Thursday, February 21, 2013


Today, DW, along with his two brothers and their Daddy, are headed to Daytona for the races. I’m not sure exactly how many years they’ve been going, but it’s a tradition that was around long before I came along… and I’ve been here for 11 years. :)

Today will be the first time that DW goes back to the track, though, after having driven on it in October. I totally forgot to post about our trip to Richard Petty’s Driving School, so today’s the perfect day to recap it!

The head mechanic at the company came in the office one day and told DW that he’d won a drawing with a prize of a day at the RP Driving Experience at Daytona International Speedway. He had other obligations the day of the event, but asked the givers of the prize if he could transfer it to someone else…He told them he knew exactly who he would give it to… DSC_3297

I think I was probably more excited for DW than he was (and he was pretty excited)! What man wouldn’t love taking the day off work to go drive a race car on the actual track?!?!? I loved that he got to do something so fun!

We decided to take AB with us – she’s at such an easy age and I really thought she’d love it and she did! DSC_3304

We left early enough to have lunch at Red Robin. DW got to drive a race car, but my treat was having fried jalapeno coins at lunch.

We made it to the track to check in and were instructed to drive under the track onto the infield. DSC_3307There, we met up with the rest of the group at the Driving School classroom. The guys (and a few women) got fitted for their helmets, their jumpsuits and were then given the basics… photo

When DW got his jumpsuit on, AB said, “will you still be my Daddy, Daddy, if yours driving a race car?” I guess she wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to trade us all in for a race car driving career.

DSC_3341We weren’t really sure if he’d be in the car by himself or if he’d have an instructor with him. (There are different “experiences” you can pay for – and we didn’t know for sure which he had been given… it turned out to be the really big one, and he got to drive the car by himself. They also told us that this class would be one of the last ones who got to experience the car by themselves- starting the next weekend, the student drivers had to have an instructor ride along in the car with them).

Jachmo Santana was the group leaderDSC_3420 and yall know that sounds like a racing name. He told the class it was pretty simple- “Keep up, Keep up, Keep up!!!”

After their driving lesson inside, we headed out to the track. DSC_3346It was crazy to see it from that side!

They took a big group shot of all the drivers first (which you could purchase at the souvenir trailer later, of course). DSC_3361The group itself was enough enjoyment for me… there were ALL KINDS of people that day – two of them were REALLY serious about racing and brought their own helmets. There were a couple of women in the group, too – one of which had the top speed of 84. Seriously? I do that on a regular basis. (at least I did before kids). :)

The drivers waited in the holding box for their names to be announced. DSC_3382


AB and I got a spot right in the front row of the “grand stands” to watch. DSC_3384

DSC_3381There were 8 cars on the track at one time. 4 instructor cars and 4 drivers.

There were several groups and we watched as they all took their turns. DSC_3427


DW was in the last group. When he finally got to drive his 8 laps, it felt like it flew by. I guess when you’re going over 100 mph, it makes it feel that way.

DW’s driving instructor was Rusty, which is another name that totally screams “race car driver!” – he looked the part, too… DSC_3388

Apparently all the guys who work there are actually really race car drivers in the smaller circuits and there were a couple that were in the truck series.

Getting in…I don’t know how his tall self fit, but he did… DSC_3455



Coming back to pit row (I don’t know if it’s “pit road” or “pit row”? – But I doubt anyone reading this knows either. Ha.)



After the driving, everyone met back in the driving room for the “team meeting” – where they passed out certificates and all the stats. They announced the fastest speed that day (which is also the max they allow) was 148 mph, which was DW’s.

It was such a fun time! DSC_3429


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