On Wednesday, June 23, the “I AM ATHLETE” hosts dropped a special video to continue a crossover with NASCAR. Channing Crowder, Chad Johnson, Fred Taylor, Brandon Marshall, and comedian Lou Young all donned helmets and learned about the top pit crews in motorsports. A select few hosts then attempted to conduct a pit stop of their own, finding varying levels of success.
Prior to testing their skills at a pit stop, the hosts first had to stand by and listen as a NASCAR legend dropped some knowledge. Coach Phil Horton, the director of athletic performance at Rev Racing and the man who trains the Drive for Diversity crews, explained just how long pit crews have to train in order to reach the top level and begin conducting stops in under 14 seconds.
“Listen, it takes about four years to be a Cup pit man on the top circuit,” Coach Horton said during the episode. “So, if y’all can master it in a day, then we might keep y’all here. You might not be able to make it out that gate.”
Horton then led the former NFL athletes through a quick warmup in which they stretched, jogged, and prepared for the explosive movements of a pit stop. However, Johnson did not take part due to wearing new shoes. He didn’t want “to crease” his white footwear.
The Pit Stop Training Started With a Speed Test
Coach Horton did not start the training session by handing the former NFL players tools and instructing them how to change tires. Instead, he had them showcase their explosive ability with a simple test. One by one, the “I AM ATHLETE” hosts lined up and ran around the race car with the goal of finishing under two seconds.
Crowder, the former linebacker who started the crossover with comments about drivers being “athletes,” took the speed test first. He raced around the car, spinning as he crossed the “finish line” to register a time of 1.8 seconds. The former NFL running back in Taylor tested his skills next, hitting two seconds. Marshall had other engagements at the time and did not race around the car while Johnson stood by cheering.
Interestingly, Young turned in the fastest time of the group. The former cornerback-turned-comedian stepped up to the plate and said that he could get 1.7 seconds on his first try. Young took off, bent his hips as he went around the car, and turned in a time of 1.46 seconds.
“It’s all about control,” Coach Horton told Young after his run. “You slowed down, got under control. You instantly corrected. That’s a hell of a job. You the man. You the man.”
The Day Came to a Close With a Competition Between Hosts
While Marshall did not take part in the early portions of the training, he arrived in time to face off with Crowder in a friendly competition. The two men grabbed the impact wrench and tested their skills at removing and tightening the lug nuts on the stock car’s tires.
Crowder partnered with Young and took the first crack at the pit stop. Since there were only two men instead of four, they only focused on the front two tires while NASCAR driver Corey LaJoie and other racing industry figures watched from the side. Marshall went immediately after and tried to beat Crowder’s time moments after learning how the impact wrench works.
With the competition complete, the former Dolphins linebacker in Crowder made a surprising statement. He said that he would slightly change his opinion about athletes in NASCAR. He acknowledged that being a pit crew member requires a certain level of fitness. Though Crowder remained bullish about drivers.
“I AM ATHLETE” has now released four episodes about NASCAR. The first featured Dale Earnhardt Jr., the second highlighted Kyle Busch and his rivalry with Joey Logano, and the third focused on ARCA Menards Series driver Toni Breidinger. All of the episodes are available on the “I AM ATHLETE” YouTube channel.
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