After decades of winning the admiration of stock-car racing fans with his aggressive driving strategy and off-track charisma, Rusty Wallace now gives others the chance to experience the rush of racing. He joined forces with Sodikart to roll out the Rusty Wallace Kart Experience, pairing kart with driver at some of the country's most celebrated racetracks. Racers can hop in a custom RT8 (or its kid-friendly counterpart, the LR4) and hit the gas, tearing up everything from the versatile road courses and speedy main track of the Atlanta Motor Speedway to the challenging lava pits of the Milwaukee Mile.
But this go-karting business has a big brother?the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. It's a high-speed trip into the pro-racing trade, with breathtaking ride-alongs and racing experiences in stock cars. Guests buckle up and sit shotgun alongside professional drivers as they fly down straightaways and around curves. They can even get behind the wheel themselves, finally feeling what it's like to be a professional driver.
Xtreme Xperience was founded by a pair of car aficionados who understand the thrill of commanding a $253,000 piece of four-wheeled poetry in motion, like the Lamborghini LP560. They know that exaggerating the pronunciation of Porsche is only half as fun as horsewhipping its 530 horsepower from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3.3 seconds. They realize that the Ferrari F430's supercharged Launch Control console button is too irresistible not to push coming out of every red light and into every dark, quiet, and hopefully vacant train tunnel. The smooth, spaceship-esque aluminum body shell of the Audi R8 makes them appreciate how discreet something like 782 rivets, 382 self-tapping screws, and more than 300 feet of welding can be. The people at Xtreme Xperience also regularly upgrade their supercar experience, providing a safe way to not only participate in automobile exhilaration, but to also supply curious drivers and riders with information about the luxury automotive and racing worlds.
Extreme Speed Track Events allows drivers to test the mettle of their automobiles in high-speed races around the facility. Drivers are placed into heats according to skill level; beginners receive group instruction prior to heading out on the track. Topics covered in the safety briefing include passing rules, flags and their meanings, and the proper hand signals for notifying another driver that his turn signal is still on. Then, the group heads out to the track to follow the instructor around at a comfortable pace and familiarize themselves with the facility, before the competition begins. For more information, read the track's FAQs page.
With just an inch of space separating pavement from pedal, the go-kart drivers at Willow Springs Racing zip around the facility's tracks, getting hands-on experience in beginner- or advanced-level racing techniques. Entry-level drivers can get behind the wheel of a 4-stroke Honda engine, which allows them to approach speeds of up to 50-mph while learning such basics as trail braking, sliding, and how to program the kart's pre-set radio stations. More advanced drivers, meanwhile, can climb into 125cc shifter cars and hit speeds of up to 100-mph or take control of full-sized Formula vehicles in courses designed to prepare racers for competition.
DriveTech provides classroom instruction for fledgling racecar drivers on a variety of professional racetracks across the country. The 12-lap package lets you take the reins of a professional stock car. After a round of basic classroom instruction, you'll get to take the wheel for three practice laps and nine laps of proper green-flag racing on AutoClub Speedway's two-mile D-shaped oval track, which will leave your hair mussed, eyes bulged, and torso coated in corporate sponsorships. The experience eschews straight, open road in favor of high-speed turns, a hallmark of stock-car racing. Check out the schedule here.
At Red House BBQ, the cooks and pitmasters are always thinking on their feet. If a new shipment of fresh produce or even wild game comes their way, they'll find a way to incorporate it into the menu or lend it to a local still-life artist. The one constant? The aromatic flavors added by the hickory-wood smoker and from-scratch sauces and rubs.
Monday's menu further nods to the Southern tradition with fried catfish, greens, and ham and beans. And on the first Saturday of each month, Red House prepares a spread of American Indian food?think venison, wild boar, and buffalo ribs?complete with a Native American drum team, singing, dancing, and the opportunity to dine in a tepee. More than two dozen locally brewed beers keep the merriment flowing into the evening and throughout the vast outdoor seating area.