Scott Russell: This Time I’d Train, Sleep …

This is not an easy sport. In a way it’s a simple sport, but it’s not easy.

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Scott Russell in an elevator at Daytona after his first Daytona 200 win. Dean Adams


A snip taken from a story on the Daytona 200 web site, published last year explains so much. Scott Russell “Mr. Daytona” was asked what he’d do differently if he had his racing career to do over again.

I’d tell myself to train hard, work hard at the craft and act right off of the race track. I was just naturally talented. This sport was never hard for me. Throughout my career, I didn’t feel like I needed to train. I was coming through at a bit of a different era. It wasn’t like it is now with guys out running 100-mile bike rides before they race and getting really fit. I rode on my natural talent. I rode that wave all the way to the top. Most people don’t have that luxury and really have to work hard for it. This is not an easy sport. In a way it’s a simple sport, but it’s not easy.”

Russell, like a lot of riders, only did minimal training for most of his racing career and infamous for going most of the Daytona 200 race week with minimal sleep. He rarely slept the night before and the night after most of his Daytona 200 victories.

Only after racing internationally for three seasons did Russell begin to understand or see any effects from jet lag.


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