Take a look at Landon Cassill's retro scheme that he will run at Darlington Raceway this weekend, inspired by Sterling Marlin.
Much like their fellow NASCAR drivers who are deservedly spending the season's final off-week relaxing on a beach or jet-setting to some exotic location, Landon Cassill and Josh Wise are using the rare downtime to travel and enjoy the scenic Austrian Alps. The difference, however, is that these two Sprint Cup drivers won't be sightseeing or taking leisurely day hikes. They will be experiencing one of the world's most beautiful regions while competing in the elite Ironman 70.3 World Championships at Zell am See-Kaprun outside Salzburg, Austria on Sunday. Their breathtaking views will be just that as they swim 1.2-miles in Lake Zell, bike 56 miles through the glacier-tipped Alps and then finish with a 13.1-mile run along the lakeshore and through the area's small villages in one of the world's most grueling and prestigious physical competitions. "When we looked at the schedule both of us had aspirations to qualify for the 70.3 or Kona (Ironman 140.6 in Hawaii)," explained Wise. "The Worlds happened to fall on our last off weekend and there was a qualifier on the next to last off weekend. "It looked like this is a once in a lifetime chance. It's a bucket list goal just to qualify, but to have opportunity to do Austria was super special and it just felt like it was meant to be." But not without a lot of work. Anyone who still dismisses the athletic ability of NASCAR drivers would have a losing argument when it comes to the training regimen of Cassill , 26, and Wise, 32, who have taken their dedication to fitness and competition to a new level. RELATED: Johnson: 'If you want to be fast, you've got to suffer' More often than not, these two drivers show up at the race track having already swam, biked or run for miles and hours before some of their competitors have even rolled out of bed. Their dedication and commitment means a 5 a.m. wake-up call even on race weekends and using a special "Swim Radar" app to find a public pool near the race track that's open early enough and will allow them to swim. They've done their laps everywhere from the small town YMCA to the pool at Ohio State University. They strategically place their long bike rides as well and that can be tricky -- both finding a safe route close to the track and "not getting lost," Wise joked. They did a 60-mile bike ride after qualifying at Indianapolis this summer and squeezed in a 20-miler between practices at Pocono. Last week at Bristol, the two swam a mile and a half and ran five miles before the night race. Cassill did his World Cup qualifier in Muncie, Ind. during NASCAR's Kentucky Speedway race weekend, flying to Muncie after the Friday night XFINITY race, competing in the 70.3-mile triathalon Saturday morning then returning to Kentucky Speedway for the Cup race that night. "That was a little test of endurance," Cassill said. "Saturday morning I got my qualifying slot and flew back and raced Saturday night (at Bristol). I felt pretty good." Both Cassill and Wise say that competitive spirit lift is an important motivation for both. Driving for small, lower-funded Sprint Cup Series teams, they are admittedly not contending for wins every week. Success in the triathalons not only is a huge fitness benefit to them both, but gives them a sense of accomplishment and success. "I think a big part of the inspiration to do this has to do with obviously with the benefit of what it does for us in the car, but for us, we drive for small teams and we don't have a chance to win every race in a car and when you're doing that for 38 weeks in a row, it can get taxing," said Cassill , the 2008 XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year who now drives the No. 40 Hillman-Smith Chevrolet in the Cup Series and the No. 01 JD Motorsports Chevy in the XFINITY Series. "This is something for us, we can control and it really just helps that confidence in the garage just to know what we're capable of with our bodies and pushing ourselves to the limit. To me, it's a confidence builder." Wise, who scored a career-best 10th at Talladega in May driving the No. 98 Ford, agreed. "It's an amazing competitive outlet," he said. "There's not a lot of things that you can do that you have so much control over. It goes back to the alarm clock. Are you going to get up and get the swim in and the running before you go to work? It's your choice. With the sport we're in, people don't realize all the external factors there are that you can't control." "When our cars aren't driving right or we're communicating with our crew in the midst of battling with someone, I feel the mental gain from the type of work we do off the track even beyond the physical. "I'm far beyond physically where I need to be, but mentally I can still continue to push myself, my body and my brain to dig deeper. When you can overcome every cell in your body shutting you down and you have to mentally force your legs to pick up and move in a run, there is a mental strength that comes from that. "I feel there's a real specificity to what we do that applies to our type of racing." The benefits go beyond just them personally. "My team has so much confidence in me that although they may not see me during the week, they don't