Is your husband a NASCAR fanatic? Does your girlfriend count the
days until it's time for the Daytona 500? When your child hears the numbers 8, 24, and 48, does he automatically think Dale
Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson??
Are more than half the products in your home sponsors of a NASCAR team? Are you looking for the perfect gift, but
just don't want to buy another T-Shirt, hat, or 1/24th scale car?
Give your race fan the thrill of a lifetime with a gift certificate to any one of a dozen race schools. For as little
as $100.00 up to several thousand dollars, you’ll give a gift that will never be forgotten. Not even Santa could do
For the NASCAR fan, there is the Richard
Petty Driving Experience and the Dale Jarrett Driving Racing Adventure, among others. These classes are held on real racetracks
in real Cup cars. The Richard Petty Driving Experience holds their classes at tracks like Charlotte, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and
At the Richard Petty Driving Experience,
the beginner level runs between $300 and $400 dollars. For that, your speed demon can hop into a race suit, don a helmet,
climb through the window of a Cup stock car (remember the doors don't open), and tear around a mile, mile-and-a-half, or two
mile track for 10 laps.
When you arrive, there
is a half-hour briefing and you are driven around the track while they explain the different driving lines. Then you hop into
your car and get ready to go out onto the track.
instructor is in the lead car with two or three cars behind him each containing one student. Once out on the track, as long
as you are keeping up, the instructor will push his car faster (going up to around 165 mph). If any student runs into a problem
or just cant keep up with the others, another instructor will drive out onto the track and pick them up so the others can
continue at a higher speed.
After the laps
have been completed and you have returned to Pit Road and left your car, you are presented with a print-out showing your average
lap time, fastest lap, and mph for each lap. For a few extra dollars you can also have your picture taken in Victory Lane.
This beginner level is usually required before going on to any of the
other levels, which increase up to classes that span a whole weekend and running more than 80 laps under actual race conditions
at night with the other students. .
who would really like to know what it feels like but aren't ready to drive the car themselves, each track has a "ride-along".
The ride-along usually runs around $100 dollars and is exactly what it sounds like -- you get into a car that has had a passenger
seat added along with an instructor and take three very quick laps (about 165 mph) around the track.
They send two cars out at a time and each one takes its turn passing
the other so you can get an idea of how close they drive and how close they come to each other when they pass.
Do you have non-NASCAR race fans on your gift list? There are also driving
schools for Top Fuel, Open Wheel, Corvettes, and just about anything that goes fast!