Even when NASCAR drivers aren’t racing for hours on the weekends, they still crave competition. A handful of drivers decided to combine their love of racing and competition with exercising and staying in shape.
Jamie McMurray is training for his first full marathon, and he told The Kansas City Star that he plans to run eight miles on Friday before the weekend’s NASCAR races. Kasey Kahne rode his bike about 40 miles on the roads around Kansas Speedway, and they are part of a group of NASCAR drivers who exercise together in between races.
Other drivers in their group include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Chase Elliott.
“There’s a little bit of psychological side when you get to that three or four hour mark and you’re in pain, of just sucking it up or toughing it out,” McMurray said. “I like that. I know it sounds really weird that I enjoy the pain part of it, but I look forward to that because I don’t feel like everybody can do it.”
Kahne said he enjoys the long bike rides because they provide him with an escape from the rigors of the difficult NASCAR schedule.
“It’s been really nice just to get away,” Kahne said. “Whether I’m with a group or by myself, it’s just nice to get out in the open air and just ride. It just really kind of clears your mind in away.”
McMurray, Kahne, Kenseth and Johnson all participated in The Assault on Mt. Mitchell, which is a 102.7-mile bike ride with a 10,000 foot elevation.
Even when these drivers aren’t competing for a championship, they still like to remain competitive off the track, and staying in shape and improving their health doesn’t hurt, either.