Josh Wise will run his first Coca-Cola 600 this Memorial Day weekend and is preparing in every way possible to prepare for NASCAR's most endurance-testing event. The 30-year-old driver of the No. 35 MDS Transport Ford, who still considers himself a rookie in some of the Sprint Cup Series events, has been preparing both physically and mentally.
Wise is a triathlete, with both Half Iron Man and Full Iron Man competitions on his schedule this year. He says his physical conditioning has him ready to run the extra mileage in Sunday night's Cup race. He's preparing mentally with racing simulators, video and a little help from his teammates.
Wise has just one Cup start at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and seven Nationwide Series starts.
Comments from MDS Transport team driver Josh Wise heading to Charlotte:
"The Coke 600 is obviously going to be a long night. I've never run it, so 600 miles is going to be a long race, particularly for me since it's my first time. Mentally, it's a long time to focus. Luckily, I've put a lot into my conditioning over the winter and leading up to this point in the season, so I shouldn't experience any physical fatigue in the car. But it's definitely a learning process as far as how much focus you have to put in and how to run such a long race strategically.
"A lot of these races, I'm still a rookie really. So I go into them with an open mind and I try to prepare as well as I can with simulator racing on iRacing, watching videos, talking to my teammates, looking at last year's scouting reports, understanding race histories and things like that. And I'll take that same approach into the 600 and know that it's going to be 100 miles longer than what I'm used to."