This is a graph of the effects...
This is a graph of the effects when using the Cool Shirt. The subject here was on a treadmill and was running in 95 degree weather. As you can see, when he wore the Cool Shirt during the exercise and after when he was resting, his body temperature actually was cooler than when he started.
A respected university tested the system with a 20-year-old, healthy marathon runner in 95 degree weather. It had him run 15 minutes and then rest for 30 minutes while still in the 95 degree weather. Without a Cool Shirt he ended up loosing 5 pounds. Once he put on the Cool Shirt and did the exact same routine, he only lost 1.4 pounds. Imagine what this could do for you in your race car, especially if you race in long events.
Drink Lots One of the easiest ways to cool the driver is to simply make sure you have access to plenty of fluids during the race. A lot of drivers will simply put a small cooler with ice water inside their car. Personally, I use a drink bottle holder that attaches right to the chassis inside of the cockpit. It comes with 3 feet of hose with a bite valve on one end, so that when you are finished drinking, you can set down the hose and not have to worry about the water siphoning itself all over the floorpan of your car. I've been involved in my fair share of racing accidents and have yet to have any water spill in my car. Remember too, as you sweat, you lose valuable electrolytes, and you need something in your water bottle to replace them. There are many sports drinks on the market and a lot of drivers will use a drink like Pedialyte. Whether it's one of these, or just plain water, the key is to consume lots of fluids prior to and during the race.
An ice-cold drink can help...
An ice-cold drink can help a driver immensely during a race. The drink here is mounted straight to the chassis and the hose is run right into the driver's seat so he can reach it easily.
One thing I've seen done should be avoided. Drivers will get so hot during cautions or red flag conditions, that they take their water bottle and open it up and pour it on themselves. This is something you do not ever want to do, because as soon as the race starts back up and the temperature in the car starts to rise, so will the temperature of the water that you poured all over your suit. Pretty soon, you'll feel as if you are boiling in your suit. It's better to continue to just drink your water in the car.
Breathe Clean Many drivers run some type of cool-air box inside their race car, which is a great way to keep the driver cool. But if you run one of these, you need to check your cool-air box to see if it filters out carbon monoxide. Street Stock and Late Model drivers, this is especially important for you. After a few crashes or a few times of bottoming out the car, you may wear a hole into your headers or exhaust. Depending on where the exhaust leak is, it could leak carbon monoxide right into the cockpit of your car.
This hole is right where the...
This hole is right where the headers and the collector meet which is directly below the driver's compartment. This particular collector has been run so much that it has been ground down to next to nothing. A hole this large will dump lethal amounts of carbon monoxide into the driver's compartment.
Brad Smith of RH2 Radios experienced this while driving a Modified in a 150-lap race a few years ago and during the race felt himself sinking in the seat and felt like he couldn't pull himself back up. He passed out toward the end of the race and woke up to one of his crewmembers talking to him on pit lane after the race. He had finished in the top five, but he had no memory of how he finished. The next day after a visit with the doctor, he found out that he suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Here's the bad news: Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Many times the symptoms get mistaken for overheating or the flu because they are so similar-headache, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, and fainting. One of the tell-tale signs that you might be suffering from the beginning stages of carbon monoxide poisoning is a headache. If you consistently have a headache after a race then you need to start looking at your exhaust system to see if you can find any leaks. The good news, however, is that there are a few products available to filter out carbon monoxide.
For the longest time, cost was a problem since most CO filters were expensive and out of the short track racer's price range. Some CO filters run into the thousands of dollars. Sure, NASCAR Sprint Cup guys can afford them but two grand to a short track racer is 10 tires, or in some classes the entire car! But there's an option, a very good option.