Students at Fast Track High Performance Driving School don't need to prove that they can parallel park—they're more concerned about taking a turn at more than 100 miles per hour. Most of them have never even felt the rumble of a 600-horsepower engine before. After plenty of safety debriefing from expert instructors, however, they usually are no longer intimidated by its purr. They'll then hop into the vibrant shell of an ARCA-style stock car, a former racing vehicle that's still capable of rocketing down the track at a blur-inducing speed of 165 miles per hour.
Since 1989, the school has been fulfilling speed-demon fantasies with its courses and ride alongs at racetracks throughout the country. The staff meets with everyday fans and aspiring competitors alike to cover racing protocol, safety, and appropriate postrace dance moves. Depending on the depth of their lesson, pupils might take the wheel during a four-car passing exercise or simply sit back in the passenger seat as a professional flies through three–five laps.
Co-owner and PGA player Doug Martin and his fellow golf experts dedicate The Golf Range to the cause of perfect putts and smooth swings. An 8,000-square-foot putting green and short-game area doles out new golf balls for patrons to practice, minimizing misplaced shots and paychecks lost to preteen mini-golf sharks. The indoor putting green guards clubs from the elements, and players sharpen their skills beneath the all-seasons shelter of 37 heated and covered bays. Brush up with The Golf Range's online golf tips before taking to the tee.
Whether you're a vino virgin or wine aficionado, one of Vintage's 100 wines is sure to tickle your tongue and glamorize your gullet. Sixty-five grapen goodnesses are available by the glass, including the Sicilian Arnacio Nero D'Avola ($5) and the South African Jam Jar 2009 Sweet Shiraz ($6). Taste three wines at once during a flight such as the Chardonnay flight, which includes wines from Sonoma, South Africa, and the Central Coast of California ($12). To complement the grape blood, there’s small plates ($4 and up) such as pan seared goat cheese cakes with pear jam and entrees ($14 and up) like the herb gnocchi with butternut squash and sage brown butter. Or, combine one of more than 25 beer selections with pizza ($9 and up) made on Vintage's house-made dough.
A NASCAR racing experience lets racers and passengers feel the rush of flying around the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. During the three-hour solo racing experience, racers meet with the crew chief for comprehensive safety training and instruction before suiting up, warming up, and ground-flying for five clocked minutes around the track. Via two-way in-car radio communication, drivers will be able to stay in touch with their personal racing instructors, who give advice on the best time to pass other cars and how to convert kilometers per hour into jiggowatts. Participants will then be able to commemorate the experience with a souvenir racing license, a graduate certificate, and a 6"x8" photo.