Monday, August 8, 2022

Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace take on Park City during the ‘Incredible’ crossover event

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What happens when top motorsport drivers spend time with Olympic athletes? They test their skills against each other in a unique way, as demonstrated by Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace on a recent trip to Utah.

The two NASCAR drivers took part in a unique event prior to the trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Cup Series contenders – along with analyst Rutledge Wood; JR Todd and Shawn Langdon of NHRA; and Fredric Aasbo of Formula Drift – spent time at Utah Olympic Park and the USANA Center of Excellence in Park City while learning how the top athletes on the US Ski and Snowboard Team prepare for their own competitions.

This experience presented some new opportunities for members of the Toyota Racing family, particularly Wallace. The 23XI Racing rider took the opportunity to jump off the water ramp at the facility that ski and snowboard athletes use to test their skills before hitting the mountain and unforgiving snow. Wallace worked with four Olympians and made several jumps in the water.

Wallace also tested his flying skills in other ways. He headed to the trampoline next to the foam pit and did some somersaults under the watchful eye of professional snowboarder Toby Miller, who has proven his skills at the X Games, the Dew Tour and the World Snowboard Championships.

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“The Toyota Crossover event in Park City, Utah was amazing! I had the opportunity to meet athletes from different sports and learn about their craft and it was really special,” Miller said in a statement to Heavy.

“I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Bubba and Denny, two incredibly talented and just amazing people. Whether it was skiing up the water ramp, skiing down the bobsleigh run, or attempting a double front somersault into the foam pit, they were up for the challenge.”

Toyota Racing drivers took part in a packed day in Park City. Wallace tested his flying skills while Hamlin spent a lot of time on the basketball court. All Toyota Racing drivers also completed a training session with one of the US ski and snowboard strength and conditioning coaches, which included weightlifting and an obstacle course.

While there are some similarities between the training styles, particularly the emphasis on core strength, there are also some notable differences. Park City athletes place particular emphasis on explosive movements, long jumps, vertical jumps and overall balance.

“The real fun started when the entire Toyota family walked into US Ski & Snowboard’s USANA Center of Excellence gym – we all pushed each other to lift more weight, jump higher and do more reps,” added Miller . “That day was probably exactly what you would expect when you put a crowd of competitive athletes in a room. It was truly an honor to be part of such a talented group of individuals.”

The recent crossover event featuring Toyota athletes wasn’t the first time NASCAR drivers have headed to Park City. Several others did so in 2017 to help launch the partnership between Toyota and US Ski & Snowboard.

The first crossover took place in June 2017. Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones both represented Furniture Row Racing while Daniel Suarez represented Joe Gibbs Racing. Crew Chiefs Cole Pearn and Chris Gayle were both on hand to tour the facilities and take part in some unique workouts.

The NASCAR group was in Utah for two days and had a busy schedule. They trained with the strength and fitness trainer, did somersaults on the trampolines, rode the bobsled, tested the ski and snowboard simulators and hiked to the top of the ski jumps. The riders and crew principals even learned to skate from Olympic speed skaters at the Utah Olympic Oval.

CONTINUE READING: Former Formula 1 driver makes his debut in the Cup Series

The NASCAR group was in Utah for two days and had a busy schedule. They trained with the strength and fitness trainer, did somersaults on the trampolines, rode the bobsled, tested the ski and snowboard simulators and hiked to the top of the ski jumps. The riders and crew principals even learned to skate from Olympic speed skaters at the Utah Olympic Oval.

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