You’ve never experienced NASCAR until you’ve been driven around a track at 160 mph

I had never been to a NASCAR race before this past weekend. So you could imagine how blown away I was when I got to ride around Atlanta Motor Speedway at 160-plus mph with driver Brad Keselowski, watch Nationwide’s Degree V12 300 from the pits and then take in the Sprint Cup’s Pep Boys 500 from the grandstand.

When I was first invited to Atlanta as a guest of Degree V12, I didn’t know what to expect. When I told friends and family what I was about to embark on, the reactions ranged from excitement, to jealously, to flat out hatred that they didn’t have the same opportunity. (I’m pretty sure that one of my family members won’t be speaking to me at Thanksgiving dinner this year.)

On Friday, along with three other media members, I was taken to Atlanta Motor Speedway via a party bus. When we got there (the track seemingly appeared out of nowhere, which played into the ambiance of the experience), we were driven to the infield and immediately shown the media center. From there, we went to the pits and got suited up for what would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The people from the Richard Petty Driving Experience helped us get into our flameproof suits and helmets, which was definitely one of those moments in my life when I questioned what the hell I was doing. Brad showed up shortly thereafter and immediately asked with a smile, “Is anyone scared?”

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