There has always been a debate about whether or not NASCAR is a sport or not. In my opinion, there is no doubt in my mind that it is. Obviously, I understand why some may disagree. Many think, "They're just driving a car around in circles. How hard can it be?" However, if you do some research you will soon come to realize just how dangerous and hard the sport really is. It is extremely hard on your body, and it can also affect you mentally.
When those drivers mount their cars, they're putting themselves at risk of serious injury and in some cases even death.
The likelihood of death in NASCAR is much more common than in any other sport. These drivers are driving at a constant speed of 200mph, which causes the drivers to experience G-force which is the force of Earth's gravity in all directions; one G is 32 feet a second. For NASCAR drivers, this force of nature is something they encounter on every turn; they experience 1.9-3.2 of G-force on average on every turn. When the drivers experience G-force, they must try to resist it while they turn for 3 hours straight.
What is even more incredible is the fact that in one particular crash that took place in 2006, Jeff Gordon experienced 64 G's. That means he traveled a distance of 2,048 in one second. It is hard to imagine, but G-forces like this happen often in NASCAR.
Needless to say, NASCAR drivers need to be strong and in tip-top shape, if they are going to resist the power of the Earth's gravity.
Not only are they battling G-force, but they are also battling the heat. During races, drivers are met with extreme temperatures. The temperature inside their cars usually range from 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit, but the temperature can reach 160 degrees when the drivers race in the dead of summer. They experience this heat for up to three hours and sometimes even more.
Some drivers even put heat shields on in order to protect themselves from the burning sensational from under the foot pedals. Not only do drivers use heat shields, but they also have ventilation systems in their driving suits so they can survive the heat. These ventilation systems don't lower the temperature that much, but it can help since there is no air-conditioning in NASCAR.
Personally, I have an extreme respect for NASCAR drivers, and I can't imagine how tough it is to get behind the wheel of a stock car. They get in their cars every race and know the possible consequences of one wrong move. To me, NASCAR is undoubtedly a sport, and if you ever question the validity of it, I suggest you try to do what these drivers do on a daily basis.