If stock cars were never invented, people would still be holding washing-machine races to see which machine could vibrate the hardest. Keep your washing machine noncompetitive with today's Groupon: for $175, you get five laps of stock-car riding and 10 laps of stock-car driving with an instructor at the Buck Baker Racing School at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, or Charlotte Motor Speedway (a $475 value).
Started in 1980 by former Sprint Cup champion Buck Baker, Buck Baker Racing School allows race fans to strap into an authentic Sprint Cup stock car and take it for a leisurely spin around some of the greatest ellipsoids in the South. The school's masters of acceleration instruct pupils during a roughly one-hour, pre-drive class. Afterward, students take shotgun while wearing the provided helmet and fire suit along with their own tennis shoes inside a bona fide, previously driven Sprint-Cup Ford, Chevy, or Dodge. Students ride along as the instructor powers around the speedway while dishing out informative tips and snappy catch phrases such as, "Zounds!" and, "I own 200 shares of Apple stock!" Once students are ready, they switch seats with instructors and kindle rubber with 10 full laps. Friends and family are encouraged to attend and take snapshots or finger-paint all the action.