Updated: Friday, 23 Jul 2010, 11:29 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 23 Jul 2010, 6:58 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - For NASCAR drivers hitting the track on one of the hottest days of the year, heat is more than a comfort issue -- it becomes a safety issue.
Driver Brad Keselowski explains it by saying, "Just imagine doing push ups in a sauna or Turkish bath or something. So, that’s what it is and you have to stay calm because as soon as you get excited your heartbeat goes up, you start sweating and you go crazy."
NASCAR fans says they kept cool Friday with a lot of water and by trying to find shade.
David, 10, and eight-year-old Ethan had a great time.
Ethan said excitedly, “Well, it didn’t bother me that much and I am so excited to be on TV!”
David said, “We drank a lot of water to stay cool and we found a museum that is really nice and got really cooled off.”
Race fans sitting on the metal bleachers, crammed in with no air movement and no shade know it gets hot, but how hot?
24-Hour News Anchor Karen Hensel used a temperature gauge gun to show that in the 5 p.m. hour, the air temperature was 93-94 degrees outside. However, sitting on the metal seats is much warmer at about 103 degrees.
Next we took the gauges down to the asphalt in search of shade. The asphalt temperature is 116 degrees but walk over into the shade and grass there is a big difference. It was only 83 degrees.
To put it into perspective, whatever the temperature, add 50 degrees and that’s what the drivers are contending with down on the track.
Driver Brad Kesolowski said, "It gets really hot in those cars. They're closed up and the heat is better when you're driving than when you are just sitting around."
Seven time champ Richard Petty said, “It's not good on anybody, the cars, the tires. We was talking 5-6, 6-7 years ago it was so hot up here and the crews were passing out but hopefully by Sunday it'll be a little bit cooler."
The IMS hospital is ready for the hundreds of fans who will be overcome with heat exhaustion this weekend.
Race day there will be a dozen nurses and six doctors. The medical director says those with heat exhaustion start lining up right when the doors open race day at 7 a.m.
The National Park Service is reminding people who plan to head to the shores of …