Anyone can do it: Race car driving in Vegas

Before my "race," relaxing in the VIP lounge.

Before my “race,” relaxing in the VIP lounge.

One unassuming recent Saturday morning, I woke up, fed my dogs, showered, and headed to the last place on earth I ever thought I’d go — the racetrack. And I wasn’t even going to go watch a race. No… in my quest to show the world that the deserts of Las Vegas are jam-packed with ridiculous adventure stunts, I was going to be on the track. I am a notoriously bad driver and uninterested in learning how to drive one of these fast cars, but I was to quickly learn that I was not alone in my fears. But Exotics Racing is so awesome, that I still got to be right in the action. (Even too much in the action, according to some of the others…) As usual, I was the last of my eager adventure-seeking pals to show up for our activity, the last in our series of zip-lining, off-roading and hitting the gun range. I quickly signed my life away on the all-too-familiar waiver, and we were on our way. Vegas race car driving, I was about to learn, is quite the thrill!



When I got there, I couldn’t help but notice that the two girls in our bunch seemed a bit nervous, while the guys were laughing and excited.

Shameless plug: Exotics had Vegas magazines on the table in the VIP lounge!

Shameless plug: Exotics had Vegas magazines on the table in the VIP lounge!

Exotics Racing is no joke. In fact, it boasts a real 1.2 mile race track designed by stunt driver Romain Thievin, who has worked on more than 150 movies, including as the stunt double for Matt Damon in a little adventure flick you might have heard of, The Bourne Identity. In his spare time, he’s a five-time racing champion. The course has seven thrilling turns and an 1,800-foot straight-away.

Even though I’ve done a year’s worth of adventure activities with these two, I was still a bit surprised by how excited Cory and Alex were to drive these cars. Helmets on, they geared up for the rides of their lives: Cory was to jump behind the wheel of a Ferrari 430 F1, which he detailed on the great Vegas blog AC2LV. Alex? A Lamborghini Gallardo. Turns out, he was quite a car junkie as a kid. Read all about it on Travelated.

Exotics Racing

Which brings us to the girls…

 The three of us may or may not have been nervous giggles and incessant question-asking. With Kristen and JoAnna, I learned something interesting: There are two kinds of scaredy cats. The first kind (me) is fine as long as I’m NOT the one driving. And the other kind (them) is only ok if they are. Kristen, who I also took a nighttime helicopter tour with, tackled the Porsche Cayman R, which she wrote about on her fun food and Vegas lifestyle blog Swanky Dietician. The usually cool-as-a-cucumber JoAnna showed nerves for the first time ever — but of course did an amazing job behind the wheel of an Audi R8 V10. She wrote about the adrenaline rush on Kaleioescopic Wandering.

Exotics Racing 2


And then there was me…

I had absolutely no interest in putt-putting around the course at 40 mph, which is exactly what would have happened had I been behind the wheel. Plus, I would have been terrified the entire time. Not fun! My best friend is the only person I have found who agrees with me on this. At a new company, she was once forced to do this activity with a bunch of coworkers shortly after meeting them. She slowly drove around the track, praying for it to be over. We are in the minority, but Exotics Racing is ready for us.

Let me present the ride-along.

It is not for the faint of heart. In fact, some of the others with me said they’d never do it! (?!) Since you’re in a Corvette Z06 with a professional driver who does this all day long, you take take course the way it was made to be driven. It was a wild ride! The driver told me afterwards that he hits about 135 miles an hour every time.

Against my better judgement, I got talked into sharing my video. It is the dorkiest I have ever looked, but man, was it worth it!

Exotics Racing from Abby Tegnelia on Vimeo.


If you ask me, THAT’s a way to start a weekend!


Does it bother anyone else that I never saw the face of the guy who had my life in his hands?

Does it bother anyone else that I never saw the face of the guy who had my life in his hands?


Off I go!

Vegas race car driving

©Cory Haugen

Vegas race car driving

©Cory Haugen


Vegas race car driving

Love the obviousness of the Coors Light billboard on the track. ©Cory Haugen

Exotics Racing

We came within inches of every cone. This guy knew no fear! ©Cory Haugen


Exotics Racing

You can see how fast we were going that on the turn the back of the car swerved out behind us! ©Cory Haugen

To book an event or driving experience visit Exotics Racing or call 702-405-7223.

