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NASCAR Drivers Health Challenges: Battling Conditions Inside the Stock Cars

NASCAR Drivers Health Challenges: Ever pondered why NASCAR drivers seem exhausted when they emerge from their cars? The conditions inside a stock car aren’t easy to endure. But what happens if a driver falls ill during a race?

With so much on the line in every race, pulling over for a break isn’t an option. Even if a driver is unwell, they soldier on. Crew members step in to assist in the sweltering confines of the car.

Support, however, is limited to minor health concerns, like a scratchy throat. In such cases, during a pit stop, the pit crew might attach a cough drop to a water bottle and place it within reach of the driver’s seat.

Yet, NASCAR drivers often face more challenging situations than just a sore throat. The most significant health challenge they encounter during a race is the risk of dehydration.

Veteran NASCAR driver David Ragan, who retired in 2019 and now serves as a FOX Sports analyst, shed light on the extreme temperatures within stock cars.

“It’s usually about 30 to 40 degrees hotter inside the car than the outside ambient temperature,” Ragan explained. He mentioned shedding around 5 to 7 pounds solely through sweating during a race.

Considering NASCAR races can last three to four hours, drivers are subjected to prolonged exposure to heat and humidity. They must stay hydrated throughout these extended periods.

“We don’t have air conditioners inside our race cars. We do have a bit of fresh air from outside, filtered for carbon monoxide, so we get some clean air to breathe, but it’s far from cool,” added Ragan.

NASCAR Drivers Health Challenges (1)

While drinking water isn’t feasible as it could trigger the need for a bathroom break, many drivers turn to sodium tablets to maintain essential minerals and salts lost through sweat.

Ragan noted that drivers sweat so much that they rarely need a bathroom break, even after consuming ample water. “Generally, you sweat out so much you don’t have to go. In over 11 years in the NASCAR Cup Series, I’ve never had to use the bathroom badly enough.”

ALSO READ: How to Become a NASCAR Driver: Navigating the Path to Racing Success

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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