Gentlemen, start your engines!
Happy birthday to my sweet, sweet husband! For his 40th, I got him a ticket to the Dale Jarrett Racing Experience at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for 8 laps. Erick’s not a Nascar fan, but he loves cars and loves other types of racing like autocross and drag racing. I think I did a good job, because he had never asked for this, but I knew it was perfect for him.
We made a trip of it and went to Charlotte for the weekend. A little shopping for me and racing for him. As it turns out, July isn’t exactly the ideal time to go racing in North Carolina. It was 95 degrees out with high humidity. We just about roasted, but it was all worth it.
I have to say that I was very nervous and anxious about this whole thing. So, I had lots of butterflies beforehand and waiting for Erick’s turn. As it turned out, all of that nervousness was completely unfounded. They run a top-notch program and safety was absolutely #1. Everything is very organized and well-choreographed. Instructors ride with all of the drivers and there is absolutely no monkey business. They are also talking to the other instructors on the track about when they are passing, etc. That was part of why I was worried. I know Erick is a good driver, but I was worried about the other drivers on the track. But, again, there are instructors with everyone and for the most part everyone was driving staggered…they weren’t all bunched up and there wasn’t a lot of passing going on. All of the staff were great and very professional. After I learned about how they do things, I wasn’t scared any more. So, ladies, don’t worry like I did.
First, you go in and there’s an orientation meeting. Erick did that, while I waited in line to purchase the in-car DVD. Then, Erick went to a driver’s only meeting, while families could make posters for their loved ones. My poster said, “Shake n Bake, Erick.” A big joke because we LOVE the movie Talladega Nights.
Then, they told us to go out to the pit area to wait for the drivers. We lined up with our posters and they played loud music and then the drivers came walking through…it was really fun.
Finally, it was Erick’s turn. I thought it was hilarious that he got this #14 car because one of the sponsors on this car was Old Spice, just like Ricky Bobby’s car in Talladega Nights. Haha!
Then he got in and got all situated, then it was time to wait some more. Some oil had leaked on the track and they had a clean-up crew cleaning everything up. Again, safety first! So, while I was melting away, I know Erick had to be dying in that full race suit and helmet and just sitting in the car.
And, off he goes!
Here he is coming back in after his 8 laps. His top speed was 147.60 and his best lap time was 43 seconds.
He had a blast! We highly recommend this experience and especially the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure.