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Old 08-06-2003, 03:37 PM
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Are Race Car Drivers Athletes

ARE RACE CAR DRIVERS ATHLETES?

I ask this because my son is racing at a NHRA track, entering the high school bracket division, there are 11 schools reprisented, with 38 individuals participating, my son's school has indicated they dont like their name assosiated with racing, because it is not an athletic event! He is not allowed to work on his "RACECAR" in auto shop, he recieves no funding from booster club. Because my son drives a drag car does this mean he is not an athlete?

I always thought racecar drivers were athletes, I guess I could be wrong.

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Old 08-06-2003, 04:43 PM
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I saw one of those off-season, Sunday afternoon sports shows way back in the early 80s where they pitted athletes from various sports - football, baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, etc. - to see who was 'best'. They lifted weights, swam, played tennis, did 100 yard dash, 1/4 mile run, all that stuff. Funniest episode was a swimming race where heavy weight boxer Joe Frazier nearly drowned! He had no clue how to swim. anyway, they had NASCAR and Formula champs competing too. To say they were non-athletic is the understatement of the century. I quickly went from feeling embarrassed watching them flail around to actually fearing for their lives. Some of the events like weight lifting were down right dangerous for them. No, they are not athletes and their occupation is called a 'sport' just because there is nowhere else to put it in the newspaper.

Conversely, you need to educate the officials at your school as to the quality activity your son is participating in. Just because it isn't an athletic event, organized drag racing is still a very worthwhile activity that the school should promote. Get on your soap box and change your little corner of the world for the better!
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Old 08-06-2003, 05:06 PM
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After driving around a racetrack in a triple layer nomex suit and helmet, getting forearm pump after 10 minutes of driving and losing 10 pounds in 20 minutes after one heat race I would have to say it's a sport. I cannot imagine what the guys in F1 go through after an hour dealing with double digit G loads, that is seriously hard work that only fighter pilots can understand.

Depends on the type of motorsport were talkin bout? I don't think drag racing for 10 secs quite qualifies as physically taxing although the pit thrash between rounds can be pretty crazy!
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Old 08-06-2003, 06:08 PM
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Race drivers are definitely athletes. Maybe not every driver could run a marathon tomorrow. But marathoners could'nt jump in a car and drive it right either.

Now the thing with the School not accepting it. That could be political correctness ( not condoning racing) or just pure ignorance. Could also be they want to protect what funds they have for the more "mainstream" sports.
Just remind your kid that ten years from now very few, if any, of those School "athletes" will still be playing in their chosen sport. But auto racers tend to stick with it. He will be racing when he is forty, with years of experience. The rest, they will be fat, bald, and boring.

Anyone who thinks auto racers are not athletes, have never raced.
As far as funding from booster clubs.... skip that. Try local businesses, service clubs, or police and fire fraternal orders.

Good luck, maybe I will race him someday.
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by willys36@aol.com
I saw one of those off-season, Sunday afternoon sports shows way back in the early 80s anyway, they had NASCAR and Formula champs competing too. To say they were non-athletic is the understatement of the century.
Things have changed a whole lot since then, especially once Joe Gibbs got involved in NASCAR. Not only do the drivers have a physical training program but many of the pit crew as well. Especially the "over-the-wall" guys. Take a look at the current NASCAR drivers, almost to a man they are in excellent physical condition.
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Old 08-06-2003, 08:05 PM
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Hell yes driving a racecar makes you an athlete. Tell those boneheads at his school to go out and drive a car thats a few inches from the asphalt and corners like its on rails at 140+ mph and see if they can walk normally. The G force alone thats exerted upon the body makes sure you will be in shape by next race, otherwise there won't be one because you'll still be in bed with ben-gay and heat pads. Driving a car is not only taxing on the body, but to properly compete you must also use you eyes ears and sometimes your nose. So not only is it a mode of training on how to handle a vehicle but it improves motor skills, no pun intended. Tell those goons that if race drivers aren't athletes then lets see them go out and strap themselves in and win the Cart series. Thats enough to boil your p-nuts...I tell ya.

HK
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Old 08-06-2003, 08:48 PM
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Bowtienut - according to the dictionary, I guess you could say someone who has the hand eye and foot coordination and the experience that it takes to compete in NHRA events such as in top fuel, is an athlete. And those kids that do Motocross and Super-cross? You bet, they're athletes.


ath¡lete [ áth leet ] (plural ath¡letes)

noun

somebody with athletic ability: somebody who has the necessary abilities to participate in physical exercise, especially in competitive situations such as games, races, and matches


This doesn't mean you can expect your district's school athletic director to jump head over heels for motorsports. It ain't too likely to happen in this lifetime. This is one of the biggest reasons why some of the best adult car clubs around, have special fundraisers for highschool automotive programs and special cruise night awards for the best teen projects cars and trucks.

