NASCAR racing is not a sport and for that matter race car drivers are not athletes. Race car driving involves driving around a track around and around for about 3 hours.
Since a sport can be loosely defined as any activity involving competition, then technically race car driving can be a sport but as far as really being a sport, it’s not. There’s a big difference between real sports like basketball, MMA, and football and NASCAR driving.
That difference is underscored by the lack of athletic competition. In race car driving, the drivers are just sitting in a car and turning the wheel. While yes, it is hot and it’s not comfortable to continuously drive at high speeds, that doesn’t make car drivers athletes.
A real athlete is physically strong and applies that strength to real athletic competition. Have you seen race car drivers? They’re just regular guys who aren’t fat in logo track suits. They’re nothing like the real men and women who actually compete in sport.
So is NASCAR a sport? Technically yes, but in the real world no. NASCAR is a driving competition that tests driving skill but doesn’t challenge anyone’s physical skill or athleticism.