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My wife asked me if they was anything special I wanted to do for my birthday when we were in Florida.
I had a think and was hoping there was a vintage muscle car driving experience. However, I came across NASCAR driving experience at Daytona International Speedway.
I didn't fancy spending most of the day actually driving a NASCAR myself so opted for the 3 laps drive along experience as a passenger with a professional driver.
Wow! What an experience. We booked it through Groupon for 1pm so to allow plenty of time to drive from Kissimmee. Its about 80 miles down the I4.
We arrived by 10am so I booked into the front desk at the Track. There is a museum and cafe and two tours (30 minutes and 90 minutes) . I asked if I could start early and they said yes.
So we boarded a tram and it took us to the centre of the massive track. There is one large bank of seats with over 100,000 seats. Very impressive.
I was feeling very nervous as this stage, which didn't help when I saw an ambulance parked discretely behind a building.
I had to register again, signing forms, then I had to queue. This took about 40 minutes due to number of other riders. There was shaded seats for guests to watch right next to the car stops but the queue was not shaded. Eventually, I was given a hair net, a helmet and a neck brace.
There were many fathers and sons riding and the rest were middle aged blokes.
When my time arrived, I climbed through the driver's window. The crew bolted my seat harness together and bolted the neck brace to the seat.
The driver was making friendly small talk but I was concentrating on what was about to happen. The 600 BHP cars are fuelled by Ethanol and they are very LOUD.
Once the crew left, the driver said 'You better hold on as I'm not taking it easy out there!'
'What do I hold on to?' I replied.
'Anything but the driver!' and off we went. The track is tri-oval and the two main banks are 31 degrees. The first bank was not too bad and the driver has to take it low but
then on the first straight, he put his foot down and you could really feel the speed. At the second bank, he took it high and it was amazing as the car learned over.
The driver seemed to be fighting the steering. I was clinging on for dear life. It was taking my breath away. Speeds of up to 170mph are claimed to be reached.
I'm not sure if it was that fast, but its very fast. I tried looking over at the dials but it was just a blur. Eventually, after the 5th bank, the driver has to ease off to slow down for driving into the pits. He gave a thumbs up and gave one back, so the last bank was low and slower.
As we stopping, the driver asked what did I think and I made so comment to the driver about 'Days of Thunder'! I don't think it he got it.
The crew then unbolted me and I an official photographer took my picture with me sat on the passenger door, which I bought later online for $25.

I was surprised by the whole experience and even more surprised there was no pressure to tip the driver! Most tourist activities in Florida usually ends with a tip!
I would definitely recommend it but arrive early with a hat or sun cream. The queue was getting bigger after my turn and the riders were queuing in the hot sun.
Then we went to the beach to relax! It's only 4 miles away from the track.

I only wished I had booked 6 laps.

Page created by Goofy3075 on 06-05-2019 09:14.
+ Last editted by Goofy3075 on 06-05-2019 21:19. View History

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