What Gets Driven in Vegas Stays in Vegas

Would-be race car drivers can peel rubber in Sin City

For auto racing fans, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is like unto Mecca, with the 123,000-seat venue hosting a variety of NASCAR, NHRA and street car events throughout the year. Beyond just watching their favorite drivers speed around the 1.5-mile tri-oval Superspeedway, however, race enthusiasts can also get behind the wheel and on the track thanks to a variety of driving experiences and racing schools offered at LVMS.

Although known for specializing in NASCAR stock car ride-alongs and full-on racing programs, the Richard Petty Driving Experience (which operates in 15 race tracks around the United States) is now offering—for a limited time—open-wheel IndyCar racing, putting drivers in the pilot seat of one of the fastest, most aerodynamic race cars available.

Offered twice a week, the IndyCar experience gives guests six laps around the Superspeedway for $599, although it isn’t exactly the Indianapolis 500 out there—cars are set-up in the highest gear, so there’s no shifting, and you have to trail a lead car. But, hey, it beats sitting in your Toyota Celica on the 405 at rush hour. The IndyCar experience is exclusive to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, so if piloting a car at 120 mph with nothing but the rushing air against your helmeted face is your thing, this is the place to go—just get there before Jan. 31, 2015.

If your tastes run more exotic (read: foreign and expensive), then the recently launched Dream Racing experience at LVMS might be more up your diamond-dusted alley. Offering visitors the opportunity to take a luxury race car for a few spins around the 1.1-mile, 11-turn Inside Road Course at the Speedway, with a variety of vaunted vehicles available, from a Ferrari 458 or Lamborghini Superleggera to a McLaren Mp4-12c or Porsche 911 GT3.

With prices for packages ranging from about $189 (for five laps in a Porsche Cayman GTS)  to $859 (for 10 laps in a Lamborghini Aventador), the Dream Racing experiences are still cheaper than a single lease payment on any one of these sweet machines—and won’t garner you a ticket for blazing past the speed limit at more than 200 mph.