When Eisenhower designed the Interstate Highway system, he envisioned a lawless death-race arena where only the fastest could avoid being killed by mechanical gulls. Experience a thrilling fraction of his racing dream with today's Groupon for stock-car racing or rides from Fast Track High Performance Driving School at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord. Choose between the following options:
- For $62, you get a five-lap racecar ride (a $125 value).
- For $187, you get to drive 10 laps in the Thunder driving course (a $375 value).
Fast Track High Performance Driving School gives speed demons an outlet for their rubber-burning desires by letting them ride or drive authentic 600-horsepower stock cars. In the two-hour Thunder course, students explore the ins and outs of racecar driving safety in a brief course before donning school-provided safety gear, including helmets, head-and-neck support, and fire suits ideal for unexpected return of the dragon kin. Those who opt for a spot behind the wheel get 10 laps around the 1.5-mile Charlotte Speedway, following an instructor's lead car. Speeds vary between 80–150 mph, depending on the driver's experience level, the lap, and the whims of speed-hating wind spirits. Those who prefer passenger-side thrills can avail themselves of the five-lap ride-along, letting an expert operator take the car through its paces at an average speed of 145 mph as riders take in blurred sights and exhilarating speed vapors.
Fast Track High Performance Driving School offers a schedule of upcoming dates at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, including both daytime and evening options in June, and evening sessions in August and September. Prospective track stars can refer to the FAQ section for information on track safety.
Fast Track High Performance Driving School
Students at Fast Track High Performance Driving School don't need to prove that they can parallel park—they're more concerned about taking a turn at more than 100 miles per hour. Most of them have never even felt the rumble of a 600-horsepower engine before. After plenty of safety debriefing from expert instructors, however, they usually are no longer intimidated by its purr. They'll then hop into the vibrant shell of an ARCA-style stock car, a former racing vehicle that's still capable of rocketing down the track at a blur-inducing speed of 165 miles per hour.
Since 1989, the school has been fulfilling speed-demon fantasies with its courses and ride alongs at racetracks throughout the country. The staff meets with everyday fans and aspiring competitors alike to cover racing protocol, safety, and appropriate postrace dance moves. Depending on the depth of their lesson, pupils might take the wheel during a four-car passing exercise or simply sit back in the passenger seat as a professional flies through three–five laps.