Author Topic: Richard Petty Driving Experience  (Read 2882 times)

dale_z28

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Richard Petty Driving Experience
« on: February 19, 2016, 12:31:58 PM »
A few years ago I took my wife (fiance' at the time) to Sparta, Kentucky for a birthday surprise. Since it was late May, Indy was out of the question because of the 500. She had no idea what was going on, even though there was race memorabilia all around us where we spent the night. The next morning when I opened the curtains, there was the racetrack! In trying to maintain the secrecy I closed them enough so that she couldn't see out... It didn't help matters when I told her not to worry too much about fixing her hair (I knew the helmets would ruin that very quickly!)

We headed over and as we pulled up to the gate and a guy with a clipboard approached, she really began to suspect something. He checked our names off and sent us in. Soon she was sitting in a drivers meeting, and then donned a racing suit. I opted to buy her a "ride along' as part of the package, and she insisted I get one, too. After the ride alongs, while she was in line to drive, she observed a car with "Navy" on the side. She said, "Hey! I work for the Navy, can I drive that car?!" so they rearranged the order so she could.

She took the car out for 6 laps, got up to 140 mph. I think I enjoyed it more than she did, but you couldn't wipe the smile off her face for the rest of the weekend. I highly recommend it!
'69 X33 02D   Since 11-29-'77

Details are trifles, but trifles make perfection. And perfection is no trifle.
~Ben Franklin

Kelley W King

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2016, 03:29:50 PM »
I did it in Charlotte as a birthday present also a while back. It should be on all car guys bucket list.I wished I had done the more lap option since it took me 4 or 5 to realize the car would stick and only needed corner braking sometimes. my friend had done it before and knew and did the best time of all. I thought it was cool when everyone started requesting Ford or Dodge or Toyota and the guy said yes but then told us for maintenance and repair that they all have chevy engines. I also liked the part when they said if your brakes fail don,t come down pit road just coast until it stops and they would come and get you.
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rich69rs

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 03:54:16 PM »
My Mrs. and I got to Las Vegas first week of March every year for a little R&R and to catch NASCAR weekend in Vegas including the Spring Cup race on Sunday.  Going this year as well.  Easy trip, 1 hr flight on Southwest from Reno to Las Vegas.

Back at Christmas 2010 she gave me the 30 lap Richard Petty Driving Experience, and since we were going to be in Vegas for that 1st weekend in March in 2011, I scheduled mine for Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5 mile) the Monday after the Sprint Cup race.

After about an hour of basic information, it was time to do it.  The 30 laps were broken down into 3 segments; 8 laps, 10 laps, 12 laps.  You are always following your driver/instructor who is in a car just in front.  The idea is to maintain 3 car lengths distance.  If you get to far behind, he flashes his right taillight (green) which is your indication to close up.  If you are too far back, he flashes his left taillight (yellow) which is your indication to add separation - that you are too close.  Your basic mission is to follow his tire tracks and maintain the three car length.  IF you can do that, he will keep increasing speed (up to about 160 or so); if you can't, he won't.

After each of the 1st two segments, came into the pits for a review of what I did right and what I needed to do better in the next segment.  Never had the throttle down probably more than 2/3, never touched the brakes, and the car never came close to bobbling.  It was like it was on rails.  Average speed for the 1.5 miles was 139, topping out at about 155 down the back straight and across the start/finish line.

Entering the pits begins on the back stretch with rolling way out of the throttle and moving down onto the apron.  As you get about 1/2 way through turn 4 your turn and enter the pits and take the car out of gear.  As you come down the pits, you see 1st a sign that reminds you to make sure the gearbox is in neutral.  Secondly, you see a sign that tells you to tap your brakes to be sure that they are there.  About 2/3 the way down pit road you roll to a stop at the designate location and you get some more instruction on how to improve.

The reason for taking the car out of gear and coasting in neutral is that they do not want anyone downshifting - way too easy to get in trouble and spin the car around if someone doesn't know what they are doing.

Once stopped, they raise the hood, take a quick look see, roll the car back and forth slightly to look at the tires, close the hood and get you ready for the next segment.

You have the option to purchase a video of your ride (which comes to you as a CD in about 4-6 weeks).  I purchased mine.  On the screen in the videos are images from two cameras; one looking out the front of the car and one looking back at you.

It was quite the experience.  My youngest daughter and her husband are going with us this year.  Won't be able to fit it in this year, but we're already talking about doing the "experience" next year.  I'd love to see the look on Matt's (son-in-law) face.

Definitely a bucket list item, well worth it.

