||If you have ever felt the need for speed and the urge to drive a NASCAR racecar but don't have the experience to join the Indianapolis 500, try a course at Racing Reality.
The driving packages offer a track tour at one of three locations, including Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut, New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire and Watkins Glen Speedway in Watkins Glen, New York.
Each package includes a 90-minute driving orientation and handout with notes on how to drive the racecar.
We arrived at the Thompson Speedway one weekend and selected the Start Your Engines package, which enables a driver 10 laps around the racetrack doing whatever speed he or she feels comfortable with. These cars can accelerate up to speeds of 140 mph on this track, which is just under one mile long.
Before the driver enters the vehicle, he is fitted into a fire suit complete with helmet and goggles.
Packages include Green Flag (24 laps) in which a student goes out for a 12-lap driving session. After the initial 12 laps, the driving instructor reviews the driving techniques and suggests improvements. The driver then goes out for the final 12 laps.
The Race Day package includes 50 laps starting with 16 laps on the track. A personal video is taped and then reviewed with an instructor. The driver then returns to the track for an additional 17 laps.
The driver returns to discuss his performance with the instructor. After that, the student goes back to the track - this time, with the instructor to race side by side with passing for the final 17 laps.
If this all seems too much to handle, the ride along package may provide just the right amount of excitement for you. This package allows a person to take a ride for four laps in the passenger side while one of the racing pros drives near actual race speeds.
The cars offered are actual racecars previously used in NASCAR Winston Cup, Featherlite, Modified, Busch or WRS Series. The small block Chevrolet engines provide more than 500 HP. All of the cars have four-speed manual transmissions but there is one car with a racing automatic for those who do not prefer standard.
All drivers must be over 18 years and all ride along passengers must be 10 years or older.
Packages range from $39 for ride alongs to $1,199 for the 50-lap Race Day package on a 1+ mile track.
For reservations or more information, call 877-CAN-RACE.
Racing Reality - A Racecar Driving Experience
245 E. Washington Street (Route 1)
North Attleboro, MA 02760
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Kellie K. Speed is
a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been
published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahnersí
Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air
Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and
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