have a doubt in their mind that I'm still working; that I’m trying to make myself the fittest race car driver, the best race car driver I can be, focused and prepared," Cassill said. "It's important because when teams are fighting for sponsorship, tough finishes the wheels can come off and you want to instill in your team that you're doing everything you can." Their pursuit is not only recognized by their team members but in the garage and bigger NASCAR community as well. While these two drivers don’t typically generate the same racing headlines as their good friend and frequent training partner, six-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson , they do have his great respect -- especially with this weekend's Ironman in Austria. "My hat is off to Josh and Landon ," Johnson said. "They've put in the hard work. I've watched them get very serious about it. They are both faster than me (smiling) and I'm so proud of them." All three drivers are confident that this kind of extreme cross training will be more prevalent on the starting grid in coming years. It's a visibly growing group of cyclists that join Johnson, Wise and Cassill on the bike rides during race weekend downtime or meet up at a nearby public pool for some laps. " Jimmie Johnson , in my opinion, sparked that fire by winning six championships and being the fittest driver the sport has ever seen," Cassill said. "We are in some ways just copycatting what he did. Eventually, a lot of the drivers that have the skill -- and have had the success in the past -- but aren't consistently getting the success now are going to start getting pressure from their owners and sponsors that will say they're sick of getting of their butts kicked from these fit drivers, you need to do something. "I think in the next five to 10 years you're going to see a lot more of our drivers getting fitter and fitter," Cassill continued. "I think our sport is going to go through similar transition that golf saw and I compare our sport to golf because it's a skill sport. It takes a certain skill and technique to swing a golf club and it takes a certain skill and technique to drive a race car. It doesn't necessarily take athleticism to drive a race car or hit a golf ball, but athleticism enhances that skill." This weekend Cassill and Wise will be representing their sport on a world platform and just qualifying for the world championship in the midst of a busy and demanding NASCAR season is already a huge accomplishment. "There are a lot of cyclists in the garage and people that know what's going on. I had a lot of people asking me about this weekend at the Bristol race and crew members wishing me good luck," Cassill said. "Obviously a lot of text messages from my team wishing me good luck." "I'd love to set a new PR (personal record), I feel like I try to do that at every race. But just another finish would be a win. This is a very challenging event and this is a world championship event so the competition is a lot tougher than I've competed against."
Drives 562.5 miles of Coca-Cola 600, runs 14 more to NASCAR Hall of Fame CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Landon Cassill wiped the sweat from his brow at the end of a 14-mile run to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, twisted the cap to his beverage and readied to take a swig of … Coors Light? That may have been the only hydration mistake the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver made in his Herculean day (and night) Sunday (and Monday), and even then it was hard to fault the Hillman Smith Motorsports driver. He'd earned it. Cassill completed a double of his own on racing's busiest day, driving the No. 40 Chevrolet in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, then turning around and jogging through the night to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That journey of 13.92 miles took 1 hour, 41 minutes and 49 seconds -- a pace of 7 minutes, 19 seconds per mile -- and ended at 12:58 a.m. on Memorial Day. Cassill accepted a hug and kiss from his wife, Kaitlan, rubbed his dog, Indie, and thanked those who came out to watch the end of his run -- a group that included some of his crew members, as well as team owner Mike Hillman. "It was definitely a mental challenge," Cassill said outside the Hall of Fame, which was lit up in red and neatly contrasted the blaring blue lights from the police vehicles that served as his escorts. "I had to talk to myself a little bit more the last two miles, because it was all uphill. It wasn't a matter of making it to the end, it was continuing to hold the pace I was holding. You don't want to let yourself slow down. "It was a great night." All told, it was a 576.42-mile evening for the 25-year-old driver, who completed 375 laps (out of 400) at Charlotte, then stretched in the garage before starting his run. @landoncassill stretching out before his 14 mile run from @CLTMotorSpdwy to #NASCARHall #Landon614 #SnapNation pic.twitter.com/TCi1kWSnOI — NASCAR Hall of Fame (@NASCARHall) May 25, 2015 It wasn't difficult for Cassill to keep the two distinct events separate: He focused on the race while in the car, then on his pace while running. The event was live-streamed on Periscope by Cassill's sponsor Snap Fitness, and those tracking his progress were treated to a