NASCAR PIT CREWS REV THEIR ENGINES AS
THEY GEAR UP FOR DAYTONA 500
Foods that fuel – and lots of them – keep
the teams running smoothly
WELCOME, N.C. (Feb. 5, 2003) — What do the hardest
working men in NASCAR racing — the pit crews — eat prior to a
“A lot,” according to Brett Cumming,
Fitness Trainer for Richard Childress Racing (RCR), an eight-time
NASCAR championship-winning organization and owner of three NASCAR
Winston Cup and two Busch Series racing teams.
In any given week before a race, Cumming’s
five pit crews (which total 35 people) consume on average 1500 eggs,
100 pounds of pasta, 1000 containers of sports drinks, and the equivalent
of a produce section of a grocery store.
Typical racing fare is consumed not only by pit
crews, but by many of RCR’s drivers. Kevin Harvick, who has
won Winston Cup races, rookie titles in both the Winston Cup Series
and Busch Series and a Busch championship, follows a nutrition regimen
consisting of high-energy foods that go the distance. For instance,
Harvick’s pre-race breakfasts often include eggs because they
are quick to prepare and loaded with protein.
“When pit crews are preparing for a big
race, like the upcoming Daytona 500 or when they’re pulling
‘double duty’, where they have races scheduled back to
back, we choose foods that pack the biggest punch, and we eat a
lot of them,” says Cumming, who also serves on one of the RCR
A standard race day menu, according to Cumming,
includes the following:
Breakfast – Cumming encourages eggs for
each pit crew team member. Eggs contain high quality protein, vitamins
and minerals, and are low in calories. Plus, the American Heart
Association no longer restricts the number of yolks in the diets
of healthy individuals.
Lunch – Lunch is for carbo-loading. The men eat one to two
bowls of pasta every day during racing season, often mixed with
vegetables. Pasta is a great energy booster because the muscles
primarily burn carbohydrates during exercise.
Sports Drinks and Energy Bars- Two sports drinks
a day and plenty of water to prevent dehydration and replenish the
electrolytes that are lost through sweating, and 20 boxes of nutrition
Fruits and Vegetables – 75 bananas, 60 pears,
100 apples and lots of carrot sticks are consumed as “munchies”
throughout each race day.
Dinner – Fish, in lots of varieties. It’s
a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart.
The pit crew’s favorites are catfish, followed by salmon, trout
“For a pit crew to do all that they
need to do in 12 – 14 seconds, they need to be fit and fast, and
diet plays a big role in that,” says Cumming.
For more information about NASCAR and
Winston Cup racing and “foods that fuel,” log on to www.rcrracing.com