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Old 08-06-2003, 11:33 PM
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That's what I meant to say, race drivers are splendid athletes.
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Old 08-07-2003, 12:27 AM
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I wish I could agree with y'all!! Today I watched the big fat neighbor push around the lawn mower for 90 minutes. He was sweating, losing just a few pounds, lifting, pushing, pulling and fighting arm pump but I wouldn't call him an athlete! Last time I was at Maple Grove Raceway it looked like a candy and beer convention! I think the poorest conditioned sports athlete could go toe to toe with the best conditioned racer! The condition of the modern racer may have more to do with corporate sponsorship than trying to keep up with the car! A few people I know that are sponsored are given trainers to keep a healthy look for the public as part of the contract.
Is racing a sport?....YES
Are racers Athletes?....Well, yes but with an asterisk*
Kinda like Jeeps are Mopars!!!!
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:40 AM
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I have never met John Force, but I have seen on tv after a 5 second pass he looks like heavy wieght fighter after 10 rnds, out of breath, struggling to speak, sweating, ect.... it seems to me this takes athletic ability.

maybe he just needs more Powerade!

I am on my soapbox and not gonna let this issue die with the school, if they wont let him reprisent the school he cant finish the season. He is doing very well, the school is in third, AND HE IS BY HIMSELF, the other schools have three to five drivers!

IS THIS JUST POLITICAL BS!!!!!
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:44 AM
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I have to think this is going to be one of those "opinion" discussions. Eye hand coordination, reflexes, stamina, desire, all attributes to be a good racer. Same thing goes for video game tournaments. How many events in the Olympics do you consider to be a sport?
synchronized swimming? yech! Here's a list from a website:
Archery
Judo
Team Handball
Badminton
Modern Pentathlon
Tennis
Baseball
Mountain Bike
Track & Field
Basketball
Rythmic Gymnastics
Trampoline
Beach Volleyball
Rowing
Triathlon
Boxing
Sailing
Volleyball
Canoe/Kayak
Shooting
Water Polo
Cycling
Soccer
Weightlifting
Diving
Softball
Wrestling
Equestrian
Swimming
Fencing
Synchronized Swimming
Field Hockey
Table Tennis
Gymnastics
Taekwando
There's few here that I wouldn't consider athletic. What the school should realize is that any activity that teaches a kid something productive, keeps him away from bad influences, and gives hom something positive to do is a good thing. Find a way around liability problems. There's quite a few schools out there doing this now, the kids that aren't involved with the traditional sports now have a niche of their own. Dan
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Old 08-07-2003, 01:49 PM
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THANK YOU DAN!!!!

My point exactly, why do we think an athlete as only someone who can run fast, jump high, kick far, catch a football with one hand, leap over tall buildings in a single bound, ect. ect....

We can no longer stereotype athletes, it is an ability to perform a sport, no matter what the sport is.

My son is a gaurd on the Varsity football team, so he is an athlete while playing football, but when he races his car in a sanctioned event he is not, I dont think so!

As far as liability I signed a release of libility for him to race, ie. the track, NHRA, SPONSERS, BLA BLA BLA.....

my son is trying to encurage his friend to come and race (HELP),
now they are hesitant.
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Old 08-07-2003, 03:24 PM
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Most definitely. It takes endurance to pilot a car at high speed for hundreds of miles. There is no money ( or recognition ) in it for the schools so they have no interest in supporting it.

What about golf? How much actual time do you spend using your muscles?
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Old 08-08-2003, 05:35 AM
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If you have ever watched Sat Night Live, you know Syncronous Swimming is under going a revival and is a sport!


Canba youbbbb he-ear me nowbbbbb
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Old 08-08-2003, 07:43 AM
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Hey, it just dawned on me - I am a top athlete too! I am far superior to most other athletes with respect to endurance, spending 10 hour days in a 110F shop without stopping for lunch. Strength-wise, I am world class, lifting 300# truck beds into place, 200# cast iron hydro trannys into position while laying on my back under a car, carry built 200R4 trannys all over the shop, installing pickup doors and 9" Ford rear ends single-handedly. That is just the strength skills - I also have extraordinary eye-hand coordination, putting together carburetors, automatic trannys and installing frenched tail light housings. Move over Michael Jordan, get out of the way Barry Bonds, step down Kurt Warner, I am the greatest!!
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