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What Drives NASCAR Drivers?

Aug 17, 2007
NASCAR drivers give up time with their families, a lot of money, and potentially their lives to have a career in racing. What kind of passion motivates them?

Imagine what family time is like for a NASCAR driver. Testing begins in January and races don't end until mid-November. That's racing or practicing almost every weekend and the week is the time for race preparation. Lack of time together strains even the strongest of marriages. That's why Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has chosen to stay single for now. He says he has seen half a dozen marriages fail and expects to see another half dozen end because of racing. The long and brutal schedule doesn't leave much time for family life.

NASCAR racing is an expensive sport. Someone has to pay for entry fees, travel expenses, and racing gear. It's not uncommon to hear of parents taking out a second mortgage to get their kids to the track so they can be discovered. Being a big name in the NASCAR news is the ultimate goal for these families. For some families, like Denny Hamlin's, it has really paid off. Denny has been able to give back to his parents everything that they gave up for him to succeed and them some. Not everyone is so lucky.

Although NASCAR is cracking down on safety, racing is still a dangerous sport with the death toll at a startling 32 since the inception of NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt, Sr. left not only a nameless faceless nation of NASCAR fans in mourning on the fateful day of this death but people who loved him and called him friend. Drivers crave the speed and the thrill of racing. Do they ever feel fear when they strap into their seats and get ready to travel at speeds close to 200 mph? If they do, they're not telling.

What kind of passion compels NASCAR drivers to take the risk every time they get on the track? Does the possibility that they might lose their life ever cause them to rethink their decision to be a driver? Is it worth it? To be able to do something every day that they love and have a passion for is enough for these guys. The fever that drives these NASCAR stars is something that causes them to make sacrifices and never look back. And the millions of NASCAR fans are grateful.
About the Author
David Stargel publishes several NASCAR related websites in addition to writing about all sorts of NASCAR related topics.
Check out The NASCAR Circuit
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