I’ve spent a ton of time in Las Vegas. I’ve literally been about 100 times. Vegas is a great place to see and do a ton of different things. I don’t do Vegas like your typical guy who goes once or twice a year and goes on an insane drunken bender. I have friends there and often stay off the Strip. I like to do local things but the big touristy things are always close. Las Vegas is also a mecca for cool adventure and sporting activities.
Many people don’t think about that type of thing when they think of Las Vegas. People think Vegas is just gambling and debauchery. You can do that for sure. But to really get the most out of Vegas then you get off the Strip and try some of the coolest activities that you really can’t do anywhere else. For instance, the other day I went Ferrari Racing in Las Vegas.
Ferrari Racing in Las Vegas was one of the best things I’ve done in the United States to be honest. It was so much fun. I went with a company called Dream Racing; which is located at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). This is the same Speedway where they have multiple NASCAR races each year and also Indy Car racing amongst others.
When you arrive at Dream Racing’s first class facility in the infield of LVMS, you can’t help but be captivated by the lineup of bright red Ferrari’s outside the office. Once inside and registered, you check out an 18-minute safety video and then head over to the racing simulator.
The simulator is a great way to get a feel for the track. If you’re unfamiliar with these simulators, they have become commonplace with racers and video games alike. They are laser scanned in to make it a true lifelike experience. This helps drivers learn the ins and outs of the track before they race on it.
For us novices it was the same. I did about 5 laps on the virtual track and felt pretty comfortable about myself heading down to the track and racing for real. After gearing up I was ready to go!
Once you get to the track and you see the lineup of non-street legal Ferrari’s glistening in the Vegas sun, your heart starts pounding with excitement and anticipation. I had to wait until the second group and I went out with my buddy Chris Tessaro; who is a ranked poker player, actor, host of a popular radio program in Toronto and a great guy.
I hopped in the car where my instructor awaited in the passenger seat. He gave me some last minute instructions but I’ll be honest, I was so excited, I didn’t hear a word he said even through the helmet microphone. Off I went.
You start out in the infield and follow some cones out to the track. When the instructor tells you to step on the gas, it’s a huge rush of adrenaline as the G-Forces push you back in your seat as you literally take off.
The course is a road course, meaning it has curves and turns where you have to break and steer as opposed to just an oval. So you have to know how to switch gears and brake accordingly. This is where the instructor is of paramount importance. He tells you what gear to be in and how hard and when to brake. Without him, I probably would have crashed. It’s hard to judge sharp turns at those speeds and in the wrong gear.
After a few laps I really started to get the hang of the track and was easily going 140-160 MPH at times on the straightaways. It was a blast! The only problem was it ended too soon. But when I got back to the pit, it was again a huge rush of adrenaline and I got to share the stories with my buddies who did it with me. What a great experience.
I don’t know any other place where you can race non-street legal Ferrari’s than in Las Vegas. But that’s Vegas in my mind. A place where you can do things that you can’t do anywhere else. This is why I love Vegas.
If people tell me they don’t like Vegas, I generally think one of two things. First, they probably have never done anything off the Strip in Vegas and think Vegas is just the Strip, gambling, sex, partying and assorted other debaucherous things. Second, they suck.
Vegas is what you make of it, there is something for everyone of every age. No matter what you like. Now, I like a ton of different things in and out of Vegas but I think my new favorite thing to do is Ferrari racing in Las Vegas.