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.
Eschewing traditional race rules and methods, Dirty Dashers must overcome a slew of mud-slicked obstacles, including mucky climbing hills, crawling pipes, slip 'n slides, and bear hugs from Pigpen. Organizers encourage runners to sign up with friends to foster a fun-loving environment, and along the way, racers fuel up at optional beer- or root-beer-chugging stations. Further demonstrating its commitment to outdoor high jinks, each event's registration fees, donations, water-balloon sales, and shoe donations benefit local charities, such as NM[X]—an arts and athletics youth organization—and the Seattle-based Redeeming Soles charity, which dispenses gently used footwear to those in need.
Resident American IndyCar Series champion Greg Gorden schools speed freaks on high-velocity driving techniques before passing the wheel for some friendly, hands-on competition on the Pikes Peak International Speedway. Gorden begins the 2.5-hour training with classroom instruction where he explains driving basics such as how the car works, how to properly navigate the track, and what to do if the steering wheel begins to self-replicate. Students ensconce themselves in program-provided driving suits and helmets before heading out to the track for two racing sessions in a Formula 2000 car. After the first six laps, newly minted acceleration apprentices can bombard instructors with tactical questions before climbing back behind the wheel for six additional laps to determine who earns bragging rights and who gets stuck singing the cars to sleep after the race is over.
The drivers and instructors at Speedway will provide a half day of blurry instruction, starting with a classroom orientation that will cover the basics of Formula 2000 racing. After the class, drivers will be ready to tackle two on-track driving sessions, which include feedback and constructive criticism from the experienced teaching staff at Speedway Driver School. Fun for long-aspiring drivers or racecar bed enthusiasts looking to ride in the real thing, Speedway Driver School offers the chance for drivers to temporarily ditch their increasingly jealous 1958 Plymouth Fury for the welcoming arms of a sympathetic road rocket. The school is also a subsidiary of Speedway Driver Search, a reality show that helps transform timid racecar handlers into megastars.
The car speaks first, its engine growling. The driver responds with an accelerating heart and a tighter grip on the steering wheel. After trading words, the foot meets the gas pedal, and the two become one, a 2-ton chimera hurtling down the track. At Racing Adventures tracks across North America, man and machine sync up during high-speed experiences that resemble professional racing scenes. Each experience culls from a fleet of supersonic roadsters, including American classics like Corvettes and vintage Cobra replica racers. Professional driving coaches always ride along, ensuring a safe thrill ride by supervising drivers' technique and checking the passenger-side window for teenagers throwing eggs at the car.