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Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

Race drivers are athletes

Posted Sunday, August 5, 2007, at 8:34 AM

Many of you watched (or will be watching) today's NASCAR race or were at Duck River Speedway on Saturday night. You may be a fan of Indy-car racing like those which ran at Nashville a few weeks ago.

The drivers of those cars are athletes. Several people over the past few years have disagreed with me.

"All they do is drive around and around in a circle," one said, not realizing that NASCAR runs a few road courses each year.

Regardless of track configuration, I contend it takes an athlete to drive a race car.

A driver needs stamina and strength, especially in the long, hot NASCAR races; a sense of timing and poise, because one wrong move can cause a crash and potentially injure or kill -- and the right moves lead to wins; coordination; and, along with physical ability, intelligence. Decision-making skills are critical.

One of those who disagreed with me was an avid, and good, tennis player. Yet she has everything it takes, physically and mentally, to be a ... race driver.

Your thoughts?

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Could you, per chance, be referring to little ole' me?

I do agree with you, you know; I just like to pull the strings of race car fans (including my husband and Mary).

I realize that NASCAR drivers have to be in pretty good shape, and have terrific reflexes.

But I'd still rather be strung up by my toes than having to watch a race. I can't think of anything more boring than having to endure a bunch of cars driving around a track, but isn't that the reason they make chocolate and vanilla?

-- Posted by loveretirement on Sun, Aug 5, 2007, at 11:42 AM

loveretirment I agree with you NASCAR is boring to me also. I don't see it as much of a sport either but neither do I see Hunting or Fishing as a sport ..nor Golfers as athletes.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Aug 6, 2007, at 11:33 AM

I don't think of NASCAR drivers as athletes either although my husband does and points out the above reasons why they are. I guess I just resent that he usually only gets one day off and its NASCAR ALL DAY LONG. What a waste of a day. Just my opinion though......

-- Posted by countrymom on Mon, Aug 6, 2007, at 12:38 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.