Friday, September 5, 2008

I have a new respect for Nascar!

Today, dad and I got to pretend to be race car drivers. We did the Richard Petty driving experience in Fontana, CA at the California Speedway. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience. You have to get there about an hour beforehand and then they give you your jumpsuit, have you go through an orientation, drive you around the track in a van showing you your lines and how to decelerate and accelerate in and out of the curves and just how to drive the cars in general. Then they bring you to the staging area where they put your helmet on and you wait until it's your turn to drive. It's takes a little getting used to. You do 8 laps, and about lap 4 you get it down.

It's apparently called the Auto Club Speedway now. They just had a race there Saturday that dad and I watched after we got back today. We have a new found respect for Nascar!

This is the driver's staging area

I like to think I could be the next Danica Patrick! :-)

My dad looked so official, one of the guys thought he was an instructor! I said, if they could only see his dress pants and polo under his jumpsuit they would have known better! :-)

The rookie cars

I was a smidge nervous!

They make you wear these under your helmet!

Not really a good look!

The put the helmet on so tight that........

you look like you have chipmunk cheeks!

Saying a little prayer before I got in the car. Like I said I was a little nervous!

They make you wear a neckbrace that won't let your head move hardly at all!

This is about the point I had a panic attack because you're strapped in so tight and it was about 110 degrees in the car!
After it was all done! I couldn't wait to do it again! It's a little weird getting used to. On the first turn as I got onto the track I went to look over my shoulder to check my blind spot and flip on my turn signal! Hard to do since you can't turn your head, you don't have a turn signal and there's no need to check for merging traffic! :-)

It was awesome!

I got to drive the Army car. It was my shout out to Tyler! :-)

Dad getting ready to drive

The Nascar guys make it look so easy to get in, but it was awkward trying to figure out what to hold on to inside.

Like I said, it was awkward to get in. I about got my foot stuck when I got in.

Getting strapped in

Yes, that would be his steering wheel on top of the car. Don't worry they put it on before you take off!

That's the pace car you have to keep up with. I said I would have done a lot better if they would have just gotten out of my way!

Dad taking off out of pit row

First lap
Dad was talking all kinds of smack about another guy that wasn't keeping up with the instructor and then he struggled his first three laps himself!

By lap 4 he had it together!

I would like it to be known that I had a faster top speed than dad! He had 126. I had 133!

Video of dad after it was over

Me taking off out of pit row. I didn't kill it! Thank you Heidi and Greg for my stick shift lessons! You obviously taught me something! :-)

Me out on the track! I'm the second car

More of me on the track, again the second car


Anonymous said...


I am so excited that you didn't kill the car! How fun. When I heard the motor...I wished SO BAD I could have been there!
When I first saw your jumpsuit, I thought it said 'Pretty'.

Holli said...

i could never.... and was your mom a wreck.... i would be:)

Jon said...


Love the pics. Looks like you guys had so much fun! Michelle's mom got to do something similar to you guys in Daytona last year. She got to drive Dale Jr's car. We've become Nascar fans, although I wouldn't say were freaks yet.. haha

Thanks for giving me some link love on your blog :) I'm going to hook you up on mine.

tamika paige said...

that looks awesome!!! how fun!!! i love the chipmunk cheeks...i was having flashbacks to when you got your wisdom teeth pulled. :) not sure why, but the picture of you dad getting in the car cracked me up.

Tater & Haley said...

I would have been so stinkin' nervous!!! You definitely were stylin' Tara. Really though, what a cool experience!!!

A. Cindy said...

Tara, Now that is something I could love trying!!! Sounds like so much fun - Glad you pushed the pedal and topped your dad's speed!!!!!

tamika paige said...

okay. so i know you have a new appreciation for nascar...but i feel like there has been more photo opportunities since this time? are you holding out on me? just 'cause i'm obsessed with checking you blog for new pictures doesn't mean you shouldn't post. that, or maybe you actually have a life and don't have time to post...and maybe you don't have any new pictures. :) just reminding you that you've got a fan out here!