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Dean Thompson Off-Season Turn: The Kickboxing Adventure

Dean Thompson Off-Season Turn: Dean Thompson, known for his prowess behind the wheel of the No. 5 Toyota Tundra for Tricon Garage in NASCAR, is embarking on a surprising off-season journey—venturing into the realm of kickboxing. The roar of engines and screech of tires now share space with the echoing thuds and sharp jabs at the Kinchen Martial Arts Academy as Thompson explores this newfound passion.

In a departure from his usual domain, Thompson finds solace in the adrenaline-fueled world of kickboxing. His voice reverberates with the thrill of these intense sessions, describing them as an emotional release.

“It’s like an emotional release…when you hit something that’s clean and good contact, you feel good. You feel a release.”

For Thompson, this shift isn’t arbitrary; it’s a calculated step toward fortifying both mental resilience and physical prowess. The kickboxing ring serves as a pressure valve, providing an outlet to release the stress and anxieties inherent in the high-speed universe of racing.

“It’s more protected than a regular fight. Just points…I didn’t want to go in there and get knocked out and get a concussion.”

Under the seasoned tutelage of Kyoshi Cliff Kinchen, an eighth-degree black belt with a three-decade coaching tenure, Thompson undergoes rigorous training. The emphasis isn’t solely on knockouts but also on precision and technique, fostering a controlled environment equipped with protective gear to prevent severe injuries.

Thompson’s foray into kickboxing isn’t confined to the ring; it permeates his approach to racing. The philosophy of selecting shots judiciously and maintaining composure under pressure finds parallels on the track. His sparring partners, fellow Truck Series drivers Lawless Alan and Tyler Ankrum, add diversity to his training routine, each offering unique challenges.

“I think mentality is just as important as talent when it comes to driving…I think mentality and what I get from kickboxing…is just as important as simulator time or laps on the track.”

Dean Thompson Off-Season Turn (1)

Reflecting on the crossover benefits, Thompson underscores the advantages of this unconventional training regimen. Fueled by Toyota Racing’s collaboration with the Kinchen Martial Arts Academy, Thompson dedicates two to three days per week to this Californian-inspired passion.

Witnessing Thompson’s drills during one of his training sessions offered a glimpse into his rigorous preparation. Beyond physical conditioning, kickboxing instills invaluable self-defense skills and a sense of responsibility. As Caitlin Quinn, Director of Performance at the Toyota Performance Center, emphasizes, this discipline equips drivers to navigate real-world scenarios, prioritizing professionalism over confrontation.

ALSO READ: Dean Thompson Unconventional Path: NASCAR Driver’s Kickboxing Journey

Our Reader’s Queries

Which truck series driver was taken to the hospital?

During the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Love’s RV Stop 250 Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway, two accidents occurred resulting in Stewart Friesen and Greg Van Alst being sent to the hospital for further examination. Despite being checked at the infield care center, their injuries required additional attention. Brett Moffitt emerged as the winner of the race.

Who was the driver injured in the Nascar race?

Ryan Preece, a NASCAR driver, was involved in a horrific crash at Daytona International Speedway. His car rolled multiple times, causing concern for his safety. However, Preece was discharged from the hospital just 12 hours later and is now on his way home. Despite the terrifying incident, he is thankfully okay.

Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia, a distinguished BA (Hons) English graduate from St. Stephen College (University of Delhi) and a holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (English) from IIMC Delhi, is an accomplished journalist. Currently affiliated with, Khushal is an expert in covering a range of sports topics with a specialization in motorsports, particularly NASCAR. His insightful articles explore the nuances of the sporting world, providing readers with comprehensive analysis and the latest updates. With a commitment to unbiased reporting, Khushal's expertise and authoritative voice make him a reliable source for sports enthusiasts.


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