Since it is Daytona week and the 500 is coming up on Sunday I thought it would be fun to repost my run of a few solo laps at the world reknown Daytona International Speedway. Yes, you can turn up the volume, but the difference between my headset and the spotter is pretty big. I would leave the volume a little lower to avoid being shocked. LOL.
Here's my write up of the experience.
In celebration of my 58th year on earth I chose to celebrate by checking one item off my "Bucket List." Though I have never been to a NASCAR race, the idea of taking a car for a spin around Daytona was something I wanted to do. I turned to the Richard Petty Racing Experience.
It was an awesome experience and I highly recommend it. Due to time, what you do not see is me getting in and strapped down. It was hilarious! Being about 6'5" and roughly 260 lbs I am not a small guy. Nor am I limber. Never have been. My hamstrings have never been stretched to the point of extreme flexibility which made getting in the window a lot of fun. Instead of getting my helmet and HANS device put on in the car, mine was put on outside which made fitting it in through the window opening a ridiculous proposition. The "team" went with a smaller steering wheel (which I regret) and as a result I could not see the tach. Something very important when hearing from your spotter...you will hear him and he was awesome.
On your time driving at Daytona they restrict your engine a little and ask you to get used to driving the track. You start at a modest 4000 RPM through the back stretch; then 4200 RPM. Remember, I cannot really see the tach. If you look closely, you will notice me trying to lift my head to catch a glimpse. I then get permission to go to 4400. The view straight ahead over the hood is about what you see which, in the banked turns, is really limited. We go to 4600 and then 4800. THey set the cars with a governor which does allow you to go above 4800 without it breaking it. So, between not seeing the tach and not wanting to hit the point where the engine will start to miss (above 4800 RPM) I cost myself getting to 160 MPH or more.
The other little nuance which contributed to my challenge in driving was due to my long legs dealing with the clutch was a problem because it was just too close. All told, I still had an amazing time and will do it again...just with a bigger car interior (yes, the cars are sized). I get to 150.25 @4800 RPM, sort of...did it by feel because I could not see the tach).
Next time I would ask for the largest car they have (each car has a different seating distance) and the normal steering wheel. And yes, I would do it again tomorrow. If you can drive a manual transmission and can summon the courage - take the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Daytona .