For Release: Sept. 20, 2005
Dr. Sanjay Gupta Tracks Safety, Performance Issues in NASCAR Special
'NASCAR: Driven to Extremes'
Airs Sunday, Oct. 16, at 10 p.m. (ET)
CNN senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta follows NASCAR drivers on and off the track to examine safety and athletic performance in America's No. 1 spectator sport. "NASCAR: Driven to Extremes," the latest Dr. Sanjay Gupta Primetime Special, debuts on Sunday, Oct. 16, on CNN/U.S. at 10 p.m. (ET)
During the special, Gupta reveals NASCAR to be more than fast cars zipping around an oval track. As he reports on the athleticism and safety required to be a top racing team, he offers viewers a revealing look at how the speeds, the heat, the intensity and the crashes associated with high stakes auto racing impact the human body. Gupta also gets behind the wheel of a stock car to see what it takes physically to drive at high speeds. What he experiences will intrigue even the most ardent fans.
"The incredible strain on the human body from the heat, g-forces and the mental focus is like nothing I've seen before," Gupta said. "We're also going to give audiences a sense of how challenging it is to protect people at high speeds. We'll likely debunk quite a few misperceptions about the fitness and athleticism required to be a NASCAR racer."
Segments of "NASCAR: Driven to Extremes" include:
- Race Week – Gupta follows veteran driver Rusty Wallace to see how he prepares for the heat, g-forces and stress of driving 180 miles per hour or more – in traffic – for more than three hours.
- Fast 'N' Fit – Gupta details the training regimen of NASCAR driver Carl Edwards to determine how physically fit a driver must be to compete at up to 200 miles per hour. Many drivers now train extensively off the track to achieve an extra edge so they can withstand car temperatures of up to 120 degrees, better survive a crash and improve their mental and physical performance.
- Anatomy of a Crash – Gupta follows NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau as he contemplates a comeback after suffering a head injury in a 2003 wreck. He also looks at safety measures NASCAR has taken to protect drivers in crashes, from "soft walls" to head and neck restraints.
- Born to Run – Gupta profiles 15-year-old racing phenom Joey Logano as he examines programs designed to groom adolescent drivers into future speed kings.
- Driving Dr. Gupta – Former NASCAR driver Wally Dallenbach takes Gupta for a spin around the track to show the physical demands of driving. Gupta drives solo on a NASCAR track to explain how driving at high speeds affects his vital signs.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is senior medical correspondent for the health and medical unit at CNN. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery, plays an integral role in the network's medical coverage, which includes daily packages, the half-hour weekend show House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and coverage of breaking medical news. Based in Atlanta, he also co-hosts Accent Health for Turner Private Networks, provides medical segments for the syndicated version of ER on TNT, contributes health news stories to CNN.com and writes a column for TIME magazine.
CNN, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information. Its reach extends to 14 cable and satellite television networks; two private place-based networks; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; six Web sites, including CNN.com, the first major news and information Web site; and CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service.
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