Nascar drivers should be considered as professional athletes. Nascar drivers do not get as much credit as they deserve. Nascar drivers have the worst workout ever, as they withstand temperatures of 100 degrees or more in the car. Drivers also have to try to drive flawlace with about 300 lbs of g force pushing them for 4 hours. Most Nascar drivers are active triathlon runners on the off time to stay in shape for racing. In most sports players get breaks and halftime, in racing you do not get breaks once you are strapped in that's where you will be competing at you max for the next 4 hours. All Nascar teams have their own gyms and set schedules for the drivers to work out every week. To conclude that you have your annual fight between drivers. Fighting is a sport alone and throw that on top of driving. One last point on that is you get hurt and pretty beat up in this sport. Whether you got hurt in a fight or your wrecked your car, people have died competing in this sport. Nascar is a hard sport and the Drivers need the credit for it.
The drivers in NASCAR should be considered athletes due in part that it not only takes skill to become an elite driver but hours of physical and mental training. Rigorous workouts, hand-eye coordination drills, weight maintenance and nutrition regiments, and strategy briefings are but a few of the things all NASCAR drivers must take part in not just to remain competitive but to reduce injury and react faster to hazards on the track.
There is a growing number of activities being considered sports and a corresponding backlash against their practitioners being considered athletes. Due to the incredible reflexes required and the demands placed on the driver's bodies I think that in this instance it is more than fair to consider NASCAR drivers as athletes.
How the hell is this considered a sport when drivers just sit in their car and drive around a loop?! I do understand the temperatures in those machines are very high but if this is considered a sport, then go carting is also a sport. There is no strenuous activity involved in this, now if the drivers would get out, fill up their gas and change their tires then it would change the whole thing.
NASCAR drivers should not be considered professional athletes. Entertainers? Perhaps. Sorry, but sitting in the seat of a car only making left turns all say is anything but athletics. While NASCAR events are fun and draw huge crowds, they are no more sporting events than going to watch a movie is athletic.