running dialogue, along with occasional cheers from folks watching Cassill jog by. The event raised money for the Folds of Honor Foundation, through a partnership with Snap Fitness. For every 30-day trial pass purchased between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Snap Fitness will donate $1 to the foundation that provides scholarships to families of service members killed or disabled in active duty. Cassill is one of the most active drivers in the garage and routinely logs 30-plus miles of running every week. He also competes in triathlons and says his commitment to fitness is what spurred this idea. "In terms of my profession, it helps me so much in a race car," Cassill said. "It gives me the confidence I need to know I'm the best race car driver I can be. It shows my team I'm giving it all. I'm fresher at the end of a race because of my fitness. And also, people need to know how good it feels to be fit and to be healthy." Cassill certainly looked that part after the run, bantering easily with his friends and family while cooling down. In fact, he looked like he could run another 14 miles. Maybe he'll do another such event in the future? "I don't know," Cassill said with a smile. "Maybe." Here are all my mile splits from the run pic.twitter.com/IDDWyToAFO — landon cassill (@landoncassill) May 25, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver documents fluids taken and weight lost at Indianapolis Landon Cassill performed a "science experiment" during Sunday's Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The full-time driver in both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series proved his stamina after May's Coca-Cola 600 , running 14 miles to the NASCAR Hall of Fame following NASCAR's longest race of the season. He also qualified to compete in next month's Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria. As he braved temperatures that saw one in-car thermometer in Casey Mears ' car reach at least 131 degrees, Cassill had a query: How much weight would a driver lose over 400 miles in a race? See the results of his experiment below. Science experiment! My pre race weight, I'm planning on taking in 80oz of fluids in the race, we'll see what I lose. pic.twitter.com/QJ0W071Yz3 — landon cassill (@landoncassill) July 26, 2015 Consumed 110oz fluids & 1100 calories->post race 147.4lbs. That's -15lbs, replaced 7 of it with fluids, net loss 8lbs pic.twitter.com/WsXq6rsvO0 — landon cassill (@landoncassill) July 26, 2015 That's a 10% gross loss of body weight, getting it back to 5% with fluid replacement. I think I'd like to see closer to 3%. — landon cassill (@landoncassill) July 26, 2015 I few more stats from the 110oz of fluids I took in...1,100 Cal, 1,978mg of sodium, 264g Carbs, 572mg Potassium — landon cassill (@landoncassill) July 26, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Landon Cassill conducts his own science experiment about weight loss during the Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard.
Company will sponsor No. 40 car for Daytona 500, five other races Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge Landon Cassill will have a familiar sponsor for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Carsforsale.com, one of the largest online automotive inventory websites, will be the primary sponsor for Cassill's No. 40 Chevrolet SS, Hillman Smith Motorsports announced on Friday. The company will serve as the primary sponsor for multiple races in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. In addition to the Daytona 500, those races are: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 8), Kansas Speedway (May 9), Michigan International Speedway (June 14), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 22) and Talladega Superspeedway (October 25). "Not only are we happy to have Carsforsale.com back for Daytona, but also that they're increasing their participation with HS Motorsports in 2015," Cassill said in a release provided by the team. "We had a legitimate shot to take them to Victory Lane at Talladega and with our guys fine-tuning the car during the off-season, we're confident it will be even better this year." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
G&K Services returning as a primary sponsor for the No. 01 team Landon Cassill will have a familiar sponsor returning to the fold for the 2015 XFINITY Series season with his JD Motorsports ride. G&K Services will be back on the No. 01 Chevrolet as a primary sponsor for multiple races as well as a full-time associate sponsor ship. "We've had a great partnership with the folks at G&K," said team owner Johnny Davis in a release. "Their participation with our team has been beneficial to both sides, and it really showed this year as we ran well in so many races. We're looking forward to what the future holds." The 25-year-old Cassill ran a full Nationwide Series slate in 2014 as well as 34 of 36 Sprint Cup Series races. In the Nationwide Series, Cassill had three top-10 finishes en route to a 12th-place finish in the final standings. The 2015 season marks the sixth season that JD Motorsports and G&K Services have been partners. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jeremy Clements and Landon Cassill make contact while trying to get on pit road during the Firecracker 250.
