Apr 23, 2014, 4:10 PM EST
The next time someone says they doubt that NASCAR drivers are athletes, show them this story.
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne spent the Easter off-weekend competing in a different type of race – and he wound up winning.
In just his second career sprint triathlon (also known as a short-distance triathlon that features a 750-meter swim, 20k-bike ride and a 5k-run), Bayne captured the TryCharleston sprint triathlon in South Carolina.
Bayne finished first in his age group – males 20 to 24 years old – with a personal best time of 1:10:21.
“It was a lot of fun,” Bayne said in a Roush Fenway Racing media release. “The weather didn’t really cooperate … but it went well. I won my age group – which was cool – and definitely improved my sprint-tri time.
“I improved my time by 12 minutes from my first event in Key West, and ended up 30th overall, which is pretty good out of over 200 people.”
Bayne’s outstanding performance in the tri was indicative of the kind of season he’s also having on the racetrack, with six top-10 finishes in seven Nationwide starts this season.
The driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang looks to make it seven top-10s – and potentially a win – in Friday’s NNS race at Richmond International Raceway. Bayne has two top-five and three top-10 finishes in six starts at the .75-mile track.
Bayne has always been a fitness buff, but has ratcheted up his conditioning over the last year with increased workouts, healthier eating and the like. He’s also taken a lot of cues from mega-buff fitness nut and RFR teammate Carl Edwards.
“I think the more physically and mentally sharp you can be in the race car the better off you are,” Bayne said. “I think the training has gotten me much more physically fit for the race.
“If you can run or ride your bike or run outside for a couple of hours, it really helps you stay sharp focused as well. You are mentally stronger at the end of the race and you are able to make good decisions throughout the race.”
With a positive outlook like that, could a workout video starring Bayne be too far behind?
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
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