Caitlin
Shaw

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 Caitlin qualified for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in Phoenix Ingternational last November (2010) Other women who raced in the series in 2010 at Jennifer Jo Cobb, Johsnns Long, Michelle Theriault, Angela Cope, and Amber Cope.

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Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women
Contact: eMail |
www.caitlinshawracing.com/

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Are Racecar Drivers Athletes?


Welcome back to GirlRacer.co.uk with my weekly pit stop, I'm your driver -- Caitlin Shaw! As a driver I might have a bit of a bias in stating that, racecar drivers are athletes. However, I have also competed in a variety of traditional sports. I know the workout regimens for soccer are extremely difficult having competed at a youth national level for nine years and winning a national championship with my team in 2006 - it was a lot of hard work. Yet, now that I have turned my focus towards racing, I still use many of the same workout programs for the motorsports industry that I used for soccer. I still do not drink soda and I limit my intake of fast and fatty foods. I feel like I am just as much of an athlete as I was when I was playing traditional sports. However, there are different aspects to competing in a motorsport race than there are in a soccer game. For instance, there is no slide tackling, no shoulder to shoulder action, and unfortunately, there are no diving headers into the goal. Yet, an Olympic runner doesn't have the physical contact of a soccer or football player and they are considered an athlete, and a soccer player may not have the flexibility and agility of a gymnast but they too are considered an athlete. Three qualities that make an athlete are skill, physical ability, and mental ability. Racecar drivers must possess all three of these to compete in an event.

When I asked GirlRacer enthusiasts if racers were athletes, I had very mixed responses on what qualities make an athlete. Most of the GirlRacer fans agreed that a racer was an athlete. However, one strongly disagreed. He stated, "I would have to say that racecar drivers are not athletes. Driving a racecar is a skill that very few people have. I am not trying to take anything away from what drivers do. In what other sport can a 50-year-old athlete, a 30-year-old athlete and a 20-year-old athlete all compete on the same level? Even golf has a senior tour. Mark Martin's success this season has definitely made many question the athleticism needed to drive a racecar. Granted, Mark Martin is in excellent shape and works out harder than just about anyone in the garage area works. However, he is 50 and he is able to beat an 18-year-old." He goes on to state, "The fact that racing is physically exhausting does not make racecar drivers athletes". While his points could be a valid argument, Brett Favre is a 40-year-old and competes against 20-year-olds in the NFL. Are football players not considered athletes because of the age differences? Jimmie Johnson a dominant driver in the series is 34-years-old, which in the NASCAR industry is an average age for wins. According to NASCAR.com 1/3rd of all wins recorded have been won by drivers age 31 - 35, with this information, Mark Martin at 50-years-old is an outlier in this category, but he works harder than most to succeed on the track. Michael Waltrip is 46-years-old he's had a long and victorious career, but he has recognized his decline in performance due to age and is cutting back his races in 2010 to give younger athletes in their prime like 29-year-old Martin Truex Jr. a golden opportunity to compete with his organization. Mark Martin is an inspiration to many of the drivers in the garage. They see his strict, demanding workouts and diet and his results that come from his dedication. If he were just a 50-year-old man and not an athlete, he would not be in the position he is in today.
Source: Her blog at www.girlracer.co.uk/component/myblog Find additional stories there.

In July 2009, Caitlin made her NASCAR debut in the CWTS at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Caitlin qualified 32nd and ended up finishing 24th in Tom DeLoach’s #1 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra machine. Caitlin commented after the race, "It was such an adrenaline rush!"

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