Saturday, October 24, 2009


These pictures were taken on the van tour.
Jim wasn't scheduled to drive until 5:00 pm so we took the tour van of the speedway during the day. If you are ever in this area, definitely a fun thing to do. They give you a tour of all the tracks which includes a couple of go kart tracks, a drag strip, a dirt track, and the NASCAR race track, along with the garage area and also a trip around the race track at 75 mph so you can feel the banking of the track. This tour was only $5 a person and great fun.

At 4:30 we signed Jim in and here are the pictures. There are quite a few of them but this is definitely one of the biggest highlights of our trip so far this year. I've also put some videos on. But first a disclaimer on them. I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination. And using the video on the camera was completely new to me. So you will see a lot of ground at the end of some of the videos. Such is the way it goes sometimes. I did get a little better as time went on. So please enjoy. We sure did.

When we had watched the drivers earlier in the day they were driving under the Richard Petty Driving School and they had a lead car in front of them. So this is what we expected for Jim. But the Jeff Gordon Driving Experience runs differently. After everybody got signed in they held a driver's meeting (in the same room that the NASCAR driver's have their meeting). During this meeting they explained everything that would happen on the track. (I got to attend the meeting with Jim.) Things like when to shift and the rpm's for each lap. If you want more details than that you'll have to talk to Jim. A lot of safety information. And then we found out that everybody would be out on the track without a lead car. That is so much cooler. You are in complete control of your car out on the track - not just following another car around the track. However, they do have a "kill switch" on the car if you try to do something stupid.

After the meeting, Jim got his firesuit on and they took pictures in the winner's circle. Then we went down to pit row where he got his helmet and they determined which car to put him in. They tried to put him in a Toyota and you can just imagine how happy that made him. But he finally convinced them he had to ride in a Chevy. So now he's really a happy driver.

They start them out kind of slow for the first lap - about 90 mph. Then each lap after that he got to go faster until he reached the rev limiter at 150 mph. They also let him pass another slower car which was a real thrill for him.

After he finished his laps, he got out of the car and had to turn in his suit and helmet. I wasn't sure he was going to give them back but they were holding onto his driver's license so he didn't have any choice.

NAPA had sponsored a contest for it's shop owners an so we had about 25 of their winners. Because they were there, there was a real well known former crew chief, Larry MacReynolds, who is now an announcer for the races. So Jim was able to get his picture taken with Larry. NASCAR drivers and crews are some of the nicest celebrities. They always have time for their fans.

This is Lugnut's car. He's the Lowes Motor Speedway Mascot. Didn't see any sign of him but his car is sure cute.

So now Jim wants to know when he can do it again. So I told him he had to save his pennies. We would definitely recommend this experience for anyone who likes speed. Do It!


  1. Just checked in to see what Jim and Sandie have been up to lately. Wow! You guys are having fun! I'm adding "driving a race car" to my bucket list!


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