OT: Richard Petty Driving Experience

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Posted by OnBelay ( on 07:12:15 10/26/11

I have never been much of a fan of roundy-round racing. Through my work, I have spent a great deal of time at NHRA races throughout the country, and just never got over the feeling that if you could turn, it just meant you weren't driving fast enough.

While I'm still not gonna use up a Sunday afternoon watching NASCAR, I did have the chance to play on a track last weekend. Through a contest at work, I was able to go to Kansas Speedway and participate in the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

Driver education, safety education, a little mechanical education, and 30 laps of driving. Very professional, very safe, and 164.2 mph on the front straightaways. I cannot stress how great it is to be treated in a first class manner by true professionals. The entire Petty team has it down. Equipment, training, personal interactions were faultless and well done.

They have a variety of packages, starting around a C note for a ride along for three laps, up to a couple thousand dollars for the whole day. Our package was in the middle, and was a real hoot!

Of course, getting to go with customers that also won a free ride, a couple coworkers, and the boss, and the vendor who paid for it all, combined with a tailgate party in the garage area on Pit Row made a pretty memorable day. Don't know that I've heard/been part of that much smack talk in a long time.

And, to give the devil his due: Yes, those cars really do smooth out over 100 mph, they really do go exactly where you point them, and there is an extreme amount of concentration involved in operating at speed. My left arm is still a little tight...must have been cranking down kinda hard! :-)

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