Riding Shotgun with Rusty Wallace

Me climbing in the car 
Have you ever wondered what it's like to ride in a NASCAR stock car? Have you ever wondered how fast it feels riding around the track? I have. Living in Colorado puts a damper on going to races on a regular basis, but last week the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience visited Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR). I knew it was my chance to get a first-hand experience. I'm glad I did, because it was amazing!

Putting my fire suit on proved to be fun.
I didn't know what to expect when I got to PPIR on Sunday. I didn't realize I'd have to wear a firesuit for a ride-along. It was fun watching my grandpa and uncle put on their racing suits. We couldn't figure them out, though we later realized it would have been a lot easier had we taken off our shoes first.

The helmet was the tricky part for me. I had a hard time with the head cloth that goes on before the helmet. It came off when I tried to put the helmet on and I found myself wondering how drivers do this every weekend.

My uncle and grandpa took their turns on the track first. I was excited watching their cars go around the one-mile oval. My anticipation grew and I couldn't wait to get in the car and go for my ride-along.

Finally, it was go time. Feeling giddy with excitement, I hopped over pit wall and walked to my car. As I was climbing into the car I hit my head on the bar on the window. I'm a clumsy person, in fact, I could probably trip over a cordless phone. Regardless, I had a good laugh while I waited to be buckled into the passenger seat.

That's when the real fun began. I was shocked at how fast the driver left pit road. I was flat against the seat, eyes wide. I was already breathing fast, so took a deep breath in anticipation. As soon as the engine sound filled my ears I smiled.

"Here we go," I thought, "Here comes the magic!" I felt as if I was riding a rollercoaster. Immediately the driver started messing with me, swerving in and out as we exited pit road.

Everyone said I'd scream, but I never did, in fact, all I did was laugh and repeatedly say, "Whoa!"

Ready for the ride along.
It was nothing like I'd ever felt before. I couldn't believe how fast the car was going. I later asked the driver how fast we went, he told me it was about 140 to 150 miles per hour. When the car got close to the wall my breath caught in my throat. I was so sure he was going to hit the wall. But he knew what he was doing.

We may have only turned four amazing laps around the track but it was well worth it. I had a blast doing something I've dreamed about. I don't know how long it lasted but I never wanted it to end. Taking a ride along at my local track was truly exhilarating. It was also fun to talk with the people working there. The girl who helped me put on my firesuit on was nice.

When the ride started to end, I was sad. I wanted it to go on forever. The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience was a once in a lifetime experience. It was something many race fans dream about and I would love to do it again if given the opportunity. Before we left the track I found out that they have an automatic car the participants can drive. Maybe next time I'll get to turn some laps from behind the wheel.

Getting ready to ride.

Based on my adventure, I would recommend the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. Book your track time now by visiting http://shoprwre.com/.        

Riding Shotgun with Rusty Wallace Riding Shotgun with Rusty Wallace Reviewed by Lacy Page on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Rating: 5