Many fans often wonder about NASCAR drivers and their bathroom habits during a race. The drivers sometimes wish they could exit the car during the race and make their own style of pit stop. Millions of dollars entice drivers to hold their bladders as long as possible. Each time a driver stops to get new tires or fuel, someone hands them a cup of fluids. The drivers sweat profusely for the entire race. Many drivers report losses of five pounds or more during a typical race in the circuit. But what happens when the drivers need to pee during a race without a bathroom break?
NASCAR drivers don’t drink as much fluid as they appear to drink. The drivers and their teams regularly consult health professionals and sports scientists to find the right amount of fluids for consumption before and during the race. An ideal balance for hydration usually aids the drivers in competing at their highest level. Most fans believe that the drivers drink too much fluid to hold in all the urine, however, drivers rarely consume more than they need. Too much fluid would distract them while they are navigating the fast turns. They must be able to weave in and out of traffic without anything bothering them.
Drivers lose almost every ounce of fluid possible during a race. In fact they perspire enough so that they often don’t urinate at all until the race ends. Your body can’t urinate if most of the fluids exit your body through your sweat. The weight drivers lose due to racing mostly consists of water and salt. This very same water and salt could have caused them to have an urge to urinate. Most drivers only experience some minor discomfort while holding their urine. A driver may experience some trouble once in a while, but these incidents make up the minority in most cases.
In an interview Dale Earnhardt Jr. once stated that drivers just have to pee their pants if they can’t hold their urine any longer. Many fans assume that drivers have a bucket or cup available to them in the car, but NASCAR drivers quell these rumors whenever possible. With the modern safety advances inside the vehicles, drivers don’t have time to use anything for relief. The HANS device keeps them safe and secure inside the car during the duration of the race. Safety crews may remove a HANS device after a wreck, after the race, or during the race only when a driver must switch.
Tony Stewart once exited his car during a July race at Daytona a few years ago. Stewart later revealed that he had been dealing with flu symptoms. He denied exiting the car just to use the restroom. A report later surfaced that showed Stewart had visited a physician in the days leading up to the race to get intravenous treatment. The flu symptoms caused Stewart to experience extreme dehydration and dizziness. Some drivers seek intravenous treatments during the hot summer months anyway as they prepare to sit in their cars for the entirety of the races.
The hot races in the summer actually make peeing less likely. Higher temperatures inside the car cause more sweating which leads to a lack of fluids in the bladder. The earliest and latest races on the schedule actually present the biggest challenges to the drivers. These cooler races make their bodies hold more fluid rather than sweat it all out. The Daytona 500, the grandest stage in NASCAR, may actually be the race where the most drivers pee their pants. The anxiety and the cooler temperatures combine to trap the drivers in a pee frenzy they can’t escape at times.
Race fans often wonder how the outside factors actually affect the race. The need to urinate can certainly distract a driver enough to throw them off their game. Drivers need the ability to concentrate as much as possible to make sure they drive the fastest times. Fighting off the urination urges may prove to be a deciding factor in the outcome of any given race. The drivers that can’t control their bladders often don’t win races as much as drivers who can.
Perhaps someone could invent a way to help the drivers relieve the urine during a race. Careful planning and strategy could help engineers devise a product that goes in the pants to soak up the pee. In the meantime, the drivers will have to continue to hold their bladders until more technology arrives to help.