Are you an adrenaline junkie who secretly believes you have the “right stuff” to keep pace with Jeff Gordon? If so, then getting behind the wheel of a super-charged high-performance NASCAR stock may be just what you’re looking for. For the opportunity to put the pedal to the metal there are many companies that offer this memorable experience at a number of racetracks across the country.
Some of these companies are owned by former race car drivers and employ teams of professional drivers to travel around the country offering this unique experience. Driving programs in these cars are offered at famous oval short tracks, speedways, and super- speedways nationwide. Consisting of one-half to one-mile circuits, and turns ranging from 14 to 36°, the tracks used for this exhalation of a lifetime includes the New Hampshire International Speedway, the Richmond International Raceway, the Atlanta Motor Speedway, and the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, among many others.
The cost for this adrenaline rush will depend largely on the choice of the speedway and the number of laps driven. For example, on most of the tracks used for this experience the cost will generally run as follows:
- 8-12 laps - $400
- 15-20 laps - $600 to $800
- 30-40 laps - $1,100 to $1,700
- 50-60 laps - $1,700 to $1,900
- 75-85 laps - $2,400 to $2,600
- 100 laps - $3,000 and up
If one prefers the thrill of driving on the bricks of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the popular Daytona International Speedway, or the biggest, fastest, and most competitive motorsport facility in the world, the 2.66 mile Talladega Super-Speedway, one can expect the cost to be around:
- 8 laps - $500
- 16 laps - $1,250
- 24 laps - $2,100
** Some programs offer 10 to 80 laps at Talladega for $600 to $3,300
For those drivers who have prior racing experience or have completed at least 75 laps, a special exclusive Nextel Cup Racing Experience awaits them – an actual all day one-against-one challenge with an expert stock car driver. Cost for this extraordinary experience is anywhere from $12,500 to $20,000.
Make no mistake about it, most of the various racing programs available use real NASCAR Nextel Cup racing cars as well as Busch Grand National cars and the best part is - they put you behind the wheel with 6 to 8 cars on the track at the same time. Passing is allowed and at most tracks you’re not required to follow an instructor-driven Pace Car which gives you the freedom to race against the wind. In fact, with little effort these souped-up cars can easily reach speeds of 165 miles per hour and the cars have in-car cameras to prove it.
The schedule of driving dates can usually be reviewed on-line with information on reservations readily obtained with one click of the mouse or with only a phone call. Corporate and group programs can also be specifically tailored to fit your needs. Whichever speedway you select you can expect to experience a white-knuckle thrill driving state-of-the-art 600-700 horsepower V-8 Nextel Cup vehicles.
As a rule, although no prior experience is necessary, potential drivers should be capable of operating a 4-speed manual transmission, hold a valid drivers license, be in good physical condition, and be able to climb through a 15”x30” side window 3 feet off the ground. Once you’re instructions on track rules, safety, shifting, etc. are completed you’re ready to burn rubber.