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People may not realize what is required of NASCAR drivers. There is more to becoming a professional driver than simply having the ability to handle a fast car. There is much required of each driver mentally and physically. 

Training Starts Young
Training often begins when young. Children may develop a love for speed and driving while whipping around a go-kart track. Some drivers build and race soapbox cars. When they become older, youngsters may progress to riding dirt bikes or motorcycles. 

After becoming licensed drivers, young drivers may enter the local racing circuit under the supervision of more experienced drivers. They might begin their career by racing stock cars. Learning to handle more powerful machines requires practicing by driving muscle cars. 

Honing Skills
Graduating to NASCAR status begins by obtaining a pit pass to a professional racetrack. Talk with pit crews and meet some professional drivers. Professionals have the knowledge, and skill novice racers need to gain skill and experience. Perhaps consider attending a professional racing school. 

Physical Ability
NASCAR racing does not only entail being able to handle a fast car. Drivers must also spend time conditioning their bodies. The majority of drivers are slim and toned. There are different reasons why professionals need to adhere to some type of fitness regimen. 

According to NASCAR guidelines, vehicles must weigh a minimum of 3,325 pounds. Drivers stay physically conditioned to minimize weight added to the vehicle. The lesser the weight, the faster the car is able to travel. 

Racing cars do not have to have air-conditioning. The interior of the vehicle often exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit, as heat from the engine and other mechanical components enter the cabin. When racing during the summer, the interior temperatures climb that much higher. 

Professional drivers also battle being able to handle the vehicle while enduring G-forces that occur when the car travels at approximately 200 miles or more per hour. While enduring environmental stressors, drivers must be able to remain emotionally calm and mentally focused. The healthier and more fit a driver becomes, the better they are able to withstand the stress during a particularly long race. Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Burton, Jimmie Johnson, and other professional drivers adopt individual fitness programs to stay in shape.