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Jack Murphy

Is NASCAR Really a Sport? 151

  • Posted by: Jack Murphy
  • April 24, 2012, 9:20 PM


As the race cars set up at the starting line, each and every driver feels the adrenaline rush of waiting for the green flag to wave. As the awaited moment finally comes, the cars speed off like 4-year-olds after an ice cream truck. The crowd screams as their favorite car takes off. NASCAR is fun to watch, but is this activity really a sport?

Some believe that just putting your foot down on a pedal doesn’t have what it takes to be a sport, compared to bone-crunching football, in which men with muscles the size of watermelons smash through defenders. If you think about it though, it’s kind of true. Almost everybody can drive at age 16, so what’s the big difference?

The technical definition of a sport is: An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. Athletic is the key word. Pushing down on a pedal seems easy, but it could obviously become hard after 75 laps or so. You also need quick instincts to turn when a crash has occurred on the track. These types of cars can reach speeds up to 190 miles per hour, so the drivers would definitely need to be on the edge of their seats!

Being a NASCAR driver would undoubtedly take a great amount of skill. The Daytona 500 consists of 200 laps, which equal 500 miles. The driver also must be aware if he or she has tire issues, is running out of gas, and know when to safely make a pit stop to refuel or change tires.

Lots of people think that NASCAR really is a sport. I had the chance to speak to Mike Massaro, an ESPN NASCAR analyst, about this. As a kid, Mike was exposed to racing because his dad worked on a racecar as a hobby at Stafford Springs Motor Speedway in Connecticut. “I’ve been around it since I was a child,” he told me. “I have a photo on my desk… of me at 8 years old sitting inside the car my dad worked on.”

“It’s not just the drivers working,” Massaro says. “It’s a team sport. The men who jump over the walls need to be very accomplished athletes themselves. They carry tires [that weigh] up to 80 pounds!” He also commented on how fit drivers need to be. He told me that NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson was actually named the 2009 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, over Tiger Woods, Albert Pujols, and even Kobe Bryant!

Johnson has worked out over the years, and it has been paying off. He does pull-ups with an extra one hundred pounds chained to him. He even runs six-minute miles! Some athletes don’t keep themselves in the best shape (such as baseball greats CC Sabathia and Prince Fielder). Johnson sets an example how fit NASCAR drivers can really be.

Auto racing being considered a sport is one of the most argued questions of all time. Many think yes, many no. I’m still not sure. What do you think?

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (84 votes)

151 Comments

They probably work out more then we do

DALE JR UP ON TOP

GO Casey Khane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO KASEY KAHNE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

it is not a sport. my dad drives like that all the time, so really, no it is not

go Dale Jr

NASCAR IS AWESOME AND SO IS DALE J.R.

I think NASCAR is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Obviously,racing IS a sport!!!! Think about going 190mph and trying to know when to make pit-stops,and trying to get around people! And u DON'T just plop your butt down in a seat and TWIRL A WHEEL!!!!! U get out there and u GET RACIN'!!!!!!!!!!!!!(But there isn't any athletic though, so that pushes it.)

racing is not a sport.anyone with a drivers lisence could race!!! at least for a real sport you have to try out for a team.

NO I THINK U GUYS SHOULD MOVE IT AWAY CAUSE NOBODY IS WATCHING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

not a sport!

Is a sport. Sir not baseball champ

i don't think it deserves to be a sport.

NASCAR IS A SPORT CAUSE YOU DONT GET ENTERTAIN WHEN A CAUTION COMES OUT. ITS THE FUN OF THEM ON THEIR BUMPER TRYING TO GET FIRST AND WIN THE RACE. WELL, I GOT QUESTIONS FOR YOU. HAVE YOU MEET A DRIVER? NO HAVE YOU SEEN A DRIVER? NO. HAVE YOU SEEN A RACE?NO. SO YOU GOT ALL THE QUESTION WRONG. SO NEXTS SEASIONWATCH A RACE AND SEE HOW IT GOES. AND GOOOOOOOOOOOO DALEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

no what you guys think that NASCAR is just bunch of cars driving around a circle. WELL ITS NOT! NASCAR is a fun sport and its a famliy sporys to.HERES a QUESTION 4 U! HAVE YOU MEET A DRIVER? NO. DO YOU NOW ALL THIER NAMES? NO. HAVE YOU SEEN A RACE? NO. SO, you still think that nascar is just a bunch of cars drivind aroun a circle. Ive meet and wrote to a driver and it was fun! SO right now, those questions i gave to you, you got all of them WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!! so nexts seison watch a race 4 once see how it goes!!!!!!!!!!

all you do is twirl a wheel and push down on the gas pedal. You dont need athletic skill to do it and its NOT A SPORT

cars are fast and dangerous but,
I say it is!!!!

Nascar is a sport go Ryan Newman

NASCAR is totally is a sport people they go to a championship right! It just in a differt way of style.

NASCAR is NOT boring AND IT IS A SPORT. I LOVE IT!

NASCAR IS LAME PEOPLE SHOULD WATCH BASKETBALL ,FOOTBALL, BASEBALL ,SOCCER,HOCKEY

YES IT IS LIKE NO ONE EVEN WATCHES IT PUNK

it's not lame you punk kid

nascar is not lame and it is a sport i don't care what any one says it is a spart and it is awesome i can tell you that if you have a problem with tat tell me know when you read this!!11

hope no

nascar is so boring they ride in circles all day thats it

temps can get up to 200 degrees! nascar is definitly a sport!

you're right, nascar is so boring!

if its not exercise its not a sport

NASCAR is a sport. You race in track & field, and that is considered a sport. You race in NASCAR, so it should be considered a sport. I am a huge NASCAR fan. A lot of people think you just drive in circles. That's not true. Go Kyle Busch!

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