A Visit to Silicon Motor Speedway
by Pete McCole

October 9, 2002

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Humpy Wheeler, Miss North Carolina Rebekah Revels and Jeremy Mayfield.
Photo: Pete McCole

Members of the media got a chance to test their skills against a real NASCAR Winston Cup driver yesterday at the Silicon Motor Speedway at Concord Mills Mall near Lowe’s Motor Speedway to kick off festivities for this weekend’s events at the track.

Lowe’s Motor Speedway president and general manager H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler and Miss North Carolina Rebekah Revels were also on hand to try and beat Jeremy Mayfield, driver of the #19 Dodge Intrepid, in an 11-lap virtual race around Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

The NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway racing experience that hosted the event is located near Lowes Motor Speedway, and there are Racing Centers located across the country from New York to California.  The race cars are actually full motion simulators, and as you drive, the simulator moves and feels as close to racing as you can imagine. You can feel the jarring impact of a crash on the wall or getting hit by another car, and you can feel the car "push" or get "loose". It's as real as it gets!

“This is the most realistic video game I’ve ever seen,” said Mayfield of the Silicon Motor Speedway, where people can climb into half-size versions of NASCAR stock cars surrounded by TV screens and drive a virtual race. The cars are mounted on hydraulics, allowing them to mimic the high banks and trading paint of a real NASCAR race.

Pete McCole shows off the spoils of his fourth place finish.
Photo: AutoRacing1

“It’s a lot like our Winston Cup cars.” Mayfield continued, “I’ve got a Playstation 2, I’ve played a lot of racing games, but none of them felt as realistic as this does.”

Mayfield seemed to be the man to beat until Joni Massengale of Women’s Racing Journal passed Mayfield for the lead on lap nine and held on for the victory by 1.78 seconds over Mayfield. Chris Roberts was third. AR1’s own Pete McCole rebounded from a spin on lap one to finish fourth, second best among the media. Wheeler and Revels finished fifth and ninth, respectively. Revels will serve as Honorary Race Director for this Sunday’s UAW-GM Quality 500.

The author can be contacted nascar@autoracing1.com

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