Drive A Racing Car Experience – Auto Racing How to Drive at Pocono Raceway: Hey, man, follow the man in front of you.
When the first email came from Kevin Heaney, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at Pocono Raceway, asking if I would be interested in participating in the Race Car Review at the track’s press day, I said no. know how to answer.
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Keith Groller prepares and drives during a recent day at Pocono Raceway as part of the plan for the upcoming 2021 season. (Amy Shortell / Dawn Call)
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I was so busy in the middle of spring high school sports that I had few hours left to devote to things like this.
Plus, during my more than ten years covering the Poconos, Triangle Entertainment, I’ve been around the road as a rider a few times with guys like Clint Bowyer and Brett Body. Then, on the open wheel race back to the long lake, I had one of the 10 thrills of my life when I cruised around the track in a two-seater IndyCar driven by of one of the Lehigh Valley’s most famous men. Mario Andretti is one of the most famous drivers in the world.
Morning Call sportscaster Paul Reinhardt (left) and Morning Call sportswriter Keith Groller (right) once drove a two-seater IndyCar driven by Mario Andretti at Pocono Raceway. (Morning Call file photo)
After all, I drive the local highways, also known as Routes 22 and I-78, several times a week and see how people can drive on these roads, sometimes in traffic. heavy vehicle. Do I need more speed in my life?
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But when I got a second email from Heaney saying there was still room, I thought about it again.
At the age of 60 and not knowing how many opportunities to do something like this will happen until the last stage of my career, I have agreed somewhat reluctantly.
Keith Groller, center, prepares and drives during a recent announcement at Pocono Raceway as plans for the upcoming 2021 season. (Amy Shortell / Dawn Call)
When my Car Race was over on Thursday, I was not only glad I did it, but I wanted to do it again one day.
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The first time came when I had to fill out a registration form and name someone as an emergency contact.
I immediately had a vision of a dozen big Poconos hitting the wall, especially at one of the three different parts of the road.
I also remember standing outside the post-crash medical center with other media to get driver status updates a few times, which happens more often at IndyCar races than at NASCAR races. situation.
With a montage of Pocono’s biggest crashes in my head, I filled out the registration form and hit send on my computer.
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Before my “experience”, I expressed my concern to my wife, who said, “Don’t worry, I’m sure they won’t let you drive on that road.”
Keith Groller plans to drive the car during the previous day’s event at Pocono Raceway as part of the plan for the upcoming 2021 season. (Amy Shortell / Dawn Call)
In nearly 39 years of marriage, you learn when and how to disagree with your spouse, so this time I gently said, “Honey, I think it’s all things about learning to drive.
Sign up, sign it, put it on your rocket and get ready to watch a bunch of videos that will show you the dos and don’ts of this experience.
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The 1st problem – and maybe the only disappointment of the day – was when my first fire was very tight. I’ve lost some weight over the years, but it sure doesn’t fit their size anymore. There is no room in the jacket, but I can get it over my jeans and golf.
The video shows how to run, gives detailed information on how to get into the car, what to do when you’re in the car, and points to use when you’re driving around. One of the scary parts of the video is that it explains what to do if the car catches fire.
Either way, I get distracted by my nerves or my morning latte from McDonald’s and I have to go to the bathroom. It crossed my mind how difficult it would be to get help without putting out all the fire.
With the movie and the bathroom behind me, I went out into the street with the rest of the media and immediately put on my hat. I try to make small talk with my friends in the media so it’s like another day at work.
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Seeing WFMZ-69 sports director Dan Moscaritolo on the set gave me another thought: If I don’t try one of these tracks and hit a wall and my car catches fire, can I make a which of these? The best stories on the news at 6pm? Or will Dan pay me off for one of his products during the sports season?
Along with many reporters from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre news station, I thought well, maybe my youngest daughter, a freshman at Wilkes University, who was broken by her father , will take a break from class to check on his father. one of the parking lots is on this road.
But the concern about the damage that will be replaced by another concern: How can someone go through the window into the car? You just don’t open the doors like you would with a family minivan.
I did it not once, but twice, first with a three-lap rest run with a coach as a passenger, and then I moved to the driver for real driving really. Wearing a big helmet makes my car more fun. My helmet hit the top of the window on my first try and I thought for a minute I would have an impact as a memory, but sometimes I bent my body to squeeze in the car; not once but twice.
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Being tied up in a car is another very stressful time, especially for someone who feels that he is partially claustrophobic.
However, it is a very nice boat to drive as a passenger. The teacher taught everything very easily. I tried to get directions from him as he wandered the streets in no time.
Before I squeezed my 225-pound frame through the passenger-side window—again, trying to keep the whole body—I said to my drivers, “When I get out, I’m going to look of the rising flag, the cone. , and the dots. The way and … He influenced me and gave me the best advice for my day.
“Follow the man in front of you,” he said. “We have to give you all the other information during the presentation, but it’s about looking at the man in front of you. Just don’t get too close (a car-length of four long car) or too far.”
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So everything I learned in the videos was put down to simple lessons.
There was some time between my test drive and my actual drive. I didn’t have time to leave, to think about the bathroom, to fulfill my desire.
It was another click on the car, the workers had to make sure the wheels were secured and countless seat buckles were tight and pressed.
Then it was off and running, and I remember all the NASCAR drivers always talking about how hard it is to navigate the three different lanes and how you have to differentiate yourself in everything.
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But again, the main goal is to be with the man in front of me when we go around for three times.
I was surprised when the car in front of me pulled over and waved me into second.
I kept seeing the “Close” sign, meaning to get closer to the car in front of me. As my wife knows, I usually don’t need support to increase the fuel level, but I did a few times around the rock.
Workers will hold signs and flags to show drivers how to set up. (Amy Shortell / Dawn Call)
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The ride is eight laps or 20 miles around a 2.5 mile tri-oval and maybe around No.
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