I was a guest of Exotics Racing, but all opinions are my own.
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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. Oh gosh – you are one brave girl!! This sort of thing holds no joy for me whatsoever. 🙂 Well done facing your fears and whizzing around with your driver. 🙂

  2. Lucas is doing this soon, he’s soooo excited! You’ve made me want to do it now too!

  3. Ladies, it was soooo much fun!!!!

  4. I was wondering when I’d get to read about your race car experience! I definitely admit to being totally freaked out, but it was fun once I got behind the wheel.

  5. I had never seen you like that! But then you took it like a champ, OF COURSE.

  6. I would absolutely like to try this except I would definitely want to be the one driving. I want to try! I have a feeling I would LOVE it. Love following along on your BIG BOSSY EXCITING adventures 🙂

  7. Lol doesn’t surprise me… I bet you’d be a great driver!!

  8. I am still impressed that you went with the driver!!!
    I think they said I went like 45 at the fastest!!! Horrible! But it was such a blast! Ready for whats next!! 😉

  9. This looks like sooooo much fun! I love how you try stuff even if you’re scared.

  10. Now THAT looks like an awesome experience. Of course, I’ve come to expect that every time I visit this corner of the internet:)

  11. Wow, I didn’t know you could do this – I mean, ride along with a professional driver (driving myself wouldn’t be an option as I would pretty much go the same speed that you would go:))! Probably very much one of these moments where you just have to forget that you assume that you are going to die and enjoy the ride. Cool stuff!

  12. You have the best adventures. I love, love, love driving fast! I would tear the track up…so fun!!! Thanks for sharing….if I ever get back to Vegas I’m going to have to add this to the itinerary.

  13. I’m really liking these new adventure activities you’re doing Abby! I’m dying to hear about the Jet! b/c it’s a life long dream and I have something similar planned this year.

  14. Such a cool activity! How about you driving next time?? 😉

  15. Haha! I did the exact same thing you did! I already have anxiety about driving a car and I knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable driving these cars around super fast (especially after they told me I would be responsible for 10% of the cost if I crashed) so I opted for letting the pro do the driving and it was SO fun!

  16. I think I would have died and gone to heaven had we had this opportunity. Shaun is a car guy. I am a car girl. We can both drive well. I think we both would have fought over the R8.


  17. Haha, this totally makes me think of the dates on The Bachelor….

  18. That looks like so much fun!

  19. I guess not seeing the face of your driver matters less than getting out of there alive. How envious of your experience. Yet another reason to head to Vegas. I don’t know why recently all I do is just use your airport to connect to another flight.

  20. Wow, kudos for doing that! I would never – cars and speed absolutely terrify me (as in panic attack terrifying), but I can see what the appeal is!

  21. What a great adventure! So much fun!

  22. Abby, often we don’t know the THRILL of living till we’re faced with danger. 🙂
    Glad to read you didn’t scream “like a girl” or need to change clothes afterward -*laugh*

  23. That sounds like so much fun but I am not sure if I would be brave enough.

  24. Damn that looks like SO much fun! I would however have preferred to drive. 🙂

  25. Melissa W. says:

    TRULY AMAZING!!!!!! I love that you shared this!!!

  26. Wow, that looks like so much fun! I think I would need to see the guy’s face, though 😉

  27. You look like you were having a total blast!

  28. This looks SO FUN. I have to admit I’m a wuss when it comes to driving fast, but I think I would enjoy this from the driver’s seat!

  29. Too fun!
    I am glad I got to see your video! You can see how fast you were going cause your fly was flying around! You are so much braver than me! 🙂

  30. This looks awesome! I’m so glad you got the video to work, all that tire screeching definitely adds something to the adventure that pictures just can’t capture.

  31. I thought so, too lol

  32. This looks like so much fun! I loved your first screaming 😀

  33. He was chatting like it was nothing, then pealed out so fast!

  34. I would love to do this. Great video too, did they put that together for you? I love the map and the two points of view.

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