What Do NASCAR Drivers Do in the Offseason?

by Scott Huntington On Thu, Nov. 30, 2017

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 19: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

When the smoke of burning rubber clears and the engines turn off, how do NASCAR drivers spend their time? At times, the offseason is about relaxing. But most drivers also manage to get a lot accomplished during their off time. Here are some of the many different ways that NASCAR drivers spend the offseason.

Give Back

Many drivers use part of the offseason to give back by raising money for, and participating in, charities. Their star power gives them a unique opportunity to raise funds and make a big impact. Driver David Ragan, for instance, has raised around $150,000 for the Shriners Hospitals for Children through various charity campaigns and personal donations. At the 2012 Ice Cold Shriners Bowl at Lanier National Speedway, he raffled off a signature custom motorcycle and raised $20,000.

Test New Gear

The break from the regular season also provides a chance for drivers, their crews and manufacturers to test new racing equipment. You can find drivers testing out everything from tires to entirely new models of cars. This enables these new devices to possibly see use in races the next season and lets drivers get a sneak peek at the latest gear.

Enjoy the Limelight

From public appearances to star-studded parties to TV and movie appearances, many of NASCAR’s personalities don’t avoid the limelight when they’re not racing. A recent Hollywood movie about a heist at NASCAR race, Lucky Logan, featured cameo appearances from various drivers including Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski. Public appearances give NASCAR stars a chance to meet with their fans.

Promote for Next Season

The drivers who make appearances in TV, movies and out in public probably enjoy them, but having fun isn’t their only purpose. They also help to promote the drivers and NASCAR in general. Events and media appearances help keep racing on fan’s minds and may even attract some new fans in time for the new season.

Try Other Types of Racing

Even though it’s the offseason, it’s not uncommon to still see drivers on the track. Whether they’re racing just for fun or for training purposes, the pause gives these professional motorists an opportunity to experience new and different kinds of driving. You might see your favorite NASCAR champs doing the same things you can do yourself, participating in drag races and sprint car races or even driving go-karts.

Work Out

Even though they’re on break, NASCAR drivers can’t afford to neglect their health and fitness. They need to stay in good physical condition to be able to withstand the demands of a NASCAR race. So, they hit the gym and make sure to fit some cardio into their busy schedules. To prepare for the intense heat of sitting in the driver’s seat, Jimmie Johnson puts on sweat suits and goes on long rides on his mountain bike.

Have Fun

Of course, NASCAR stars also spend some time relaxing and having fun while they’re away from the track. The offseason is a perfect chance to spend much-needed time with family and friends, enjoy holidays and indulge in hobbies. This helps them come back refreshed for the next season, ready to take on any challenges they face. It will be here before you know it.

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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