“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.”
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.
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,
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.
Connect With Landon:
Background, Context & Reference:
- Landon Cassill has Strong Run At Talledega Superspeedway (CatchFence.com)
- Landon Cassill Plans 14-Mile Run After Coca-Cola 600 (Foxsports.com)
- Racing Not Just an In-Car Activity for Landon Cassill (Des Moines Register)
- 12 Questions with Landon Cassill (USAToday.com)
- Kyle Larson Punts Landon Cassill Into Wall – Bristol 2015 (Foxsports.com)
- Kansas Speedway Provides Learning Day for Cassill (TheGazette.com)
- HITS Triathlon: NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson completes half division (Naplesnews.com)
- Jimmie Johnson takes wrong turn, makes triathlon even longer by Josh Richter (Foxsports.com)
- Download the Award-Winning Headspace App: iTunes | Google Play | Amazon
- Outliers: The Story of Success* by Malcolm Gladwell
- Body, Mind, and Sport: The Mind-Body Guide to Lifelong Health, Fitness, and Your Personal Best* by John Douillard
- The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance* by Steven Kotler
- 10% Happier* by Dan Harris
- Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in 10 Minutes A Day* by Andy Puddicombe
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*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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