BIDDEFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Kasey Kahne won a wild NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Brickyard on Sunday. Because of delays and accidents, the race took seven hours.
After Kahne climbed from his race car, he began to appear woozy. It was the result of a long day in a hot race car.
Dr. Lara Carlson of the University of New England (UNE) has been studying the effects of heat on NASCAR drivers. Her research shows that they can lose up to 4 percent of their body weight in sweat as the day goes on.
"We find that they lose an average of 1.9 liters of liquid per hour," she said, from a lab at UNE. "Anytime an athlete loses 2 percent of their mass, their performance declines."
Good hydration and strength are important in any sport. She believes it makes sense in auto racing, especially as the sport becomes more scientific.