Marlboro Hot Laps - Vroom Vroom!

Chris smokes Marlboro cigarettes (yep, he's the quintessential "Marlboro Man"). He's also been trying to quit since he met me. He has cut down his smoking quite a bit, at least. It seems every time he decides to quit, some stressful thing happens to him or us and he starts smoking again. So to save money, he signed up last year on the Marlboro web site, hoping for discount coupons. He's been getting some nifty gifts from them - a Zippo lighter, ashtray, dice game, but no coupons. Then he got a big envelope in the mail in late September and it was a promotion claiming he and a guest could go to the local NASCAR track in Loudon, NH to do a free ridealong with a racecar driver. It had a DVD with it, so he asked me to check it out.

I know that those ridealongs can be expensive - my late hubby did it at the Richard Petty Driving School down south back in 1997 or so and it was a good chunk of money, so I wondered what the catch was.

I popped in the DVD and watched the video, read through the terms and couldn't believe it. Chris and I could go to the track, and each of us would get to ride in the passenger seat not only going around the track at up to 130 MPH, but also on a drifting course. Plus, we'd get free goodies and free food as well. Cool beans!

I signed us up for October 24th and we went. Joanne said she'd stop by to check on the dogs, since Guin still wasn't feeling well then (BTW, she's back to her old hopping around self - I think that tick we found had a lot to do with her being so sick).

We got there, had to sign waivers, got our gift bags which came with a lighter, disposable camera, racing gloves (one size fits none, LOL), face sock (you wear over your face and under the racing helmet), ear plugs and a "I rode with the pros" hat. Double cool beans!

We tried on helmets to see what size we'd wear, got our driving suits on and were directed to the waiting area, which had snacks, (non alcoholic) beverages and a couple of cars to take photos next to or in, plus a green screen photo:

A guy named Chip came to describe what was going to happen next with the drifting course, then another guy came to talk and he looked just like the actor who plays Ben on LOST. First is a link to Chip telling us our team name (there were about 30 of us), then "Ben."

I was before Chris for the drifting and he got one photo of me in the car, which were souped up Mustangs:

I got better pics of him waiting in line in his racing suit:

Then I got a good video of the car he was in drifting.

I loved the drifting - the woman driving my car was very cool and went so fast I told her it was better than rollercoaster. And it was.

Next up was the racetrack. Here are some of our team members getting their helmets for their rides:

and the car I rode in - souped up Dodge Avengers:

This is what it looked like zooming by us - Vroom Vroom

These cars were so LOUD. And my driver went 130 MPH around the track once I gave him the thumbs up. It's amazing how close they come to the wall on the straightaway.

I have to admit, though, the drifting course was more fun. I hope they come back next year and do a longer drifting course!

We got a really nice hot buffet meal (not just snacks) afterwards and a travel coffee cup as a thank you gift. One thing I noticed was that Marlboro's logo/name wasn't on a darned thing. Must be some sort of law against that. And they didn't give out free cigarettes or coupons, but boy, we had a total blast.

Here's my handsome hubby - soon to be a NASCAR legend (ha ha ha)


Anonymous said…
Hi! Just a question. I called the 800 # supplied with the original mailing and c.d to schedule our time slot. They said I'd receive an information package in the mail, which I still haven't gotten. Our time slot is 2 weeks away. Do you remember when your mailer came in comparison to your scheduled date? Thanks....
I honestly don't remember when the folder with the letter and info came, but we had it in hand by the time of our scheduled date. If you don't get it a few days before, call them again.
MarciaAnn said…
I'm so psyched to have found you had a great time, my husband & I got our invite yesterday, we're signed up to participate 08/14 at Loudon, NH - any hints/tips?
Wear sneakers or flat shoes, wear something light because the suit they put you in will get warm. Take lots of pictures!
Anonymous said…
My husband and I are going on Sunday. I was wondering do you know how big the suits go up to? He is a 2x and was wondering if they have them that big? Was there a lot of "big" people there that could fit into the suits. Thanks.
I know there were some larger people who had suits fit them, but they were not able to fit through the window of the racecar that went around the track. However, the drifting cars are like regular cars where the doors open, so he should fit in there fine. Have a good time!!
Larry said…
I will be going next Sunday at Road Atlanta and cant wait. Thanks for letting me know what to expect.

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