My Pit Crew and Ride-Along ExperiencesDisney sent me to Charlotte, NC on an all-expenses paid press trip for the in home release of Cars 3, in exchange for my coverage of the events. All opinions are my own.
Pit Crew Experience with Performance Instruction & TrainingThe world of competitive race car driving is a fast paced, high energy environment. Just like Lightning McQueen and his fellow racers in Cars 3, there are many players behind the scenes that can make the difference between winning and losing a race. A NASCAR pit crew is made up of 6 members who each have their own very important jobs. During a race, the pit crew for each racer has to assist their racer in stops that last less than 15 seconds! Go ahead and try to do anything in less than 15 seconds and see just how fast that really is. We had the opportunity to test out our skills at being part of a pit crew on the press junket for the at home release of Cars 3 thanks to Performance Instruction and Training (PIT) outside of Charlotte, NC. Being somewhat of a novice when it comes to NASCAR knowledge, I was especially impressed by the history and statistics of what goes into winning a race. We attended a presentation that covered the history of pit crews, names and responsibilities of each position, and even some videos of when things go wrong. The staff of PIT is made up of currently active NASCAR pit crews, those training to be a part of one, or people who were once on a crew. They know what they are talking about, and how to teach you the basics of each job so you can work together as a team to accomplish a pit stop. Our group was broken into 6 teams and assigned a coach. It was exciting to be able to suit up like the pros and be given gloves, ear plugs, and protective glasses. Talk about feeling like a kid on Halloween! Once everyone was suited up, we assembled on pit row and were each assigned a job. The coaches demonstrated how to perform each job, and we were able to test out real equipment. The cars and equipment were authentic with just a few changes: no gas in the gas can, and the tires were not double layered, so they were a little bit lighter. For some added competition, we ran drills 3 teams at a time on practice cars. On our first attempt, everyone was focused on doing their own job and doing it correctly. It took us almost 2 whole minutes to accomplish the task...a far cry from 15 seconds! After each attempt we reviewed our footage and found ways to improve. On our third and final try, we were finally able to get our time to just over 1 minute. We won't be joining any winning pit crews soon, but we were pretty proud of shaving off so much time and with no mistakes. This was an excellent team building activity that really shows the importance of working together. PIT Instruction and Training 156 Byers Creek Road Mooresville, NC 28117
Ride-Along NASCAR Racing Experience at Charlotte Motor SpeedwayThe pit crew isn't the only important part of a NASCAR team. Of course we hard to check out what it is like to be in the car itself. The NASCAR Racing Experience allows you to ride as the passenger with a professional racing instructor in a NASCAR race car. I love the thrill of a roller coaster, but nothing compares to racing around that track at 160+mph. Sure you are buckled in, but going into those turns and edging along the walls is heart pounding. As you can see in my video, I was silently holding my breath for most of the ride. I couldn't imagine doing this for hours with a track full of other race cars. After just a few minutes, I have a new found respect for NASCAR drivers and everything they go through. There is way more to competing in a race and providing entertainment for race fans than it seems. The NASCAR Racing Experience is offered in packages that you can purchase for yourself, or as a memorable gift. Charlotte Motor Speedway is host to this experience as well as races, and even holiday activities for the whole family. Check them out if you are in the area or even driving through. Charlotte Motor Speedway 5555 Concord Pkwy. South Concord, NC 28027
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