Folks I’m not a NASCAR fan by any stretch but this weekend I learned a new appreciation for the sport. Saturday morning I and some friends rolled into the Charlotte Motor Speedway at the crack of dawn. You could smell the track from a mile away, smoke and rubber from countless laps. We were greeted and donned with blue racing suits which just heightened the anticipation of the events of the day to come.

After a brief but informative class we found our way to Victory Lane and then the staging area. Our package included one eight lap ride and then an opportunity to get behind the wheel. I personally thought I might lose control of my bladder when the car, speedometer was reading 165, hit a bank and felt like we were going to shoot to the moon.  Thankfully we remained earthbound. I was beginning to question my nerve and ability to get behind the wheel on my own but stayed the course.  The hair stood on the back of my neck as they strapped me into the harness, which was a little tighter than I had expected. Once the flip was switched and the engine roared to life I had a momentary gut check.  I really didn’t want to look bad in front of my peers so I swallowed hard and waited for the signal. After the instructor car pulled out, I released the clutch and felt what these drivers are so lucky to enjoy.  Raw, wrenching power at the beck and call of my right foot. After hastily running thought all four gears, we were off.  I just happened to catch myself biting my lip and concentrating hard trying to follow the instructor. A glance at the speedometer showed 130 mph.  The car stuck to the road like glue and I felt like a kid. In summary, you gotta do this.

A special thanks to Ricky Coates of RLC for bringing me along