Skip to main content

NASCAR races are run for hundreds of miles over several hours. During this time drivers are constantly exerting extreme energy. They often must contend with sometimes extremely high in-car temperatures and other factors that can lead to dehydration if left unchecked. Drink bottles provide hydration, but it begs the question, do NASCAR drivers pee during a race? The answer is sometimes, at least for one of NASCAR’s current stars and one Hall of Famer.

Denny Hamlin recently revealed that on his podcast, Actions Detrimental, that in nearly two decades of NASCAR racing, he had never peed during a race. That is, until this year’s Ambetter 400 Cup Series race at Atlanta.

“I just have never been able to go in the car,” he said. “There’s something about it. It’s either I’m not holding it, or I’m not standing up. Something just doesn’t feel right to me and my body, and it just hangs on.”

Hamlin said the need to go became too much to tame, however, late into the 400-mile race during a red flag period.

“My bladder is just dying,” he said. “And so I get to pit road and they’re working on the damage, and I just closed my eyes and tried to think of something that would make me go. And as soon as I got the first dribble, boom.”

It might not be the last time, according to his comments.

“I never felt what it felt like to pee in my seat, but I kind of like it,” he laughed. “Is that weird?”

Denny Hamlin celebrates 2024 NASCAR Clash victory
Denny Hamlin | Meg Oliphant via Getty Images

It’s a nearly opposite story for NASCAR Hall of Fame member and champion Bill Elliott.

Elliott wrote in his 2006 book, “Awesome Bill From Dawsonville,” he was much more prone to peeing during a race earlier in his career.

“I can’t tell you how many driving suits I ruined in my early days,” he writes.

Elliott said he later learned to “manage your fluid intake” as a veteran driver.  

“If it’s a hot day you can drink to within an hour of the race and if you hit the restroom before you get in the car, you won’t have to go,” he writes. “If it’s a cool day and you drink something right before getting in the car, you’re gonna have to go.”

Ultimately, Elliott suggests there’s no alternative but pee during a race if a NASCAR driver’s bladder is full.

“What’s a NASCAR drive to do? Let her rip,” he writes. “This is not NASA, there are no hoses for bladder-challenged drivers.”