Anyone involved in racing (from driving to commentating to watching on the couch) has heard the argument that drivers aren’t athletes.
“They just sit in the car for four hours and turn left,” is a common refrain from the naysayers. Even former Pro Bowl Quarterback Donovan McNabb agreed. (Of course, he didn’t realize games in his own sport could end in a tie.)
Drivers, in turn, have spent the last 10-15 years dispelling the myth, none more so than seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson. JJ drove 400 miles in Richmond Saturday night (finishing 12th) then finished the Boston Marathon Monday morning in 3:09:07, good enough to qualify him again if he wants.
“I’ve loved the experience and enjoyed all the pain and suffering that comes with it,” Johnson told the Associated Press.
And can we recognize for a second that he did this in-season?
Anyone in the loop knows that Johnson has become a training freak over the past few years, running a half marathon during Daytona Speedweeks this year, competing in triathlons, and being part of a group of dozens in the NASCAR garage who cycle both on the road and in the mountains. What people might not put together is just how rampant the desire for fitness is in the racing community.
Let’s take a look at some of the non-racing feats of racers in NASCAR and INDYCAR:
The list goes on and on, but Jimmie Johnson’s exploits put the nail in the coffin for arguments made by McNabb and many others through the years.
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