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Bucket List item #5: performance driving school

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Bucket List item #5: performance driving school

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
August 12, 2011


One of the items that has been on my Bucket List for years is to go to a performance driving school. Years ago I heard about the Bob Bondurant School. I've always remembered the name, but I don't know where it is (yes, I know I could find it on the internet).

I think the first sports car race I went to was in about 1963 somewhere in southwestern in Iowa. And then there was a trip to Road America at Elkhart Lake (Wisc.). Watching sports cars "at speed" is fun, but it has to be more fun to drive them.

And what about stock cars? Not like the old beater I drove in 1956. The sign on the gate to the track said, "Must be 21 to drive. If not 21, lie." I came in 3rd, too, but that was because drivers ahead of me kept wiping out.

The item on my list, though, is performance driving. Or maybe high-speed pursuit driving. I always thought it would be cool to learn how to make a "highway patrol u-turn." I knew an Iowa State Trooper who had mastered that one. He could be running fast down a two-lane road, and the next thing you knew, he was going in the other direction!

So, where is there a performance driving school in this area? The Richard Petty Driving School operates around the country, but I don't know if they have a Chicago location.

For a local NASCAR driving experience, check out the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. On a mile-and-a-half, D-shaped track with an 18° bank, you can scare yourself silly for only $330. They offer a "3-hour experience with one 5-minute drive". Hey, on sale right now. Save $30.

I wonder if anyone at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department is brushing up on his high-speed driving techniques. Just how fast will those squad cars go? I mean, like on Nelson Road.



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