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Holiday Gifts for the NASCAR Racing Fan

Is your husband a NASCAR fanatic? Does your girlfriend count the days until it's time for the Daytona 500? When your child hears the numbers 8, 24 and 48 does he automatically think Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson? Are more than half the products in your home sponsors of a NASCAR team? Are you looking for the perfect gift but just don't want to buy another T-Shirt, hat or 1/24th scale car? Give your race fan the thrill of a lifetime with a gift certificate to any one of a dozen race schools. For as little as $100.00 to several thousand dollars you will give a gift that will never be forgotten. Not even Santa could do better! For the NASCAR fan there is the Richard Petty Driving Experience and the Dale Jarrett Driving Racing Adventure among others. These classes are held on real racetracks in real Cup cars. The Richard Petty Driving Experience holds their classes at tracks like Charlotte, Atlanta, Las Vegas and many others.

At the Richard Petty Driving Experience the beginner level runs between three and four hundred dollars. For that your speed demon can hop into a race suit, don a helmet climb through the window of a Cup stock car (remember the doors don't open) and tear around a mile, mile and a half or two mile track for 10 laps. When you arrive, there is a half hour briefing and you are driven around the track while they explain the different driving lines. Then you hop into your car and get ready to go out onto the track.

The instructor is in the lead car with two or three cars behind him each containing one student. Once out on the track, as long as you are keeping up, the instructor will push his car faster (going up to around 165 mph). If any student runs into a problem or just cant keep up with the others another instructor will drive out onto the track and pick them up so the others can continue at a higher speed. After the laps have been completed and you have returned to pit road and left your car you are presented with a print out showing your average lap time, fastest lap and mph for each lap. For a few extra dollars you can also have your picture taken in victory lane. This level is usually required before going on to any of the other levels which increase up to classes that span a whole weekend running more than 80 laps under actual race conditions at night with the other students. . For those who would really like to know what it feels like but aren't ready to drive the car themselves each track has a "ride along". The ride-along usually runs around a hundred dollars and is exactly what it sounds like - you get into a car that has had a passenger seat added with an instructor and take three very quick laps (about 165 mph) around the track. They send two cars out at a time and each one takes its turn passing the other so you can get an idea of how close they drive and how close they come to each other when they pass.

Have non-NASCAR race fans on your gift list? There are also driving schools for top fuel, open wheel, corvettes and just about anything that goes fast! .


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