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2005 slk 350
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not in my SLK though.

I posted this on another forum, so sorry if you already read it.

My wife bought me a "stock car racing experience" for Christmas. I went today. This is a program where you drive a NASCAR-type stock car around a track at considerable speed. Mine was held at Pocono International Speedway in Pennsylvania, USA. It's a track stop for the NASCAR circuit. It's a 2 1/2 mile tri-oval(three turns).

This was probably one of the biggest rushes in my life! After a training session, the first part of the program was to ride with a professional driver in a stock car around the track a few times. We went about 175 miles per hour. The first turn and I was literally petrified. It really seems that the incredible speed you have in the turns will surely slide the car up the turn. The G-force on your body is crazy. It's amazing how these cars stick to the track. Your mind tells you disaster is iminent, but the car says differently and absolutely stays glued. I couldn't believe it.

After the ride, I was a little apprehensive to take the wheel, knees wobbling and all, but what the hell! The way it works is you follow a professional driver and a driver like you is behind you. No radios whatsoever. Hand signals and the flag tower is all you have for the staff to communicate to you. I followed the pro-driver and my brother who went with me followed. We took off (manual transmission, of course), and before I knew what was happening, we were flying. I had a little trouble keeping up (that fear thing kept kicking in), my brother actually passed me. But it was an incredible experience. We went around the track eight times, gradually increasing speed with each lap. You drive a line that brings you from the lower edge of the track near the grass in the turns, to the straight-aways where you are about one car width from the wall. An incredible sensation. Eight laps go quick, but it is mentally draining. Your focus and attention is intense. There are actually other drivers on the track at the same time, so you have to have tunnel-vision. It was so much more intense, thrilling and scary than I ever thought it would be. These cars are real stock cars. They are loud, rough and vibrate, but they have incredible power. They backfire and make all sorts of rudes sounds. No doors or dashboard to speak of. There is no speedometer, but the tach has a memory feature that stores your highest RPM. Mine was 7000, which translated by their chart to about 160. My brother got his up to 7500, which is about 165.

It was great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates speed and a sense of adventure. This is speed like you've never encountered before. It gives me a whole new appreciation of professional drivers. It all looks so easy on TV. When you try it for yourself, you'll know what I mean. Nascar drivers go about 40 miles per hour faster than I went on the same track. It doesn't seem possible, but it is. And they do it with forty other cars on the track for hundreds of laps. Unimaginable.

I was happy to get back in my refined, hugely under-powered SLK350 to go home. On the way home, I drove 100 miles per hour and it seemed like fifty. No drama whatsoever. And that's fine with me.

I think I understand now, the allure of the SLK 55 AMG. Speed is an intoxitating, adrenaline pumping thing.
 
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