More than 560 horses come to life when you ignite the engine inside one of The Racing School's authentic stock cars. The ensuing roar engulfs the entire vehicle, and your body rumbles as you grab the steering wheel and look towards the track. No stop signs. No pace cars. Just grip the steering wheel and drive?a race-car driver is born.
The Racing School has facilitated more than 14 years of thrilling moments just like this (and documented many of them on video). The staff here consists of current and former professional racers, who teach novices how to handle traditional stock cars, racing trucks, and other high-octane vehicles. Once instructors cover acceleration, braking, warp speed, and the other essentials, training culminates with a driving experience at professional-level tracks, including Waterford Speedbowl, Devils Bowl Speedway, and Thompson Speedway. Here, the experts give newbies the freedom to drive like pros, encouraging passing and letting drivers set their own pace.
In 1938, "The Long Island Expressway"?a vicious hurricane?plowed through John Hoenig's property in Thompson, Connecticut. His farm was destroyed, but when he decided to rebuild, he didn't rebuild the farm. Instead, he began clearing his land for the area's first 5/8-mile, high-banked racetrack. As soon as it opened, it was heralded as "the Indianapolis of the East." It was a destination for racecar drivers across the country.
In the more than 70 years since then, the track has blossomed into Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Today, it's one of the country's oldest tracks, besides that one high-banked crop circle from 1910. It plays host to three iconic racing events, including the World Series of Speedway Racing, and its modernized 5/8-mile oval now shares its space with a 1.7-mile road course. Even more exciting, neither track is just for pros. Civilians can try out the speedster lifestyle during driving school, or as part of the Driver's Club, which offers 30 days of members-only access to the track each year.
Across New England and the Mid-Atlantic, Circuit One provides thrill seekers the opportunity to experience an adrenaline-boosting time behind the wheel in an exotic automobile. The selection includes a Ferrari 430 Spyder, Lamborghini Gallarado and GT-R; whose power and handling easily conquers the turns and straightaways of various regional autocross tracks?each geared towards providing you with the thrill of heavy acceleration and exhilirating cornering. To make the experience accessible and safe for any driver, every vehicle comes equipped with automatic transmission and an instructor sits in the passenger seat to provide support, advice, and perspiration-blotting handkerchiefs. Circuit One's philosophy hinges on giving drivers the indescribable experience of navigating a ribbon of asphalt while seated behind the wheel of a luxury sports car, all while keeping safety a main priority.
Pure Fitness (formerly known as Powerhouse Fitness and still owned by Scott and Nikki Holland) has a full roster of certified personal trainers and seasoned group-fitness instructors who guide exercisers to physical peaks, building strong muscles and healthy lifestyles. The workout room helps guests to slim down their silhouettes with new exercise equipment, including calorie-torching cardio machines and dumbbells perfect for toning biceps or hurling at cardboard cutouts of Charles Atlas. There's also a recently added athletic-training center.
Group classes range from Les Mills dance aerobics to CrossFit functional training, which strengthens sinews with Olympic lifting drills and gymnastics-inspired bodyweight exercises. A juice bar replenishes vitamins and minerals, and saunas banish stress with warm, dry air. To help parents squeeze exercise into busy schedules, the gym offers childcare services seven days a week.
Situated inside Mohegan Bowl, All Star Pub invites patrons to kick up their feet after a few rounds of bowling to indulge in appetizers, burgers, and beer. Draft and bottled brews wet whistles in time for hand-tossed taco pizzas to appear draped in pico de gallo and housemade tortilla chips. Shareable appetizers such as spicy jalapeño bottle caps preheat maws before diners chow down on half-pound burgers, stacked pastrami grinders, and salads tossed with grilled chicken. Before venturing back to the lanes or to the arcade, patrons can dig into chocolate-fudge brownies or a Candle-Pin Strike—fried balls of dough served with ice cream and drizzled with raspberry sauce.
Lunges while holding kettlebells, jumping pull-ups, handstands, and games of catch with medicine balls—these are a few of the ever-changing exercises that comprise CrossFit’s daily workouts. Trainers mix up routines to ensure clients avoid the boredom of that can set in from repeated exercise and use functional movements, such as pushing and lifting, to prep participants for all physical activities. The mix of explosive exercises and everyday motions works every muscle group, enhancing power, speed, and agility.