Saturday, March 5, 2011

my NASCAR Ride Along

Today I did my NASCAR 3 Lap Ride Along that I bought back in December 2010 off of Living Social.  I have always been a FAN of NASCAR and the idea of racing and going really fast sounds like such a blast...a complete THRILL!  

Several years ago I went and saw an IMAX Film with Veronica, I believe it was called SPEED.  It went thru several things like sky diving, and in one scene you were behind the wheel of a NASCAR race car.  It was an awesome experience. I told Veronica, some day I am going to do that!!!  Well, I checked into it, and the normal price is $500 for 1 Lap...ugh, that would be the BIGGEST waste of money ever and of course I told myself I couldn't do that.  That wouldn't be a good use of my funds.  I subscribe to Living Social, it is a website like Groupon, that emails you promotional specials for the day.  In December they had one where you could purchase the NASCAR Ride Along which allows you 3 laps of riding in a NASCAR with a driver for $77. They also had the deal where you could purchase the NASCAR Drive Experience which allows you to experience 5 minutes of driving a NASCAR for $169.  I couldn't believe it!!!  The pricing was much more reasonable, but still a chunk of money.  The deal was a 1-Day deal only, so I knew I couldn't just think about it for a few days, but with me being unemployed and not making money, I just wasn't sure what I should do.  I decided after wanting to do this all my life, I would purchase them both and take the $246 out of savings!!!  It was half off for both experiences and for more than one lap!  I didn't schedule them for the Texas Motor Speedway until this week and with limited dates to choose from, I didn't have many options, but I decided to book the Ride Along first and the Drive Experience later in the year.

I am now going to describe to you my thoughts and experience:
My instructor told me to climb in with left foot first, right foot second, left shoulder and down under.  That was simple enough.  Then they strap you in...similar to a kids car seat.  Strap between the legs, one over the lap and buckles over both shoulders and arms.  Then this fence guard that gets put up for your "window".  I was in the Ride Along Car about 6.45pm.  My driver (yes, this really very cute young guy) asked me if I was ready...I said "Yes!".  With that, we took off.  No lurching, just stop to fast!  As we came out of the pit stop, I tried to take a picture of what it looked like sitting in the shotgun seat, looking out the dashboard of the car to the track, but it was a blur and didn't turn out well (so I deleted it and will not post it here).  When we took off, I was like "Oh yah, this is gonna be sooooooooooo much fun!!!"  We got going really FAAASSSSST!  Round bin one, accelerating even more down the can't imagine what 170-180mph is until you experience it...believe me, it is an experience ALL ITS OWN!  Now for bin two...and this is when my thoughts sort of took a new spin...this is when I am thinking "No way...he is going waaayyyyyyy to fast, there is no way we can go around this curve this fast...absolutely no, OH MY WORD!!! we are going so FAST".  The feeling, a pull on your body as you head into the curve, the way the car totally handles the turn and doesn't flip and is totally smooth, awesome traction, the impact as you pull out of the curve and gain speed to head down the weird!  A totally Incredibly Awesome experience!  Halfway thru bin two, my head started spinning...I could see clearly but it is almost like you feel dizzy, but it quickly passes.  I took a deep I held on, gripping the inside side bar on the left side of the seat.  We made it perfectly, pulled out down the other side of the track heading into Lap 2.  My heart is racing...I really can't believe I am doing this...something I have wanted to do all my life!  As we were headed into Lap 2, I wondered, could I do this Drive Experience in two months that I had booked?  Could I truly do it???  I mean, it almost seems a bit scary to think of me driving that fast on the track...unsettling...but yet SOOOOOOO fun!!!  Round 2 was more fun because I knew what to expect...or did I?  The driver took to the far outside of the circle passing an open cockpit single person race car (pardon me, I donno the true name for these) we didn't just pass him, we flew by him like he wasn't hardly moving on the track...this was a whole new feeling.  But I loved every minute of it and knew that Lap 3 was going to close in on me fast and my Ride Along was going to be over.  Sure enough.  It is 100% authentic!  The smell of burning rubber...exhaust...the roar of the engine...What Fun!!!  Absolutely a BLAST!  We pull into our pit stop and the instructor asked me how it was...I said "Absolutely Awesome,  I've wanted to do this my entire life!!!"  He laughed.  It truly was an Incredible experience.    

I didn't think to find out how fast we actually went until I left the Texas Motor Speedway.  I am going to try to call on Monday and get the stats.  :)

Here are the pictures I took of the Race Car that I got to do my ride along in (I'll try to scan in the photo they took of me later):
My Ride Along Car

rear view of My Ride Along Car

Thats the Ride Along Car flying around the track! absolute total BLURRRRR - ZOOM!!!

After the ride along experience, you get to take your picture out by a race car...not in your suit and helmet and not with the car you drove in, but the 5x7 was included in my package and is a nice memory to have.  I have the photo and plan to frame it or put it in my scrapbook.  The first picture they took of me wasn't saved to their camera memory card, so they had to redo it...because of the "inconvenience out in the cold, we are giving you a hat".  I got a bright pink "Racin' Chick" ball cap!  :)  

So you ready for your turn???  Come On!  I will race you on May 13th (that is my scheduled NASCAR Drive Experience date).  Wanna go???  There is nothing like the NASCAR Racing Experience!!!  See you at the track!


  1. Hey Blair, you can buy tickets here: They are not as cheap as the Living Social offer, but you can get discounts. :) I recommend you do it if it remotely intrigues you!!!