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NASCAR - The Drivers Training

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

NASCAR - The Drivers Training

Chris DiCicco
November 16, 2007

So maybe you are fascinated with NASCAR and would like to choose this as a career. How does one go about participating in race driver training so as to become a driver? There are drivers training schools but all are very expensive and there is no guarantee that you will become a real NASCAR driver. So what kind of training makes a professional driver?

Well, just as in other professional sports, the competition to be a driver is very tough. But more than that, the majority of people don’t get there because of a lack of driver training. It usually is because of who they know, who their family is, and where they started. These drivers start when they are very young and run the go cart circuits. Their fathers were probably race car drivers. They probably ran into a promoter or sponsor somewhere along the way that gives them their big break.

NASCAR driver training includes the physical portion and also stresses mental conditioning. Although to the fans it looks easy, a driver’s brain has to work very fast to be alert to other cars around him while trying to take the lead and maintain it.

The best training has been learned in the early years by most of these drivers when they were just children. Growing up around tracks and being able to drive the cars at young ages allowed the driver training to become somewhat instinctive. This is very important because later on during professional competition, the carbon monoxide levels can get very high inside of the driver’s compartment. Carbon monoxide can cause confusion. The way to overcome confusion is to depend on instinct. Training accentuates the instinct.

The physical conditioning of the driver is the subject for an article all its own but you can think about it as somewhat like an astronaut preparing for his or her first launch. The G forces are very significant for a race car driver and driver training includes getting conditioned to them. Astronauts experience significantly more G forces but the NASCAR driver should include conditioning for them nonetheless.

The training also includes the driver’s education from a young age. You might ask what non-driving education has to do with NASCAR driver training. Well, a driver is going to be promoting the products of some very large and prominent companies. That means that along the way he or she will have to give an endorsement of the products. If these guys get in front of the camera and cannot use proper grammar it would not look too good.

Another reason why education is important in NASCAR is because the driver won’t be able to drive forever. Once a driver gets into middle age, it becomes tougher. So he will need to be able to branch out into other aspects of the racing “business.” He’ll probably still be running the team but will have to think more of the business aspect of things. This is where business and marketing education would be most beneficial.

Many of the retired drivers such as Richard Petty operate driving schools as well as serious driver improvement programs when they’re offering NASCAR driving experiences for those wondering what it’s like to be as a NASCAR driver.

Chris DiCicco owner of www.nascarsupershop.com is also the senior editor and website developer for his store. We offer 1000’s of Nascar collectibles and Memorabilia including Nascar Jackets and Nascar Jerseys at great prices everyday!

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