I restrained myself from telling her to buy a step stool if she is having problems reaching things on high shelves, and asked her why she was looking for a tall kid.
She was going to the Richard Petty Driving Experience Junior Ride-Alongs, and her kids were too short to ride in the cars. She asked if Katarina would be interested in doing three laps around the track in a race car, and the answer was a huge "Yes!"
That is how we ended up at the Disney World Speedway on a Friday morning, so Katarina could ride in a NASCAR race car.
When we arrived the track was still a little damp from a midnight rainstorm and morning dew, and they took us for a ride around it in a van while it dried. We only reached speeds of about 35MPH, so it wasn't exactly a thrill ride; but it was neat to get a feel for the tri-oval and the steepness (which I learned is called "banking"), and hear a bit about the history of the track.
|This is the closest we came to meeting Richard Petty.|
I tried to look short (not hard, I am actually pretty short) and young. But I didn't convince anyone I was a 13 year old, so I wasn't able to sneak in a ride.
Once the track dried, it was time for the real excitement. First Katarina had to put on a racing suit (how cute is that?), and get fitted for a helmet.
She had a little help climbing in through the window.
This is the look of excitement, and possibly a little nervousness, as she is about to go 120MPH (just a little bit faster than our van ride of awesomeness). Her driver was really nice.
She started out nervous, but quickly fell in love, and wanted to go full speed.
|Katarina's car speeding by us on the track. Whoosh!|
This fancy video of her ride is pretty awesome. (Those cars are loud!)
Katarina has watched it about 100 times to relive the fun. I think we might have started something with this ride. I'm glad we have a few years before we need to worry about her getting a driver's license.
It was a very cool experience. (Have I mentioned that I was a little jealous?) I'm thinking Lee and I will have to go back to the track someday, so we can go on our own race car rides.
Have you ever ridden in a race car?
Lee got some great video, including an interview with Bill Scott, the Executive Vice President of the Richard Petty Driving Experience, that you can check out on her blog. She even tells you what she thought was the scariest part of the raceway.