Baltimore Sun

Motor racing is a sport, so keep it in sports section

- — Aaron Meisner, Baltimore

It appears that some readers may be under the misguided impression that racing drivers are “not athletes.” I am going to have to throw a black flag at this argument and send the letter writer in for a drive-through penalty (“Too many non-sports, like NASCAR and MMA, covered in sports section,” July 20).

Driving a racing car demands intense focus in what are literally life-or-death circumstan­ces. Competitor­s make countless mental calculatio­ns during every lap and must concern themselves with factors including tire condition, fuel management, weather and handling dynamics — to name only a few. This all must be done under brutal physical conditions with searing heat, massive cornering and braking forces — all while muscling a thoroughbr­ed race car with little in the way of the accommodat­ions you might find in your family car.

Finally, drivers must do all of this while assessing the mental state and skills of their competitor­s, the relative competitiv­eness of their cars and their personal appetite for risk, injury and even death. Ernest Hemingway famously argued that there are only three sports: mountainee­ring, bullfighti­ng, and motor racing. Everything else, he said, is just a game.

Keep motor racing in the Sports section. Now, perhaps we can chat about golf …

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