December 11, 2012

Not Quite Talladega, But A Girl Can Dream


 NASCAR experience

“There’s no next time. It’s now or never.” — Author Unknown

If you follow me on twitter you know I have an odd obsession with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. About two years ago I tweeted one of the movie’s lines and my friend Marylynn replied back. It began what is now a running joke, with a few other people who periodically chime in when they see a tweet with the #shakeandbake tag. For many, this oddity comes as no surprise considering that I’ve outted myself with my ring tone as not your typical city girl.

As I mentioned, I was going to do something that many would think is out of character for me. I was going to ride in a stock car at a NASCAR speedway! So, on December 9th CycleGuy and BabyGirl headed to Phoenix International Raceway with me to watch me (and be my personal paparazzi) suit up and zip around a legit NASCAR course at 150+ mph. It was AWESOME!

I had so much fun and while I was screaming with such excitement as we banked the curves at 176mph, it was so loud I couldn’t even hear myself. And the funny thing is that I didn’t think we were going all that fast. With no other cars around you it’s hard to get a sense of just how fast you’re going.

Now, I couldn’t image doing that for a few hundred laps. I know that professional drivers have different suits and helmets, so maybe with those it’s different. But the noise is everywhere. And the HANS (Head and Neck Support) device is quite restrictive. I can see why pro drovers don’t really like them (except for the less-likely to break your neck part). There’s actually quite a bit of room in the car. Then again I was a passenger, something that’s not usual on the NASCAR circuit.

Ride in a NASCAR

While I didn’t have “ride in a NASCAR” on my someday list, this experience is one that I think more people should have. I’m not a fan of race car sports, I don’t watch it on TV, and I know practically nothing about the sport. I do know a few names but that’s more from watching/listening to The Dan Patrick Show. I also know that the drivers subject their bodies to forces most of us can’t imagine. As the mom of a coaster junkie, I’ve been on my share of confining coasters and attractions. None of that comes close to the reality that sets in when you’re strapped in with a real 5-point harness and your head is all but locked into looking forward. And then you leave pit row!

I’ve jumped out of helicopters and airplanes, and I’ve rappelled down pretty decent mountains. And, yes, I’ve been stopped a few times for exceeding the speed limit. But I can’t even explain to you how fast 176mph really is. And how cool it is to go that fast!

As CycleGuy and I get older, it’s experiences like this that we appreciate. Experience gifts are really the best answer for that person who really doesn’t need another random whatever you’ll pick up. They’re especially great when you’re doing a group gift. And what’s even better is that across the country there are different types of experience gifts. Sure golfing on a PGA course is a great gift, but what about making it a truly unique experiencing and having a PGA golf pro pair up with your special someone? If you’re in to wine, why not spend the day with a master sommelier? It’s these “once in a lifetime” experiences that really do make life so much more interesting.

If you could pick one of these “once in a lifetime” experiences, what would you choose?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me. This post reflects my views and opinions and was not reviewed or edited by a third-party. Cloud 9 Living provided me with a complimentary stock car ride-along experience. I was under no obligation to write about it, share images or video. But I did because it was just too awesome not to! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.



CycleGuy December 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm

At least there was no Cougar in there! So glad you you had fun.

Sara December 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Yes, the no wild cougar in the car was a definite plus. Although, if I do the driving experience I’m thinking I might need one.

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