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Friday, April 6th 2001 was an exciting day for me. Thanks to my wife Carol, and Greg, Tim, Mike, and Roy, I got drivers training and 10 laps around California Speedway in Fontana, CA. for my 60th birthday present. The cars are 600 horsepower and capable of 170 mph. They are purchased from Bush and Winston Cup series by an outfit called "The Racing Experience" and put into service by them. After 45 minutes instruction you put on a racing suit and helmet and crawl into the drivers seat. There is an instructor on the passenger side who is there to give you hand signals (too loud to hear, obviously) and will signal to speed up, slow down, go high to be passed, go low to pass, and a few others. He has NO controls, it's up to you! Aside from learning the "proper racing groove" on the track, the other goal is to get an amber light on the dash to blink down the straightaways which indicates you are just below the rev limiter at 170 miles per hour. I accomplished that on three of the ten laps. I was scared shitless before climbing in the car but found within one lap my nerves had settled down and it really started feeling good. I think my old "racing day" mentality finally kicked back in. 'Course it took a while before I was producing any saliva in my mouth again and was afraid to check my underwear afterwards . It was really a super "once in a lifetime" experience.

 

Following are a few of the pictures taken by Carol and the track photographer...

 

These were the "Racing Experience" pits.

 

"I'm scared and I have to go potty again"

 

A photo op...

 

"Am I really gonna do this!"

 

"What the hell, let's do it!"

 

"I'm STOKED!, I just made a pass at 160 mph"

 

Getting the 10th lap checkered flag

 

Coming back in..

 

"This car seems to have shrunk since I got in!"

 

It's shuck and jive time...

"Boy that car is a fast sumbitch!  Uhh, sorry bout the seat needing cleaning now...."

 

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