make sure you take every turn you come across (that'll take you in the right direction, natch). See how you feel at the end.
2002-12-23 08:05:23 PM  
Regarding the people who say the profesional drivers aren't athletes, I understand their position. It's hard for me to make an intelligent comment on something I know nothing about either.
2002-12-23 08:11:20 PM  
I have jsut one question...why is it that NASCAR is a hick sport and Formula 1 is a man's sport??? I have nothing against Formula 1...I like all types of racing i was just wondering why NASCAR is looked down upon and all other forms of racing are ok..
2002-12-23 08:11:27 PM  
ZAZ: Mclean is the worst writer I have ever read. He's great.
2002-12-23 08:12:36 PM  
Whoever submitted this is an asshat. Probably a fat one at that.

2002-12-23 08:14:42 PM  
Victoly: Raleigh, NC to Pittsburgh, no interstates, through the mountains.

Does that make me an athlete? If so, where do i sign up for my allotment of pussy?
2002-12-23 08:15:57 PM  
NASCAR's looked down on b/c it's based in the South, and we all know that geographical bigotry vs. Southerners is the one prejudice that's okay to expound.
2002-12-23 08:16:35 PM  
profesional = professional
2002-12-23 08:17:08 PM  
Thre s tendancy among many people to say that anything you can do sitting down or while drinking can't be a sport. I don't think that race driving is a traditional athletic sport, but the drivers need amazing technical, mental, and physical prowess, so you kind of have to give them that they are athletes.
2002-12-23 08:21:47 PM  
DJReflexxion: Look at the fans and the cars that are raced.

Not to mention that whole Calvin peeing on something in the rear window of car originated man years ago in NASCAR. That should tell you something.
2002-12-23 08:24:24 PM  
jigga pleeeze. if the forces from racing are so tough to is it that 90% of those roller coaster freaks who ride for 8 hours at a time are 70lbs overweight.

turn on discovery channel. it will be the repeat of the week eventually...

moving feet moving hands, bla bla bla. sounds like the average sweat shop worker on his/her 1940's era sewing machine. only they aren't doing it for 4 or 5 hours four times a year......they're doing it at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
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