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Thursday, May 26, 2011

NASCAR Experience

A few Fridays ago (as in Friday the 13th!) my dad got to drive a NASCAR (apparently the correct spelling is in all caps, but from here on out I won't be typing it that way, because I feel like I'm screaming at you!).  As long as I can remember, I've heard my dad talk about wanting to drive a car and attend a race.  Well, he still hasn't been able to go to a race, but his other dream finally came true!

My dad is a pastor, and for his birthday, the church gave him a gift package to drive a Nascar.  We drove to Fort Worth to the Texas Motor Speedway.
(click to enlarge photos)
Dad got signed in and suited up.
Mom tried not to be nervous!

They took all the participants for that time slot over to get their picture taken in the winner's circle.  This is where you see the winner being interviewed at the end of the race and everyone from his team going crazy!
I told him to act like he had just won a race!
I got a smirk and a fist pump!

Then everyone from that time slot (they have these things going all day!) went to a class that was held in the press room.  They had to listen to an instructor, watch a video, then have a question and answer session.  The instructor threatened that he was in charge and there would be no fooling around!  He said that if anyone did any burnouts, they would immediately be told to get out of the car and leave.  I'm wondering if that had been an issue.  So, no burnouts for Dad.
Some people asked questions that made you wonder if they should be allowed in the car!

Each driver gets a pager that vibrates when it's their turn.  Dad's went off before he even had time to go to the bathroom!  He went to get in the line where they fit you for a helmet.
Can you tell that he's excited?!

Then they see what car would work for your height and size.  Dad was put in a Dodge Charger.  He was excited that he got a MOPAR car since he has an antique Dodge Challenger and an antique Jeep CJ-5 and Mom drives a Jeep Commander (all MOPAR)!

There are different packages that you can buy.  For $99 you can ride in the car with a professional driver that drives 3 laps at around 170 mph (I wanted to do that, but Colin wasn't thrilled over the price!).  Another package is that you can drive yourself for 5 minutes.  The most common package is that you can drive yourself for 8 minutes.  When the church called to get the package, Nascar asked whom the gift was for.  When they found out if was for the pastor, Nascar threw in a second 8 minutes and the life insurance policy for free!  Thankfully, the life insurance policy was not needed, but Dad was so excited to drive twice!  He went around the track about 7 times in 8 minutes for a total of about 14 laps in 16 minutes.  I think the oval track was a mile and a half.  The car will go a max of 150 mph.  Dad went 149.73 mph.  Needless to say, he was a little upset that his certificate didn't say the max speed!
 He's off!
 Coming to the pit after his first 8 minutes
 Waiting for the next 8 minute session
 All done!
 He looks pretty content!
Mom looks relieved!
Me & Colin

We had a really good time.  The track is huge and really cool to see in person.  Even if you don't watch Nascar, you've got to appreciate the skill in driving that fast!
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