Richard
Richard Thomas
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cook_dw

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2016, 04:25:59 PM »
I did the Experience at the KY Speedway back in 2008..  Had a blast the morning was the class then after lunch we hit the track..  Last words the co-pilot said was take your time and ease in to it and go from there..  I just smiled and said ok.  Fired the engine and headed out the pits..  Came out of turn 2/3 and hit the back stretch and once I was in 3rd I matted it..  Banged 4th and rolled out..  They had yellow cones to let you know to to let off the gas and then red cones for braking..  I think I was scaring the rider because he was reaching over and pulling my leg of the throttle..  Needless to say he wasnt very happy when we hit the pits again.  Average speed was 172 and we got a DVD and photos from the event..  While I was getting my DVD one of the pit crew guys came up and asked who was in the black 00 car just now..!!??!!..  I thought great Im in trouble...  I said that was me reluctantly..  He said you were Fing flyin'!!!  Just put a huge smile on my face..  Makes me wanna go back and do it again without the co-pilot..   ;D 



Back when I still had a little hair..  IDK what I was thinking..   ::)






Darrell Cook

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69Z28-RS

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2016, 05:28:01 PM »
Darrell,

You do look a little like a little heavier Dale Jr..  :)
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z28z11

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2016, 05:34:33 PM »
I get it now - Jethro Bodine, Agent Double Naught - from back home in Tennessee.

Regards,
Steve
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cook_dw

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2016, 10:46:27 PM »
Darrell,

You do look a little like a little heavier Dale Jr..  :)

I wouldn't go that far..  Lol. And it would be a lot heavier if anything..   ;D


I get it now - Jethro Bodine, Agent Double Naught - from back home in Tennessee.

Regards,
Steve

Lol thanks Steve. That makes me feel much better..   :P    ;D
Darrell Cook

Contact me if you have a 68 L78/L89 Camaro to add it to my database.

bcmiller

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2016, 11:22:02 PM »
I did it at the Kansas Speedway in 2006.  I was second fastest in our group of 40 or so.  Fastest guy was a long time sprint car driver.  My dirt track days were limited, and not in a sprint car.  So I was OK with being second. :)  I like driving in a straight line better anyway.  8)

But I would like to drive again at another track. :)
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X33RS

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2016, 11:24:02 PM »
What's the price of this now?  I looked into it eons ago when they first built Kentucky.

bcmiller

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2016, 11:42:48 PM »
Cost depends on the track and what you want to do. Pricing in this link...

http://www.drivepetty.com/experiences
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 - now 468 ci, M21, 12 bolt
Looking for 68 Camaro with body number NOR 181016

69Z28-RS

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2016, 03:59:11 AM »
It's not the same... :) .. but I have gone around the Indy track a few times in a '55 Nomad, and I've had my first '90 ZR1 on the high banks of Daytona..  :)

Gary
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
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cook_dw

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2016, 04:38:59 AM »
I will say this about driving at that speed in that type of environment..  You can get tunnel vision very quickly.  It gave me a whole new respect for drivers of that type of racing...  I do enjoy drag racing and being that I lived in BG and had Beech Bend in the back yard I spent most of my Tuesday and Saturday nights at the track either racing one of mine or test & tuning customer cars..  The track is the only thing I miss about Bowling Green.. 
Darrell Cook

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ko-lek-tor

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2016, 04:45:15 AM »
It's not the same... :) .. but I have gone around the Indy track a few times in a '55 Nomad...  :)

Gary
Before I was of driving age, my dad had a chance to drive around the Indy Track in our car. Sounds like a great time eh? Here is the rest of the story: Dad liked Mercedes Benzs and had many. Dad also belonged to the local chapter of a M-B club. This was a club event, so several M-B club members headed out from Cincinnati one Saturday afternoon heading for the famed track. I was in the back seat of dad's M-B 240D (diesel) along with my younger sister and older brother. Mom and dad up front. Now, several members were up in years and I will never forget the robin egg blue diesel M-B we followed all the way up I-74 had it's left turn signal on, the whole way up I tell ya! What should have been an awesome experience was a humiliating, embarrassing experience, at least IMO. As we pull on the Indy track and proceed in file around the track, yep, there was that guy with the turn signal, still on, going around the track. The highest speed we were allowed to attain was 55.  if you ever had a M-B diesel from the seventies, slug would be a compliment in describing this diesel's acceleration. It was slow. I know I exaggerate,but I swear it took the whole lap to get up to 55! As a 15 Y.O. already passionate about  old and fast cars, this was the pits. I mean, anything but that boxy, stodgy slug. Only track , not counting drag strips, I have (rode) been on.
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X33RS

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2016, 01:42:01 PM »
It's not the same... :) .. but I have gone around the Indy track a few times in a '55 Nomad, and I've had my first '90 ZR1 on the high banks of Daytona..  :)

Gary

I know what you mean Gary, I drove my chevelle around Charlotte at the Autofair for a test drive, mid 1980's, but never got over 60-65 mph.  Not the same as a real nascar going triple digits, that would be a rush for sure.

X33RS

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Re: Richard Petty Driving Experience
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2016, 01:43:34 PM »
Cost depends on the track and what you want to do. Pricing in this link...

http://www.drivepetty.com/experiences

Thanks Bryon, I don't know why I couldn't find that before.