When most people think of a NASCAR Driver, they don’t immediately think of a top-conditioned athlete. This has been a “hot topic” for years and in my opinion, there are some drivers that are very fit and healthy (I would consider them to be in “professional athletic shape”). On the other hand, there are many drivers who don’t pay any attention to their health or fitness and are generally not in “professional athletic shape”. Both of these different types of drivers have won races and championships, which makes it a difficult subject to debate.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there are drivers out there winning races that are in terrible shape, however there are many that don’t make fitness a priority. But again, there are some drivers that are in incredible shape that I would put up against most any other athlete in the world.
The question is, does being in the best shape possible have an effect on how you perform as a NASCAR driver? My answer is, yes.
With a 33-race weekend schedule, there are many different scenarios you face as a driver. On some weekends it’s nice and cool outside, which alleviates the temperature inside of the car and if your car is driving really well, you and your car are able to establish peak performance without too much strain. But then again, there are some races when it’s close to 150 degrees in the car which requires you to be conditioned physically and mentally to get through the two-hour+ event.
There are some scenarios that require you to utilize your peak condition. This season I lost power steering 15 laps into a 200-lap race, it took everything I had to turn the steering wheel far enough to make it around one corner at 180mph. Every single corner of every lap was a test of my physical conditioning. Being able to finish this race earned us 15 valuable championship points. This one race alone was worth all of the hard work it took for me to be in the best shape possible.
Athletes have a choice of either doing what’s needed to get by or working hard to achieve and maintain optimum physical and mental conditioning.
I chose to make the investment and hired the services of Professional Motorsports Trainer, Aldon Baker. I want to be the best racecar driver that I can be and removing driver fatigue was a huge goal that Aldon and I set for this season. Eliminating any doubt about my physical readiness for races means I can rely on my driving talent and team effort to ultimately compete for wins.
Before I even started with Aldon most people would consider me to be one of the drivers that’s in really good shape. But I didn’t want to be just in really good shape, I wanted to be in great shape and knew I could do even better. Showing up at the track every weekend with the confidence that I’m in better shape than any of the other 39 drivers that I’m racing against is a key motivator.
Aldon started off by transforming my diet, cutting out a lot of things I was eating and drinking. Guys, I haven’t had ice cream in 10 MONTHS! We did physical tests and measurements to develop weekly workout plans. Luckily, Aldon approved all of the ingredients in CELSIUS and I always drink one before my workouts. After almost 10 months of dedication and discipline, I am heading into the last few races knowing I am in top shape, physically and mentally, that I was striving for. I’m set for continued success in the 2018 season!