I’m off to Charlotte, NC this morning.
I’m taking the early flight to take advantage of the day to explore – and to go to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive a stock car….. I signed up for the 3 PM session of the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. They had a 70% off special for a few of the options – the largest one being the 14 lap package, and I added 30 laps to it. It was still significantly less expensive than their larger packages.
As I woke up the thunderstorm closed in. It made me glad that I picked the 3 PM session instead of the 2 PM session I originally had contemplated. The flight was scheduled to land at 11 AM – but with United you never know, and the weather was not cooperating.
Luckily everything went well – the only slight issue was that the flight attendant announced we had landed in Charlestown and not Charlotte when we landed…. It was clear from the look on our faces that she mixed something up.
Rental car was a Hyundai accent (the only one I’ve rented without bluetooth).
I had some time to kill, so I walked around the Concord Mills Mall (most everything else was closed on Sunday). I was tempted to buy a new suitcase and a new phone, but resisted the urge.
I got to the track early. I took some pictures (sadly the ones I took with the DSLR are gone because the SD card got corrupted – I am trying to fix it now).
The safety briefing for the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience pretty much put the fear of god into us… What surprised me most is that unlike the Richard Petty Experience, they did not have anyone in the car with you – they had spotters and 1-way radios. They told us to lift at locations marked on the track and stay within the groove marked by colored tape. If you catch up to a car stay 3 car lengths back until they tell you to pass….
Picture below is of the safety briefing in the media center.
I signed up for 44 laps (66 miles – or 13% of a 500 mile race). They had me pit at halfway to check tires. At first I followed the rules…. but then I started to cheat in the corners by keeping some throttle on through the corner… After the pit stop they pretty much let me have free reign – pretty much told me to pass without waiting for the spotter to give permission… I was hitting the limiter at the end of the straights…. yes I wanted to go faster. It was good to get built up to the speed though – I could feel my line and inputs improving towards the end of the session.
Picture below is of the car I actually drove.
I drove by the Hendrick Motorsports complex (it was obviously closed), but they had a radio station with information. One part of it said they started the team with only 5 employees and Hendrick actually rented the 5,000 sq ft garage from Harry Hyde who actually lived there at that location….
I dropped off the rental car and took an Uber to the hotel – the Westin
Below pictures are of the hotel room in the Westin.
After checking in I walked around downtown a bit. I failed to find a BBQ place to get my pulled pork, but I did find Five Guys and got a bacon burger and fries.
I’m working on combining the video files from the track tonight, hopefully it will be ready to upload when I wake up in the morning.