Coca-Cola 600 Pit Note # 5
Since the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the longest stock car race on the NASCAR schedule, do the drivers or crew have special diets?
Todd Bodine (No. 64, Gunselman / GEICO Toyota) - "A lot of pasta, the night before. Cereal in the morning. A peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich for lunch. It has a lot of protein. It might not be the right thing to do, but it works for me."
Robbie Loomis (former Sprint Cup crew chief, now a team executive for Richard Petty Motorsports) - "As a crew chief, I tried to find a happy balance. I didn't want to be running to the bathroom too often during the race. Now, I'm not too worried about it because of what I'm doing. Just look at me."
Andy Petree (former Sprint Cup crew chief and car owner, now an ESPN-TV analyst) - "Back during the time when I was out there, a lot of people didn't have diets and such on their mind a lot. People just didn't pay it much attention like maybe we should have. All at least started thinking about it in the last few years. When this race went to a night race, that changed a lot of people's thinking. You're spending so much energy before the race starts that your body changes and you have to do things different."
Dr. Jerry Punch (ESPN-TV's lead anchor for NASCAR Sprint Cup races) - "Many of these race teams now are starting to mimic what other teams in other sports are doing. If it's me and I own a race team with a shop in the area, I'd put them through some night practice before the 600, just to get them accustomed to it. Another good thing is to get in some catnaps - like 20-minute naps, not two-hour naps. You can recharge your battery in a 20-minute nap. After a catnap, a cat's pretty quick. It helps."
Jeff Burton (No. 31, Childress / Caterpillar Chevrolet) - "I've eaten during this race. I've eaten during other races. I don't like to because there are issues with eating during a race or any sporting event. I don't like to eat, but I've eaten like protein bars and stuff like that. I've definitely done that. My thing is keeping the fluids in. It seems like, if I keep the fluids in, I'm okay."
Denny Hamlin (No. 11, Joe Gibbs Racing / FedEx Toyota) - "I think everyone takes in a little more water an extra day early. I don't think people prepare that much differently. The difference between 500 and 600 miles is not that big of a deal. If you're used to 100-mile races, and you do 200 - then it's a little bit bigger deal. I think, percentage-wise, it's not too much longer of a race than what we do each weekend. I just start drinking water one day earlier than what I normally would. I tend to get cramped up a whole lot in the cars, so it's definitely a challenge for me, not necessarily physically, but I get cramped if I don't move around much. It's not too bad - if there's a long green-flag run, then the race will go by quickly, really, just like a 500-mile race."
Greg Biffle (No. 16, Roush / 3M Ford Fusion) - "There are only a limited amount of things we can do. One, we try to get as hydrated as we can on Saturday for Sunday's race, and that's still really important because that's where most of the fatigue comes from - being dehydrated. You get a headache, and you're low on energy and all things when you get dehydrated. Second, leading up to that, you have to be in the best shape you can be to be ready to run 600 miles. There are a lot of things you need to do ahead of time to get ready for this."
Kyle Petty (former Sprint Cup driver, now a television analyst) - "Nothing special. Just make sure you're hydrated. That's the main thing."