This is what happened at the end of my Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) where I got to drive a real stock car around Lowe’s Motor Speedway for eight laps – I wrecked! (Besure to watch last video in this post… the commentary by my friend Mike is hilarious!)
But I think you need to know the back story before you can really appreciate what happened here.
I have a huge crush on NASCAR. It started when we moved to Charlotte more than three years ago. (I rooted for Casey Mears for three years but switched to Danica Patrick this year!) I can’t say I love it like a real fan but I’m definitely fascinated by everything NASCAR – the racing, drivers, and just the fanfare and experience surrounding the sport. So when hubby got me the RPDE for Christmas, it’s fair to say my crush went into overdrive.
On Sunday, my friend Julie (she got the RPDE as a wedding gift) and I arrived at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and we were pumped! Within 45 minutes, the crew had suited us up (in what I called our costumes), told us everything we needed to know in order to drive these high performance stock cars, how to escape in case of an emergency, what not to do, what to do, how to drive fast, and of course to be sure and have fun!
Julie was more subdued at the start. She stalled but rest assured the minute she got out of pit row, she kicked it into overdrive, leaving everyone in the dust. Her top speed was 140 miles per hour. Let’s just say, don’t mess with Julie, she can drive!
I whole-heartedly believed I would excel. I had visions of grandeur! But in reality I was more like granny behind the wheel. My driving instructor flashed his green light for me the entire ride – urging me to pick up the pace. My knuckles were white and my usual jubilant self was silenced by how crazy it was that I was flying around the track.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a ton of fun and my top speed was 119 miles per hour. But I did crash. When everyone asked me what happened all I could say was, “I don’t know! I was really overwhelmed!” (BTW – I walked away unharmed!)
In retrospect, the Richard Petty Driving Experience was AWESOME! It has also given me an even bigger crush on NASCAR! I now think the drivers and pit crew are basically gods!