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.
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.
A private, outdoor range sets the stage for about 90 percent of the material taught during Umbrella Tactics' classes. The facility allows for training in pistol, rifle, breaching-shotgun, and close-quarters-battle techniques, among others. The range also accommodates nighttime training.
For groups of 4?25, and for an additional fee, instructors can supply rental firearms such as AR-15 rifles and Beretta 9-mm handguns.
Owner Jesse Johnson understands public service better than most people. He enlisted in the Navy at 17 and has served as a police officer in three states, becoming one of the youngest chiefs of police in Montana. As a result, he's spent more than two decades serving his country, including time as a contracted agent for protection services and combat overseas, in addition to serving as an Emergency Response Team Element Commander and Quick Response Team Leader for two departments. He eventually used the encyclopedic knowledge of firearm tactics and safety he gained during his decades of service to open Umbrella Tactics. Whether it?s security training or basic firearm safety, he and his team of law enforcement and NRA-certified instructors prepare students for real-world situations.
Flashes of neon light up the night during the Rock N Glow 5K, a glow-in-the-dark race by Hi5F, which donates a portion of the proceeds to Coconino Humane Association. As darkness descends on the host city, racers get into the glowing spirit by strapping on vibrant clothing, oversized sunglasses, wigs, and layers of glow-in-the-dark swag. Once everyone is geared up, the noncompetitive race begins, snaking through 3.1 miles of neon-soaked path soundtracked by energetic, heart-pumping music. And once everyone is across the finish line, racers and supporters cap off the night with a glowing after party complete with live DJs, dancing, food, and a cash bar.
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.