NASCAR, like all motor sports, requires skill, endurance, lightning quick reflexes and great eyesight. Issues with anyone of those aspects can cause problems that at best reduce performance and worst be a safety issue. Some of these can be improved with training or practice but what about eyesight. It can be fixed with LASIK or glasses, but is that suitable for NASCAR? Can NASCAR drivers wear Glasses and are there any drivers that do?
NASCAR Drivers can wear glasses. Some drivers who need glasses will wear contact lenses instead. However, there are drivers, Tony Stewart and Joey Logano for example, who choose to wear glasses while racing. Helmets can be designed to accommodate glasses to ensure it is not dangerous for NASCAR drivers to wear them.
Clearly is more than desirable to be able to see while racing around a NASCAR track, or any racing track, at 200 miles an hour. So we take a look at the options for those drivers with impaired eyesight and why you might see drivers with perfect 20/20 vision wearing glasses as well.
Can NASCAR Drivers Wear Glasses During a Race?
NASCAR and its up to 600 mile long racings is an incredibly demanding motorsport. Drivers are racing bumper to bumper, side by side at incredible speeds. With the Next Gen cars technology is as advanced as it has ever been. Sometimes though the body doesn’t play ball.
Eyesight is of course vitally important in racing, and driers who find things blurring up not just because of the speed but because of their eyes so have some options. One of these options is glasses.
Options for NASCAR Drivers
- LASIK (laser eye surgery)
- Contact lenses
So yes, NASCAR drivers can wear glasses, and indeed over time many have chosen to do so. We go into which NASCAR drivers wear glasses in the next section. Maximizing visual ability is of course important in racing so as long as the glasses are safe and can fit under the helmet then NASCAR allows it.
In fact before Full face helmets came in goggles could be worn to protect eyes and glasses could be worn under neath these. Now with full face helmets there are visors in the pace of goggles and glasses, and helmets can be designed so they fit underneath.
Can NASCAR Drivers Wear Contact Lenses?
Contact lenses have come a long way since their introduction in 1888 and the invention of disposable contact lenses in 1987. They are much safer and more comfortable now.
NASCAR drivers may prefer to wear contacts lenses as the are more comfortable and less likely to slip out, or off , as glasses. Even when the glasses are under a helmet, vibration could cause them to move, although again it is very unlikely.
It will boil down to the preference of the individual nascar driver whether they will wear glasses or contact lenses, however for me the choice is glasses when i am driving, i could never stand touching my eyes to put lenses in!
Is It Dangerous For NASCAR Drivers To Wear Glasses?
The clue is in the name, Glasses, does this mean that there are two circles of glass inches away from a drivers eyes while driving a race car in NASCAR that sees more crashes than any form of motor racing. Does this make it dangerous for NASCAR Drivers to wear glasses?
The answer is no basically it is not dangerous for NASCAR drivers to wear glasses and not just because glasses aren’t actually made of glass anymore.
Although it is still possible to get lenses made of glass the vast majority are now made of high quality plastics. Meaning they will not shatter upon impact anymore. Though they can still break of course.
If a Driver crashes during a NASCAR race it can be at very high speeds. However, especially now with full face helmets and visors, glasses will not feel the force of this crash. The helmet and visor will take any debris hits and the glasses are VERY unlikely to be affected.
To further ensure safety helmets can be designed to fit and hold in place glasses and keep them secure. So it is safe for NASCAR drivers to wear glasses, certainly being able to see debris and incidents on the track is safer than not seeing them as well!!
Does Wearing Glasses Make Driving NASCAR More Difficult?
Wearing glasses or contact lenses does take some getting used to so it is not advised for NASCAR drivers to just pop a pair of glasses on before a race. It is advised to take a couple of weeks to become accustomed to wearing them outside of the track then try wearing them during testing before wearing contacts or glasses for a full race.
Clearly drivers would not wear contact lenses or glasses if they reduced the chances of them winning a NASCAR race, or performing to their best. They clearly prefer the boost to their vision it gives and this outweighs any slight annoyance or discomfort they may or may not have.
In fact although visors can be tinted some driver have a clear visor and wear sunglasses instead. Although this may be down to preference or sponsorship factors rather than any issues with eyesight.
Which NASCAR Drivers Wear Glasses?
Although this is only based on our observations and a little research there have been a few NASCAR driers who have won glasses over the course of time.
- Joey Logano: Currently the most well know is Joey Logano who has been very forthright about his glasses.
- Tony Stewart: Tony is rumoured to have worn glasses towards the end of his driving career
- Kevin Harvick has reportedly been seen in glasses
- Johnny Benson Jr has been seen in glasses.
There will be more of course, but these are the ones we could find. If you know of more please pop the name and source into the comments.
Can NASCAR Drivers wear Sunglasses?
Yes, drivers are often seen wearing sunglasses with Oakley being a popular brand seen both on drivers and pit lane. Some of this will be to avoid the Sun and UV light but a lot bigger reason is likely to be sponsorship by sunglasses companies.
They also be used as added protection from dust and debris that might fly up during the race.
NASCAR drivers can wear glasses and of course many have and continue to race in either glasses or contact lenses. obviously being able to see if better than not!
There are helmets that are designed to fit glasses, and with visors over them there is not much impact on safety. Drivers can also wear bands to keep glasses in place or rely on the fitting of the helmet to make sure they don’t move during the race.
Glasses are very unlikely to cause a problem while racing, and of course better visuals means drivers should be able to perform at their top level.