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Driving Experiences Make Great Gifts

Updated on December 15, 2015

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." by Maya Angelou

I think this is also true about Christmas gift giving. Do you remember the gift your brother gave you ten years ago? Do you remember the gift you gave him? How many people just grab something off the shelf thinking "that'll do" versus actually putting some thought into the gifts they give.

This year, why not put a little creative thought into your gift-giving? Give your friends and loved ones gifts that provide them with a feeling. Give them a gift of an experience they will never forget. Give them a gift they will be talking about for years, if not the rest of their lives

Consider giving a driving experience as a Christmas gift to the racing or NASCAR fan or enthusiast in your family!

My Racetrack Experience

While married to my first husband, we were heavily involved in owning, restoring, and racing vintage Ford Mustangs. We would travel to all the Texas and Oklahoma area swap meets, car shows, drag races and driving events.

We have ridden on tracks like:

The thrill of being on each of these racetracks is almost indescribable. It is nothing like the ordinary day-to-day driving we're all used to. You can not begin to appreciate the banking of the curves on a NASCAR track until you've been on it. You have to drive fast just to keep from sliding off of it. Or how quickly a quarter mile is over when you're racing against someone in the next lane. It is an incredible feeling.

There are driving schools virtually everywhere that you, or someone you love, can attend and learn to drive on one of the top tracks. If they'd rather ride along with a qualified instructor rather than drive, that's available as well. This is a driving experience that makes an incredible gift for the racing fan in your family, male or female.

How to Choose A Driving Experience or Track

There are a number of considerations in choosing a track for your driving experience:

  • Cost-your budget will determine much of your choice. Driving Experiences seem to start around $150 for 3 laps. You can easily spend thousands on a 25 lap experience. Riding experiences are much cheaper for obvious reasons.
  • Location-most of the driving schools are held at all of the major tracks, but that may still mean travel to it. Make sure that whoever you're giving the experience to can afford to get to it. It's probably easier to pick a track location, then see what schools offer racing experiences there. You can go about it from the other direction and pick a school and then see what tracks they offer experiences at. It really depends on how willing you are to travel to where they are.
  • Schedule-consider the time of year and note that the slots fill up fast. Many of them are already booking up way into 2010.
  • Features-each school and/or track offers different features. Determine what features are important to you. Some tracks allow passing, some do not. Some have inboard cameras and radios, some do not.
  • Refund or reschedule policy-before purchasing, make sure you understand their refund and/or reschedule policy due to weather, uncontrollable circumstances, illness, etc.
  • Reviews & Safety Record-review what others have to say about the schools. Check out their safety record.

Another consideration, is the health of the person you're giving this to. Elderly fathers with heart or health issues are not likely candidates for this experience.

Some of the Most Popular Racing/Driving Experience Racing Schools


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    • experience days profile image

      Sarah Firmin 6 years ago from England, UK

      You've got some cool tracks in the US. Would love to take a NASCAR experience but they don't do them here in the UK!

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      That's a great idea too, Dolores!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      What a great idea for the race fan that you love. At first, I thought you were going to suggest just driving together somewhere. Did that once for a friend's birthday. I decided to take her out to lunch in another town - a secret destination. Of course, after being on the road for about 45 minutes, she figured it out.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Then you ought to have a whole bunch of folks on your list to give some laps to! Thanks for stopping by Sandi!

    • profile image

      Sandi 3m 8 years ago

      Great idea, thanks! We are all race fans here in Missouri!

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Isn't it cool, Nicomp? It's a great gift idea. There are so many people who would love it and it's the kind of gift people don't get around to giving themselves. Many will spend there whole life wishing they would have done it, but because no one thought to give it them, they'll do without.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Man, this would be cool. It's on my Christmas list.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Viv and Paradise for your comments!

      If you watch the video on Dale Jarrett's website it'll make anyone want to go for a spin in one. I met Dale Jarrett about 10 years ago I guess and he's a super nice guy. I know my ex would jump at the chance to do something like that. I would love to ride and maybe even drive on, myself. It is a thrill. It's an experience you never forget.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Watkins Glen has something like that. I think it's $100 for one lap, but then they're hosting NASCAR in 2010. What an unusual gift idea!

    • VivBounty profile image

      VivBounty 8 years ago from Canada

      Very very true. Nice hub. I can't do "that'll do" gifts nor can I pump out emotionless writing. I like to feel if I'm going to interact at all in person or through my writing, I've made a connection and we've had an exchange. I have been told I should write cards for Hallmark or the like but as I can't pump out anonymous emotion, I got writer's block. I am trying to shorten my hubs, though, but still need an emotional connection to write them.

      Those Christmas office exchanges in the years I was in the corporate world with umpteen dollar store candles and someone got wind that I like zebras so another 20 zebra trinkets each year eventually just became junk collection.

      When my father-in-law got my hubby his first motorcycle at age 16, he sent him to a school run by the police and the Auto Cycle Union to learn to ride, control, dismantle and maintain his bike. He was tested by the police at the end of the course. A bike ride was far preferable to school in his eyes. Oh well! It was a brilliant gift to go with the bike.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      That's it's the feeling it gave you towards him that makes you remember it to vividly.

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 8 years ago from Sunny Spain

      What an interesting hub, you are right I can only remember a handful of Christmas presents the one I remember most vividly was a brass microscope that my husband bought for me it used to belong to the county coroner and came with a load of slides some like the microscope being nearly a hundred years old. That Christmas I was so fascinated by the present the time flew by and they nearly didn’t get any Christmas dinner lol. I felt like my husband really understood what would pleased me and he had gone out of his way to find just the right one with a history and gone to a lot of trouble to purchase it all of this made me feel very special and think that he was very special too.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you creativeone!

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thanks for great hub with a great idea, thanks for sharing it. creativeone59