Tuesday, July 8 2014, 06:21 PM EDT
NASCAR Driver, Diving in Shark Tank
"I love driving race cars, I love driving next to sharks more dangerous than these," said Brendan Gaughn as he was in the middle of the shark tank at the Tennessee Aquarium.
Brendan Gaughn is a NASCAR driver, and Tuesday he turned in his car keys for an oxygen mask.
The dive was a pit stop in-between races for the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
8-year-old Matthew Mitchell was very impressed with Gaughn. It may have even inspired him to get in the water.
"If I had the right gear I would," he said.
Brendan Gaughn began racing in the Baja 1000 in Mexico.
"I grew up doing that, and my father did it in the 50s and 60s. It is such a great family sport," Gaughn said.
His NASCAR career in 1997, and has raced more than 100 times since then.
He just won the Gardner Denver 200 road race, and will soon be on the Bristol Motor Speedway for the Night Race at the end of August.
And for the self proclaimed adrenaline filled sports junkie, swimming with the Tennessee Aquarium's sharks was nothing compared to the sharks on the race track.
"They are very peaceful and docile creatures. Not these man eaters they're made out to be," Gaughn said. "You're racing against all these cup drivers and young kids. Now, they're man eaters. It's easy for them to wreck you and make it look completely innocent."
Gaughn's next race is the Night Race at Bristol, August 23rd.