Going from driving a Jeep Wrangler everyday to driving an Indy race car on the banked turns of the Las Vegas Speedway is simple. Fork over $400. Doing it with any acceptable speed on the track is apparently a bit more difficult. The purpose of the trip to Las Vegas was getting my brother and myself behind the wheel and running some laps in a real IndyCar thanks to the Mario Andretti Racing Experience. No more Daytona on the Sega Saturn for us.
After the orientation of what to expect of the car’s handling and the course, we were driven a lap around the course in a passenger van at around 80 mph. A regular van running at a good clip around a 20 degree banked roadway is quite an experience in itself.
I ended up getting to drive first among the later group of drivers. And let’s just say I’ve driven nearly every car I’ve ever owned faster than I drove the IndyCar. Between the highly banked turns and my years of being careful not to tip over my Jeep, I failed to burn any rubber on the track. They had told us that the cars would hold in the corners and not to use the brakes, but my mind and body betrayed me in each and every turn of the eight or nine laps that I got to run. My top speed was maybe 125 mph and the pace car was always quite a ways in front of me.
Brenden on the other hand found the groove, kept right behind the pro driver pacing him. Brenden turned in laps of nearly 160 mph – easily among the top drivers of the amateurs that participated on that day. Show off!
Overall, it was one expensive rental for only about 10 minugtes, but well worth it. Every male should get to do something like it at least once in their lifetime.