Podcast

The Need For Speed: NASCAR Driver Landon Cassill’s Plant-Based, Triathlon Fueled Success Equation

By May 17, 2015May 24th, 20197 Comments

“If you want to put yourself on the edge as an athlete, like I do in a race car or in training for a triathlon, you have to be treating the food that’s going in your body like rocket fuel. You can’t be putting garbage in your body and expecting rocket results.”

Landon Cassill


It’s time to explore what it takes to be competitive in one of the most popular professional sports in the United States — NASCAR.

Meet Landon Cassill.

Driver. Triathlete. Husband. Plant-based.

Racing as far back as he can remember, at just 19 years of age Landon burst onto the national scene as the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year. In 2013, he broke the track record at the famous Gresham Motorsports Park track. Now 25, Landon pilots the #40 Chevrolet SS for the Hillman-Circle Sport LLC team and the #01 Flex Seal Chevrolet for JDMotorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Beyond Will Ferrell’s turn in Talledega Nights, NASCAR (make that auto racing in general) is a world I know close to nothing about. So it was really fun to sit down with Charlotte-based Landon to explore his personal story; the very specific and peculiar culture of NASCAR; what it really takes to professionally toe the line at prestigious races like the Daytona 500; and how diet and triathlon have come to play a crucial role in Landon’s daily success equation.

Extremely likable and humble beyond expectation, I think it’s fair to say this Iowa-bred young man is a fine living example of solid midwestern values and what can transpire when lifelong passion meets true drive, keen focus and a Malcolm Gladwell-esque 10,000+ hours of very hard work, sweat and determination.

This is a great conversation that explores:

  • the athleticism, skill, technology and funding required to excel as a professional driver;
  • myth & reality behind NASCAR stereotypes;
  • the nexus between mindfulness and driving;
  • how triathlon informs driving performance;
  • swim training with Olympians Ryan Lochte, Cullen Jones & Tyler Clary;
  • his decision to go plant-based;
  • plant-based fueling for athletic performance;
  • strategies for optimal nutrition when traveling; and
  • what he drives when not racing (the answer will surprise you)

On May 24, Landon will be racing the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After competing in NASCAR’s longest and most challenging test of man and machine, Landon will pioneer an entirely new form of endurance multi-sport when he jumps out of his car post-race, laces up his running shoes and tacks on an additional 14 miles for the day with a run from Charlotte Motor Speedway to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Cassil 614 will kick off Snap Fitness’s “Snap Serves” summer campaign, which honors those who have served in the military and encourages people around the country to start their fitness journey.

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“I’m honored to have the opportunity to combine my passion for running with encouraging others to embrace a healthy lifestyle while recognizing those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country. My goal with this post-race run is to motivate the sport’s fan base to get up and make fitness a priority this summer.” – Landon Cassill

Between now and Landon’s big day, do me a solid and let’s pump him up for this challenge by giving him a supportive shout out on Twitter at @landoncassill.

I genuinely hope you enjoy this glimpse into the passionate life of Landon Cassill — my version of Talledega Nights.

Peace + Plants,

RR-SIGNATURE-FOR-WEB 110

Listen & Subscribe on  iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher | TuneIn

Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson. I Love NASCAR song by Cletus T. Judd. Images of Landon by NASCAR photographer Nigel Kinraid.

SHOW NOTES

Connect With Landon:

Website | NASCAR | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Reddit

Background, Context & Reference:

Books Discussed:

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:

  • RRP 120 with high performance psychologist Michael Gervais
  • RRP 142 with meditation expert and Headspace CEO Andy Puddicombe
  • RRP 97 with ABC News anchor Dan Harris

*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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7 Comments

  • Another excellent podcast! This one and the last one (with Tom Hardin) are specials, because they are reveling “path to success”. But special they are because guys haven’t reached their peak yet. I don’t know how many years they have to reach it, but I see clearly if they continue pursuit “life success” they are going to reach it!

    Thank you Rich for your job!

    PS. What app for reaction improvement is Landon using?

  • vkat79 says:

    I listened to this today on the train, and I absolutely loved it! Delving into this world of a plant-based NASCAR racer was really interesting. Thank you, all of you! You were right, Rich, saying how likeable he is! It’s a little scary, haha!
    I haven’t listened to that many podcasts yet, but I’ve liked all of them so far, also the earlier ones (Michael Greger, T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Klaper, ….for example… I adore these people, they’re heroes, just like you!).
    Thanks for letting us know which books you mentioned!

    Keep on rocking 🙂
    Best wishes from Germany! <3

  • Rich says:

    Landon connection – my office mate’s son is a NASCAR crew member and Landon has driven for his team. This episode was an awesome introduction to Rich Roll for NASCAR fans. My coworker has met Landon and he is the real thing. Thank you Rich Roll!

  • Mitchell J. Katz says:

    This interview is again a real triumph. Thanks for taking me where I would have never gone – inside the world of NASCAR! This was again really good journalism. You are totally on a Roll!

  • carlagolden says:

    Never before have I cared a wit about NASCAR. But when Rich Roll brings up the topic with an individual like Landon, this listener now has the vegan NASCAR driver set on Facebook notifications so that I can follow his journey & successes. I have a new appreciation for the team sport of car racing that I had never before considered. Fascinating! Thank you!

  • Tommy F says:

    Great probe into the world of NASCAR. I think I came away from this podcast, with someone to root for when I hear of NASCAR events. Even better, was to hear how mindfully Landon and his wife embrace the simple vegan lifestyle outside of the thunderous mega-corporate-marketing roar of the auto racing culture. They’re also having so much fun with it, as a lot of us vegans do, making it an adventure exploring new vegan restaurants and healthy food markets while traveling. And I’m sure, that Landon will be an inspiration to thousands, bringing the much needed PlantPower message to the NASCAR mainstream. Most will snicker and label him a vegan freak.. but several will become curious and hear the truth in the vegan message Landon is helping spread.
    It’s obvious that meditation is the key to unlocking the next level for Landon. He’s still very young, and meditation can be the transformative tool to elevate his game to the elite level (like what it did for Dan Harris). Really look forward to following Landon and how his journey develops, over the years to come.

    -Namaste

  • Joe O'Flaherty says:

    Oddly, that was my all-time favorite RR pod cast. Interesting topics, great conversation. That dude is genuine. Thank you. -Joe

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