On a warm sunny day, I had the wonderful opportunity to drive in a real life stock-car in the Stock Car Racing Experience at the Pocono Raceway in Blakeslee, Pennsylvania. I had gotten the surprise from my girlfriend who purchased the 20 mile/8 lap tickets as a gift, since she knew that I had always wanted to be able to drive like a professional Nascar driver. I would have to say the experience definitely surpassed my exceptions.
I give the staff of the Stock Car Racing Experience fives stars for their friendliness, preparation, and overall thoroughness. My girlfriend and I had gotten there early to make sure that we give ourselves enough time. We had been rounded up with approximately 15 other guests to be educated through a class to help each driver with what they would need to know before driving onto the 2.5 mile triangular raceway. Our instructor proceeded to show us a video about everything you would need to know. He made sure to let us know that our safety was very important and to ensure that we would have a great time while doing so. Throughout the video, almost everything you could think of was explained, such as the meanings of the flags, how to drive the corners, and even what to do in case of emergency. After completing the video, he opened the floor to any questions and any concerns that we might have. Once, we were done we were sent downstairs to get an introduction to a real stock car. The instructor show us how to get in the car, remove/install the steering wheel, put on the seat beats, and all the emergency/essential switches that we need to know. It was great to get familiar with a stock car before jumping into one and driving off onto the raceway. Lastly, we were driven onto the raceway with a passenger van to introduce us the banking on the corners, what markers to look out for, and how to enter/exit the pits. I could definitely say that I was very prepared to get into the stock car. Once we had completed the training class, we were ready to get onto the track. We were then fitted for the suits and helmets, then we were ready to get on the track!
Lucky for us, we were one of the first to get onto the track! After a few awesome pictures before getting to the stock cars, the one instructor made me feel very comfortable about getting ready inside the stock car. He told me relax and I’ll help you with whatever you need. So with that said, he helped me get in the vehicle, put on the seat-belts, fasten my helmet on, and refresh my memory on the switches. While this was happening, my girlfriend was getting ready in the instructor’s car as the passenger and there was one other guest was lined up behind me that would be driving in our pack of three. The instructor checked everything in my stock car and told me go and kick some butt out there! I turned on the cut off switch, stomped on the clutch and threw her into gear as the instructor turned on the ignition switch on the dash. I instantly felt the power as I rolled out in first gear. I got out onto fourth gear before finally getting on the raceway itself. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to put the stock car into the individual gears! The first lap I kept the stock car at around 4000 RPM until after the lead car (instructor) started pushing the pace. As each lap went by and the pace got faster, I couldn’t believe the power and the force going around the corners. My heart was beating faster and faster as each lap went by. As each lap went by I was getting higher and higher on the RPM. I couldn’t tell how fast I was really going because there are no speedometers in these stock cars. For sure, the laps went by so fast because of how intense and how focus you need to be when you are driving. Before I knew it, the raceway guide waved the checkered flag to come back into the pits. As we got close to the pits, our instructor made sure to wave at me, so that I would wave the driver behind me into the pits as well. A slight tap onto the brakes and popped the gear into neutral was enough to roll the stock car into one of the pit lanes. As soon as I had come to a complete stop, the pit crew were there to help me out of the safety harnesses and get the stock parked into place. The pit crew were very outgoing and happy to ask me how it went and where to return the safety gear. So I am sure you are wondering how fast I was going. The final reading for my speed throughout the stock car was between 150 to 160 mph which was pretty freaking awesome!
I can officially say I have driven a race car! It was an awesome experience and it was better than I could have imagined. I have to say this again. I was very impressed with the staff and how they were attentive and very professional. I felt very comfortable and safe throughout the whole experience. For anyone that is scared or skeptical, I would say that I normally am a little standoffish when it comes to these situations, but they definitely left me with a great feeling the whole time. You have to experience it for yourself to know what I’m talking about! After finishing the experience, I have so much respect for professional drivers because the endurance and skill to drive these beasts for hours at a time. Thank you again to Stock Car Racing Experience for their professionalism and BIG THANK YOU to my girlfriend that made this possible! If you get a chance, I would recommend you to give the Stock Car Racing Experience a try and drive like a professional!