Pooler - As one of the stations sports guys I get paid to go to events some people would kill to attend. Don't get me wrong, it can be stressful but there has never been a day I have dreaded coming to work. The only drawback is not being able to participate, until last night when the Shriners let me get in on the celebrity race.
I played every sport imaginable as a kid. In college I played soccer and baseball. Growing up just outside of D.C on the Maryland side of the Potomac racing wasn't very big. I didn't go to my first NASCAR event until the 2002 Daytona 500. I am not going to sit here and say I did not get a car or two above the 100 mph mark but never on a track with people right beside me.
In May of 2002 I did the "Petty Driving Experience" at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. After going over the rules and how to drive they put us on the track. It is a drive and follow kind of thing so you really just follow the instructor in front of you. The feeling of putting it to the floor and turning a lap at 160 mph is something you have to experience. Trusting the car to stick, for it to turn and the g-forces exerted on you are unreal.
Tuesday night the Shriners let me back on the track at Oglethorpe Speedway for something that was both scary and a ton of fun all at once. The celebrity race was something I was a bit skeptical about at first. Truth be told I thought I was racing those little dune cat go carts again. Once I got out on the track and understood that sliding sideways on the dirt turns was OK, it was on.
The Shriners raised a bunch of money and everyone had a great time including yours truly. I will definitely be there again next year.