All boys want to be car racers. And it doesn’t stop there, many adults do too. But realistically, it will not happen any time in the future for most. At the same time, we all have a question in the back of our heads: wouldn’t it be great if for one day, or even an hour, I can live the life of a Nascar Driver?
Well, you can!
During the visit to the Daytona speedway, we found an open race car. On it we saw huge lettering that read: Richard Petty Driving Experience.
I immediately inquired about when we could do it and it turned out that the Richard Petty Driving Experience can be done on many tracks, all with many schedules. We couldn’t do it in Daytona, but tours were available in Orlando right around the time we were going to visit.
Be a Nascar Driver For the Day at the Walt Disney World Speedway, Orlando
First things first! Who is Richard Petty? I didn’t know in the beginning because I am not up to date with the racing world so I did a bit of a research to see why this man started such an incredible experience.
About Richard Petty
- Richard Lee Petty is a second generation former NASCAR driver that received the nickname “The King”.
- His father, Lee Petty, won the first Daytona 500 in 1959.
- He is known for winning the NASCAR Championship seven times.
- Records were won by him in 200 races.
- Petty is a member of the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
- He was inducted into the Hall in 2010.
- The family still resides in Petty’s home town of Level Cross, North Carolina.
This is mostly a male attraction, but I know that there are women and girls, like me, who would love it.
The cool part is that in this case, people don’t need to live vicariously through their NASCAR heroes. They can become ones themselves, even if it is only for a short while. And not only grownups, there are Jr. Ride Alongs for kids six and older. Who knows, the experience might make them want to become real racers.
Our Experience as Nascar Drivers
First thing when we arrived to the Walt Disney World Speedway was to sign a bunch of contracts that said they are not responsible for anything happening to us.
Once that was all done we were sent to get the special suits on.
We went with two ride alongs, one for me and another one for my nine year old boy.
Once on the race track, there was more equipment to put on. It was special shoulder gear and a helmet.
It was finally time for the race! It wast three laps around the track at 135 miles per hour- crazy!
It was the driver next to me that had total control over the car. But the sheer force of the ride also took my breath away. It was incredible to feel what it is like to be in a car at that speed.
You don’t get to experience the thrill of cars passing you by and actually racing, but for me, three laps at the insane speed along the track ware enough.
I think that for a true enthusiast, this would have been more than a taste to make them need more. For me it was the right amount of laps and excitement. For my son on the other hand, if we could start with his racing training tomorrow he would have been thrilled.
Fun Facts about Drive Petty
- The Richard Petty Driving Experience has been available for over 15 years.
- They have completed over 37,000 driving experiences, 55,000 Ride-Alongs and over 900 group/corporate events.
Information about Drive Petty Experiences
So for the ones that want much more than just the quickie there are tons of experiences to choose from.
Junior Ride Along – for children between the ages of 6 and 13 years old and at least 48 inches in height.
- 3 Laps
Ride Along – For Children over 14 and adults.
- 3 Laps
Rookie Experience – Get in the driver’s seat of a Nascar race car.
- 8 laps
Kings Experience – Get in the driver’s seat of a Nascar race car.
- 18 laps
King’s Cup – Drive stock cars, street cars and high performance karts. Meet Richard Petty.
- multi laps
Experience of a Lifetime – Get in the driver’s seat of a Nascar race car.
- 30 laps
Speedway Challenge – Get in the driver’s seat of a Nascar race car.
- 50 laps
Racing Experience – Custom Experience.
- 50 laps