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“Drive a racecar!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rusty Wallace race experience Oswego NY

Rusty Wallace race experience Oswego NY
Oswego, New York
1 review
“Drive a racecar!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

I had a blast driving a real race car on a real race track! the staff was very professional and helpful and the cars were well prepared. take a ride with a professional driver then drive a car by yourself! We had rain that day and the staff did everything possible to dry the track and get the full program in. will definitely do it again!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Greg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13 reviews from our community

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English first
Syracuse, New York
1 review
“Great Time with Rusty Wallace Racing Experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

I received this as a Christmas gift in 2013. I had considered doing something like this when I was younger but at 54 I wasn't sure I now wanted this much excitement in my life. Now, having gone through it, I am so glad the opportunity presented itself. It is the best time, EVER!

I had always assumed this was only offered at tracks down south. Living in Syracuse, I was familiar with Oswego Speedway but didn't realize it was used by Rusty Wallace Racing Experience.

After receiving the gift, I went to the RWRE website to book the time for my experience. There were plenty of different weekends and times available. I chose 8AM on a Saturday in late July. My thinking for the early start was that temps would be cooler and not as many people around to watch me if I screwed up and hit the wall. When registering you are offered the opportunity to purchase add-ons to your package. One is for insurance so you're not on the hook for up to $15,000 if you stuff the car into the wall or wreck with another car. I had the choice of buying it when I booked the date or when I arrived at the track so I decided to wait. Other add-ons include photographs with the car, video of you driving, ride along with an expert driver, and additional laps.

I arrived at the track and the weather was perfect. I checked in at the track ticket window and paid for the insurance. Actually, they had the insurance offered stand alone or bundled with some other things. i chose the bundle with the insurance, t-shirt and three laps riding with an expert driver. I was given a hand stamp showing I was a driver and then, after a brief wait, escorted upstairs to the track press room which was doubling as a driver's classroom. There were two other guys in my class. The instructor went through a 45 minute session on what to expect when we hit the track, safety gear, the racing line we were expected to use, and how to "pass" another car.

RWRE's claim to fame is that they let divers pass each other. This is done in a very controlled fashion through radio communications with all the drivers and is designed to keep everyone safe. The good thing about it is you're not going to be stuck behind a slower driver for your entire session. While I didn't pass anyone, I was asked to move over once (they call it "left and lift") so that a ride-long car could pass me.

After the class session we were escorted to the track and given fire suits and helmets. They have many different sizes to choose from. The person directing the on-track operations assigns you a car based on your size. They want you as comfortable as possible in the car and able to easily reach all of the pedals.

But before getting assigned a car I went off to my three lap ride along with an expert driver who was a local racer from Oswego and who knew the track well. WE WERE FLYING! I am so glad I bought this add-on because it gave me a chance to see the track before my drive and it gave me a big appreciation for what real drivers experience. They take the car right to the edge on every lap! And at a shorter track like Oswego, the turns come up very fast. I highly recommend adding the ride along laps to your experience.

After the ride along, I was ready for my chance to drive. But first, a very nice lady from RWRE snapped a picture of me sitting on the drivers door with my legs in the window and helmet on the roof. I looked like a racer! You have to go through the window to enter and exit the car and at 6'3" 230lbs it wasn't the most graceful move I've ever done but I made it in. There was an assistant helping me for the entire buckle-in process. He helped with belts, helmet, radio and switches. This feels nothing like getting into your personal car and can be a little disorienting. You tend to sit low and up on the wheel. The seat is very snug and when the belts are tightened you become one with the car. There were no rear view mirrors in my car. Shifting is no big deal. My car had a straight line lever with two gears, second and third. You use use second to leave the pits and then clutch and pull straight back for third once on the track. There is no shifting once you're out there.

After getting settled in the car, they do a radio check and they send you out. There is a racing lane made of colored duck tape laid out on the track and cones in the entrance and exit of the turns that tell you when to brake and accelerate. It took a couple of laps to get a feel for everything but I started turning better laps as my confidence grew. I don't know how fast I was going and frankly I don't care. I was having so much fun I could have been at Richmond racing along side Johnson and Junior for the win. The next thing I knew my laps were up and I was asked to bring the car in. I found the pit entrance and rolled to a stop totally high on adrenaline. I unhooked my belts and window net and crawled out grinning from ear to ear. It was the most incredible feeling. After returning the helmet and fire suit I caught up with one of my classmates and we were sharing our on track experiences as if we had just finished at Dover. Both of us were pumped. Before leaving I purchased the picture of me sitting on the car.

Areas for improvement include being more upfront with the insurance cost and upgrading Oswego Speedway. $60 is not an insignificant amount and those purchasing this as a gift might be embarrassed to learn that the giftee has to pony up additional cash for the insurance. Also, Oswego is an old "old school" track with warped wooden bleachers and lots of rusty metal. I had been there 30 years ago to watch super-modified racing and it seems nothing has changed since then. Nothing about the facilities says "quality" so when you first set foot inside the track you may question the quality of the whole experience. Don't worry, you'll still have the time of your life.

Aside from those two things this was a great experience from start to finish. RWRE puts on a first class program. Registration was simple. The classroom session was very thorough and did a good job preparing me for what I experienced once I got out on the track. The pit crew was great and very patient going over procedures and getting me comfortable in the car. Everyone had a great attitude and friendly demeanor. These guys work together all the time and travel the US and Canada running these programs at large and small tracks. With the help of local drivers and track staff they put on an experience that is absolutely awesome.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank M C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
1 review
“Awesome! !!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014 via mobile

The time of my life. Can't wait to do it again. The rusty wallace team is great!!! It was the best Christmas present I have ever gotten. Participated in oswego, ny. Next, daytona!!!

Helpful?
Thank Stacey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Breesport, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Simply outstanding experience driving a sprint cup car”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

I cannot applaud Rusty Wallace Racing enough for the wonderful experience driving in a great car but also for the exceptional customer service displayed by everyone in that organization. From the girl (Heather) at the registration window to the driving instructor (Keith) and every single person on the infield, the customer service certainly made you feel important as well as wanted. I have never seen such great customer service in any business in the past. But keep in mind, the driving experience is nothing short of super!!!!!!! I strongly recommend the video package as it keeps memories real.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank JOHN C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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