I recently had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was able to participate in the Richard Petty’s Driving Experience. This program allows you to drive a NASCAR race car around Charlotte Motor Speedway for eight laps at speeds up to 200 mph. And, for those who want, you can ride along with a trained driver instead of getting behind the wheel.

If you do not believe that the drivers in NASCAR are not athletes, you are sorely mistaken. The amount of endurance needed for 200 or more laps over three plus hours is insane. After just the eight laps, my arms were shaking and I was sweating. The mental part is even more strenuous. Every little lapse in concentration could result in losing speed, getting passed, or worse, crashing.

jonhoppel_drivingcarThe stock cars had the ability to get up to 200 miles an hour, but I was thoroughly impressed when I was told afterward that I was able to reach a max speed of 135 mph. If only because it felt like I was going 235 mph when I was out there. And, at those speeds, the two mile oval feels a lot shorter.

But, probably the coolest part about the whole thing was that they record your whole drive. They place a USB card in the car and it records from cameras at the front of the car and one from inside the car. Once the drive is over, you get to take those videos home for your friends and family to see the sheer terror on your face as you reach full throttle.

If you would like to participate in this truly jaw dropping event, get information at DrivePetty.com.


The Charlotte Royals and the Columbus Coyotes at Columbus, Ohio. Photo Credit: Timothy Ray
The Charlotte Royals and the Columbus Coyotes at Columbus, Ohio.
Photo Credit: Timothy Ray

The Charlotte Royals traveled up to Columbus, Ohio, this month to take on the Coyotes. The last time Charlotte visited up north, they were beaten handily by this somewhat inexperienced team. With some new roster additions, the Royals looked to change Columbus’ winning ways at home.

The first half showed how really similar the teams are, talent-wise. They tackled well and rucked hard, leading to a nail biter at halftime, 17-21. But, in the second half like the Royals have done all season, the team got worn out. Columbus was able to put a few back to back scores on the board and took home the win again, 35-61. With two more games left on the schedule, the Royals will need to win both to finish with an over .500 record for the year.

Be sure to catch Charlotte’s last game of the season when they host the Atlanta Bucks on Nov. 22, at Tukaseegee Park at 4820 Tuckaseegee Rd.


stonewallkickball_stackedlogoThe inaugural season of the Stonewall Kickball League came to an end on Nov. 4. Heading into the end of the season tournament, STEPPford Wives were leading the standings with undefeated 5-0 record. The next three teams were hovering around .500 and had the best chance to knock the Wives off their throne. Next month, we will have the results, as well as information on how to sign up for the spring season.

Also, the league will be competing in an All Star tournament against Greensboro and Raleigh on Nov. 8 up in Raleigh. Three players were selected from each team in the league to face off for the North Carolina kickball crown. : :