As a petrolhead, I'm dying to experience a proper track day and here's why
After first getting my Dodge Charger SE, I've been dying to take it to a track day nearby my home and experience my car's full potential.
I live in Massachusetts, there aren't many choices for me to go to for a nice day, flat out on a race track in my Charger, experiencing all 292 horsepower from that 3.6 litre VVT V6 riding on Firestone Firehawk GTs (too specific?). The reason for me saying this is because after I first drove and owned the Charger, I've thought of two things I would love to do with it (at least once); go on a long trip in which I've done twice (once to Newport, RI from Pepperell, MA and then one trip to Loudon, NH to visit the Canterury Shaker Village Museum ironically), and to drive it on a race track during a track day.
The catch about track days here is, most of them are settled into specific clubs for specific makes and/or models, and there are others that require membership if you want to take any car onto the track. There are however a few options to take any car onto the track nearby me but they do limit the track experience a little bit like Lime Rock Park's autocross program, where you you have a choice of three programs; the first program takes drivers to their smaller quarter mile autocross course where they can drive their own cars around it with a driving instructor, program 2 allows you to take a choice of a higher end car (street or race) with an instructor and a coach around the regular track layout (again, you can take your own car but have the addition of being taught in an MX-5 autocross vehicle for Skid Pad Sessions), and program three is a safety driving course to teach young and old drivers on how to drive in emergency situations.
All too familiar to me... Source: https://www.nhms.com/about/headlines/
There are separate programs that go to race tracks and allow anyone to bring their cars to the track and experience it to their heart's content (with some rules obviously), like for example at Lime Rock Park a program called "Hooked on Driving" will allow a traditional track day in Salisbury, CT on June 7 - 8 next year. Another program that is regular to New England tracks is Tony's Track Days, which goes to the nearest of the major race tracks near where I live, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a NASCAR venue. The only thing wrong with this program is that it's exclusively for motorcycle drivers! But! There is another program (that also goes to Lime Rock and NHMS as well as Watkins Glen and the club majoritarian Palmer Motorsports Park in Palmer, MA) that gives all drivers a chance to shine, the Sports Car Driving Association. They seem to love coming back to Lime Rock since next year they go there about 22 times while visiting Loudon (NHMS) once on August 2nd.
On one small sidenote, one track I'm curious about (that is known for often having open track days) is the Canaan Motor Club in Canaan, NH. The only thing I don't like about it is the drive, but that's minor compared to thinking about going to Lime Rock (which is WAAAAAAY further away anyway), since Canaan is about an hour and a half drive away from my house it's not a bad drive to be honest, a little extra sightseeing doesn't hurt anyone! This is also compared to driving to Loudon, NH where that trip shaves off a half an hour. The 2.6 mile long road course can be converted in a way that can allow for a karting event (or two) to happen at the same time as a solo track day or and official event (supposedly looking back on the 2018 schedule the SCCA has done some events there recently which surprises me).
Apparently snow autocross is also a thing at Lime Rock Park! Source: http://limerock.com/programs-for-individuals
As I do have choices for track days near my home I do have to consider what happens away from the track whether it be a family matter, work (still trying to find it), or even just simply the money question. I may have some restraint to touching a track day but the desire still burns deep within me. I yearn for the day where I can drive my Charger for real around the apex to feel its full potential, taking in the feeling of being thrown around in my car while I fly down the straightaway with a full smile on my face. Granted the only time I've experience I've had similar to this was riding in a NASCAR stock car in Disney World (before they did away with their speedway) for the Richard Petty Driving Experience. As fun as it was to feel all of those G forces and being thrown back in my seat, I still want to 1up it. Good god do I want more thrill to the pavement.