Kyle Larson makes contact with Landon Cassill sending Cassill in to the wall at Bristol Motor Speedway.
RELATED: See all the paint schemes for Darlington Darlington Raceway will host the Bojangles' Southern 500 this weekend. Numerous teams are participating in the throwback theme at the South Carolina track and paying homage to some of NASCAR's most famous cars -- and drivers. Here's how some of the cars looked originally, with footage of the vehicles driving around Darlington. Brad Keselowski Brad Keselowski 's scheme is paying homage to Bobby Allison's car in the 1983 Southern 500. " Watch old footage of Allison's car in action Austin Dillon Austin Dillon is keeping it in the family and honoring grandfather Richard Childress. The paint scheme of the No. 3 Chevrolet is a tribute to Childress' car during the 1979 Southern 500. " Watch old footage of Childress' car in action Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin 's No. 11 JGR Toyota mirrors the car of NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough's look from 1973. " Watch old footage of Yarborough's car in action Ricky Stenhouse Jr . Ricky Stenhouse Jr . is honoring three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson and paying tribute to his car from the 1968 Southern 500. " Watch old footage of Pearson's car in action Chase Elliott The No. 25 of Chase Elliott is one of the many cars getting a vintage makeover. Elliott's Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet resembles the paint scheme of his father Bill Elliott 's car from 1974. " Watch old footage Elliott's car in action Kyle Larson Kyle Larson 's No. 42 Chevrolet is going to replicate Kyle Petty's Mello Yello look. " Watch old footage of Petty's car in action Clint Bowyer As Clint Bowyer looks for a strong performance at Darlington in hopes to maintain his spot on the Chase Grid, his car will be rocking a pretty awesome paint scheme honoring the late Buddy Baker. Bowyer's Toyota is similar to Baker's No. 15 Ford from the 1974 Southern 500. " Watch old footage of Baker's car in action More videos • Ward Burton's iconic No. 22 car comes back to life this weekend at Darlington as his son, Jeb, will be sporting an almost identical paint scheme. " Watch the old footage of Ward Burton's car in action • Two-time Darlington winner, Sterling Marlin, is being honored at "The Lady in Black" by Landon Cassill . Cassill's No. 40 Chevrolet will mirror Marlin's paint scheme on his own No. 40. " Watch the old footage of Sterling Marlin's with a Coors Light paint scheme he me • Dale Earnhardt Jr . is contributing to the throwback weekend by paying homage to Cale Yarborough's No. 15 car. " Watch the old footage of Yarborough's car in action • The No. 43 of Aric Almirola Almirola's is in honor of Richard Petty's 1972 Plymouth Roadrunner, the first time The King's car featured sponsor STP with the Petty Blue and Day-Glo Red on the quarter panels. " Watch old footage of Petty's iconic car • Kasey Kahne 's No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is paying respect to one of the NASCAR greats, Geoff Bodine. " See the clip of Bodine's car in action • The throwback inspiration for the paint of Trevor Bayne 's No. 6 Ford comes from Mark Martin 's own No.6. Martin is a two-time Darlington winner. " Watch Martin's memorable Ford in action • Sam Hornish Jr . is, too, honoring Mark Martin in his No. 9 Winn Dixie Ford. " Watch more footage of Martin's car in action • The No. 41 Chevrolet of Kurt Busch has a familiar paint scheme as it is a replica of Jack Sprague's No. 60. " Watch the No. 60 in action