Rusty Wallace Racing Experience at Kentucky Motor Speedway
My husband got me a Rusty Wallace Racing Experience ticket for my birthday! We loaded up the kids and headed out to the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. Thrill-seeking parents – this review is for you.
The email we received the day before the racing experience said to wear comfortable clothes (to be worn on under a fire suit), closed toed shoes, and arrive half hour before the start time to register.
We parked and got to the registration desk at 9:30am, waited on line, filled out our forms, and made it across the parking lot to the classroom 5 minutes before my 10am class was to start. If you miss too much of the class, you have to wait for the next one. Be there early.
You have 3 options: ride along while a professional drives, drive the race car for however many laps you pay for, or ride along and then drive the car. They (and I) recommend riding along and then driving. When you ride along, you get to see the rules in action that were explained to you in the 45 minute class (if you are just riding along, there is no class needed). On the ride along, you also realize how fast the car can really go. (I’m not 100% positive, but I think it is cheaper if you buy the ride along with your previously purchased drive experience on-site. They were really trying to talk all of the drivers into riding first, and the additional ride along was cheaper than I saw advertised online).
After the class, you go back across the parking lot to the race track. One line is for ride-alongs, the other line is for drivers. They are first come, first served, not specific drive times, so you may be waiting for a while. Bring water and snacks (and something to occupy the kids) for while you are waiting.
Once it’s your turn, you swing your legs in the car and they take your picture. You put on your helmet and neck-brace, slide into the car, they strap you into your 5 point harness, you put in the steering wheel, and you’re ready.
You drive by yourself, alone in the car, but your spotter talks through your earphones. You get the car up to 4th gear before you leave the pit lane for the race track, and you never shift the car again (so not to blow up the engine). The spotter directs you through getting on and off the track, passing or being passed, or any other information you need as you accelerate and decelerate around the track. There are race lane markers for your path and markers where you can floor it or need to lift off the gas. The first couple laps you get used to the course. After that your just trying to get around the track faster and faster.
It was a great experience. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable, and I felt safe and well prepared. I would definitely do it again, and would highly recommend looking for discount online tickets for your experience. They offer mounted pictures, video, and insurance for extra fees. My husband and kids were able to come right next to the track with me to take lots of good pictures and video of half the track. There’s not a lot to do other than watch the cars, but my kids did well through the 45 minute class and wait for the drive.
After the race track, we went a half hour up north to Bone Lick State Park for the kids since it was relatively close and we could do that in the same day.