Wow, What a freaking dream come true! June 22, 2008 @ apprx, 130pm, I got to race a real Nascar Nextel Cup 10 laps around Texas Motor Speedway. I am not even sure where to start, but I will go ahead and tell you all about it!
We got there and drove out thru the tunnel to pit road. What a spectacle seeing the speedway from that side. I can't believe how ginormous it is! They had all the cars set up inside the garage and seats so you could sit down and listen to the 30 minute shpeel about what to do and the lines and where to drive. Then we get to go up to the track and ride in vans 2 or 3 laps around the speedway so they could go through it again and show you on the track. I was one of the first ones in line for that. I walked fast up to the van and asked if I could ride in the front. The answer was, "sure!" With that, I jumped and squealed like a little girl and got in the van. (Squeal number one.) Of course, I listened like very intently, I wanted to make sure I took it all in and didn't forget anything. Can't drive like a racer if I don't listen to how to do it right!
After that, we stood in a line and they picked out the groups. I was in group 4. They sent us over to pick out our firesuits and then we wait.
During all the van rides, they had moved the cars up under a tent where folks would get to ride. We were told that all these cars were actual cars that the Nascar Cup drivers had used and retired (since they are in new cars this year.) As the first cars rumble up and move out, it was so freakin awesome! Have I already said that? Adrenaline starts pumping because I know that soon, I too, will be rumbling out from underneath the tent onto the track for my drive.
Oh, did I tell you that it was HOT outside??? Did you know that those firesuits are hot too and I was in group number 4. Thank goodness my dad got me some water. He kept telling me to drink and I didn't want to because I was afraid that I would have to go the bathroom during my drive. He told me not to worry about that...nope, didn't need to worry about that...
Anyway, my turn came up and we are standing under a little red tent, just the 10 folks in my group. The guy comes over and tells us about how this is going to work and then starts telling us what car we are going to be in. We can't pick cars because each car is set up for a certain size. When he is going around I started saying under my breath, "number 20, Home Depot, number 20, Home Depot." He gets to me and says, "You are going to be in Number 20!" I jumped and squealed like a little girl again! (Squeal number 2) Dudes I can't even begin to tell you how freaking awesome it was! Have I already said that...
Just talking about it gets my blood pumping again!
After that, we go pick our helmets and wait for the last group to finish getting out of the cars. Then, it is our turn.
Off we go. I jumped the pit road fence and head for my orange number 20 Home Depot car, just hoping that I do my family proud and don't let down them or the Home Depot. There is a reputation to up hold you know. Also, the weirdest part, I wasn't nervous. I was elated and floating on cloud nine. They told me how to get into the car and when I scooted into the seat, it fit perfect. My instructer Pat scooted in his side and I told him that I will do whatever he tells me to do, my goal is to go as fast as possible and not come in last. He said that is what he wanted to hear.
Now during the drive, you can't hear each other so they use hand signals. Thumbs up to speed up, thumbs down to slow down and flat hand to keep it even and side to side to change lanes. If you don't do what they ask for with speed up or slow down, they tap your right knee or push your knee down to go or grab your leg and pull it up to take the foot off the gas.
When the drive started and we popped the clutch to start the car, it was like thunder rumbling under my booty! (Squeal number 3!) I think I went perma grin and didn't stop. I went ten laps, but it didn't feel like it. It felt like 10 seconds. I passed 6 cars and went 145 miles per hour! I was not passed by anyone and I didn't come in last. During the drive, the G force was so powerful that I got light headed at one time, but because of where I was, I did not lose it. I have bruise on the back of my right arm that I am so proud of because I was getting pushed so hard to that side that it couldn't help but form. I will have to take pictures of that for ya! It is the best bruise ever!!
Whenever I got done and got out, I asked Pat how I did and he said great! He said that I couldn't have done any better because I got everything out of the car it had to offer. He was smiling really big too! That was great. I had to do good if I made the instructer smile that big!
What else?? Oh, I got a video too. My dad paid for me to have an in car video. You can hear the rumble of the engine and see out the front window. I think we are going to time some of the laps too, so eventually, I will have to put that on here.
Anyway, it was SOOOOO AWESOME! Praise God that I got to do it safely and Thank You to James for making a dream come true! Can't ask for much more than that! The adrenaline rush I had, carried me for about 2 hours and after then I tanked! I see why they call them adrenaline junkies! What a high! I would do it all the time if I could! That would be an awesome part time job!
I have to give the big boys credit, it is harder than it looks and I am positive they earn every penny they make! May God be with them when they drive every week! Those are adrenaline junkies! You don't realize how quickly you have to make decisions when you are driving that fast. You have to be one step ahead of the next guys and trust the guys driving around you. Now I understand why they get so mad at each other when they wreck. So here's to you Racecar Drivers everywhere!
So with that being said, I will load up some pictures for you. I hope you enjoy!
Until we read again!
Me in the hot suit! It was even hotter in the car, but the wind helped!
You see me driving by. My uncle was trying to catch me under the checkered flag and I was going too fast ... :-)
This last one is me waving with my instructer after we were done! If you could find a way to zoom in, all you can see of me are my teeth!