a Richard Petty Driving Experience

Charlotte Motor Speedway, April 27, 2012     charlo3.jpg (908683 bytes)

  We spent Sat. PM at Charlotte Motor Speedway, our younger daughter had given to her by her husband, a "Richard Petty Driving Experience".   She got to drive 8 laps solo in a NASCAR car, and a 3-lap "Ride Along" in another car driven by a pro, was a freebie. She gave that to Pat, my wife, who's birthday was that day   I bought a Ride-Along for myself, too, as did daughter's hubby.   Fantastic experience, I want to go back & drive.   Pix are Pat & me getting suited up, 2nd is our daughter after her 8 laps. She was "pumped", and wished she could go more, sure she could go faster.   There was a 74 yr old guy there for his 3rd time. Drivers got around 135 mph, being led, and allowed (actually encouraged) to go as fast as they were comfortable, the riders saw 165 with the pro at the wheel.   

charlo1.jpg (196260 bytes) charlo2.jpg (772005 bytes)  

Charlotte Motor Speedway, Oct. 20, 2012  charlo4.jpg (667565 bytes)  charlo5.jpg (1119058 bytes)  charlo6.jpg (138122 bytes)  

   They've changed the way they do it, they say it helps you to, "go faster, faster," than the old way where you followed a "pace car", and they're right.  Now there's no car to follow, and you have an instructor/coach riding with you;  they've put a few marks on the track for where you oughta be going in & out of turns.  Brian Keselowski, Brad K's older brother, was my instructor.   

   Amy hit about 135 last Spring, the old way,  this time she improved steadily each lap, hit 145-149 the last several. Brian K was her instructor also, he was impressed by her. Her best lap was 1/2 sec. better than mine, old age doesn't help in that sport. 

   The video, below, is my last 3 laps.  The first lap you see was done in 41.22 sec., max. speed 147 mph, probably reached at the end of the back straight.  The video starts at the end of the front straight, setting up for turn 1.  Ahead of turns 1 & 3 there is one orange cone at the wall, the cutoff points.   Coming out of turns 2 and 4 there are 2 orange cones on the inside, they signal "hit-it", and I was getting on it just before that.  Full throttle coming out of turn 2, close to the wall all the way down the back straight. Super fun, 600 HP in a 3400 lb car. Brian Keselowski, Brad K's older brother, was my instructor.   The front "straight" is a bit more challenging, it's actually 2 turns with a short straight in between.  You don't see the whole thing from the car, the "doglegs" are enough of a turn to hide what's past them. 

www.boatanchors.org/CharlotteMS_3laps.mpg   click to download and run

This is a large file, medium resolution, about 115 Mb, and will take a while to load, it takes me 3 min..  It should run with "Windows Media Player"

These 3 laps were cut out of the  whole session, which is comprised of 2 segments, 8 laps, in for a little coaching to help go faster, then back out for 10 laps.  After looking at the video I know I could go faster, with a better line thru the doglegs on the front straight (which is really 2 turns).  Low sun, at 4:30 PM, made vision a bit challenging in picking out the markers on the front straight.  What a blast, a super experience. 

the complete video is about 16 minutes long.

and it's over this soon?  charlo7.jpg (761232 bytes)  charlo8.jpg (504497 bytes)