Thanks to Disney Home Entertainment for Hosting this Experience.
While packing my bags for Charlotte Motor Speedway, I instructed my teary-eyed son that I would return with great stories, and to tell his teachers that his mom has run away to race-car driver school. My escape was being sponsored by Disney to celebrate the October launch of the Cars 3 Blu-ray.
I’ve never dreamed of race cars, but the opportunity to experience the speed and excitement of a NASCAR Experience ride along https://www.nascarracingexperience.com/charlotte-motor-speedway/ was exactly what my life needed right now. Over the past 10 years, I’ve dedicated most of my energy into raising three happy, kind kiddos, and I feel my own creative vaults need some TLC. For me, the NASCAR Experience is a risk-taking adventure (albeit with lots of safety measures) that gave me the opportunity to escape my life, and feel the thrill of someone else’s rock star racecar life.
We started with a van tour of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Through a handless audio system our driver cruised at a decent clip all the while giving us NASCAR history, facts and lore. Everyone at the Speedway speak so passionately about the sport, it’s history and traditions in North Carolina. It’s truly contagious!
Our group signed multiple consent forms, and lined up to receive our white paper hat to serve as a liner for the big safety helmet necessary for our drive. To add to our excitement, we did these administrative tasks while standing behind the race track wall as race cars sped around the track.
When my turn for my ride came my mind and stomach were seriously in disagreement. Part of me could not wait to get belted in, but my stomach was telling my feet to stay on safe solid ground. My head won the battle.
I was instructed to enter the vehicle through the passenger-side window. Sit on up on the window frame, and swing your legs into the car while snaking your body and lastly your huge, heavy helmeted head into the seat. The smell and heat of the engine were only matched by the deafening sound of the engine revving. My driver with his helmet, and glasses was difficult to recognize. He gave me a wave with his gloved hand, as my helpers locked me into my five-point harness. It was a bit embarrassing being loaded into a car like a toddler in a car seat, but certainly seemed worth the loss of pride to make sure it was done correctly!
Before I had time to change my mind, our car was racing out of the Pit Lane and onto the race track. The ride took my breath away. As we rounded the corners, we drove up the banks and closer to the outside wall. I could feel the speed and pressure in my head as the motor sounds increased. Three full laps of the iconic 2.5 mile track, and the muscles in my face hurt from maintaining my gigantic smile. We reportedly hit speeds up to 170 miles per hour!
Upon returning to the Pit Lane I quickly returned to reality, and felt the insane heat created by the humid, North Carolina night mixed with the high temperatures of the car’s tires and motor. I could not wait for my helpers to unlock the fabric mesh covering my exit window. Once out of the car, my feet, head and stomach needed to find their balance again.
I am so happy I got the opportunity to do this, and would encourage everyone to do it at least once! What a great present for that hard-to-buy for loved one in your life. Check out the NASCAR Experience website for how to book your trip. If you are traveling with your family to Charlotte Motor Speedway in December be sure to check out their amazing holiday light show. The locals couldn’t stop talking about it.
Watch Jill’s experience here.