Olympian Brian Hansen Brings a Different Kind of Speed to NASCAR

Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin' the Tires

Summer Bedgood, Managing Editor

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 22, 2017) — When it comes to the adventuresome, the daring, the bold, there is one sensation that is most sought after: speed.

In NASCAR, speed is the destination, the journey, the reality. Sure the competitors may come for the competition, but they stay for the speed, the adrenaline, and the intensity.

Meet US Olympic Silver Medalist and long track speedskater Brian Hansen. He, too, knows very well the sensation of speed but spends his time on the ice rather than on a racetrack.

Hansen was a guest of Toyota Racing on Sunday at Kansas Speedway and will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the start of today’s Hollywood Casino 400.

“Our World Cup circuit has some similarities to the NASCAR circuit,” Hansen said during a pre-race press conference. “Every weekend it’s a different location and so we’re going to be going overseas and then to Canada and then to Salt Lake City. You’ve just gotta be ready to compete every weekend and then practicing and getting ready in between.”

Hansen has been able to spend some time with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie Daniel Suarez. Suarez gave Hansen a few pointers about driving the pace car and the two discovered a few similarities between preparing for NASCAR and getting ready for a speedskating event.

“He actually does some similar training to what we do for speed skating,” said Hansen. “He actually goes on cycling rides before competing or in between competing and he does that with a lot of the other racers. That’s actually what we do in speed skating. We do a lot of cross training through cycling because it’s similar muscles to what we use in speed skating.

“There are also some similarities in the racing as well,” he continued. “Drafting is very important in some of the events, for example. Vancouver, where I won the silver medal, it’s all about drafting and, what we call now “bump-drafting” after we started working more with Toyota — sending the speed forward basically. If you’re in the back, you send it forward.”

Hansen will pace the field prior to the green flag at 3PM ET for the start of the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *