A Jersey girl gets introduced to NASCAR

Liz Roman is the newest addition to CupScene.com She will help cover NASCAR in 2013. (Photo: Greg Engle)
Liz Roman is the newest addition to CupScene.com She will help cover NASCAR in 2013. (Photo: Greg Engle)
Liz Roman is the newest addition to CupScene.com She will help cover NASCAR in 2013. (Photo: Greg Engle)

Editor’s note: Liz Roman is an accomplished associate producer in television from New Jersey now living in Florida. While she spends her days writing news stories, her passion is fast cars.  Her love of fast cars naturally translates well into the sport of NASCAR. Liz will be reporting for CupScene.com via text and videos throughout this her first season working in the world’s largest stock car racing sport.  We at CupScene welcomed Liz to the staff by giving her our version of new employee orientation; a ride in a NASCAR style stock car.

Richard Petty is perhaps one of the most well known NASCAR and for that matter auto racing drivers. Just say his name to anyone, and they will most likely know whom you are talking about. Petty had an incredible career. He racked up to 200 victories on the track before retiring in 1992. He was also nicknamed “The King” for winning the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR national championship seven times, each between 1964 and 1981.

Now, I was introduced to NASCAR late in the game, but I was never a stranger to his name.  The Richard Petty Driving Experience was something I had always wanted to do. Some could say it was on my bucket list. I got a chance to experience it Wednesday all because of Xperiencedays.com.

Xperience Days is the country’s leading unique gift company. On their site you can pick from thousands of adventurous fun activities and buy a gift card for them.  They have everything from the Richard Petty Driving Experience to flight lessons. It doesn’t matter where you live. They offer gift cards for activities all over the country.  It was Xperience days that gave me the gift card for the stock car ride.

It was an incredible experience. As soon as I walked in the staff was unbelievably welcoming.  They treated me as if I was a well-known friend. The customer service was great. A staff member was with me the whole time, walking me through the steps, from getting on my gear to getting in the car.

Once you have your gear on, you head outside to where there is a guest section. There you sit in a chair and wait your turn. I arrived right when they opened, so I didn’t have to wait long. Family and friends are also welcome to wait there. The track is fully visible from the guest section, so they can take pictures as you go on the ride.

When your turn is up, a worker calls your name and they fit you into a helmet. You are walked over to the stock car and talked through getting in. Getting in? I know what you’re thinking! There is no door! You have to climb into the passenger seat through the window…It was definitely the full experience!

Once you are in the car, you are buckled in and you set off on the ride of your life. My driver hit around 100 miles per hour for an exhilarating 3 laps around the track. It was an unforgettable experience.

I absolutely recommend stopping by and taking the Richard Petty Driving Experience. For all those NASCAR fans that wish they were behind the wheel, this is as close as I can imagine anyone getting.

I took the adrenaline charged ride at the Walt Disney World Speedway. It is on World Drive in Orlando, Florida. On Xperiencedays.com you can buy your own or buy one as a gift for $115.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.