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Race drivers are athletesPosted 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.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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