Fans Take on The Martinsville Speedway Track - WSET.com - ABC13

Fans Take on The Martinsville Speedway Track

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Martinsville, VA - NASCAR drivers aren't the only ones behind the wheel at the Martinsville Speedway this week. Fans were also getting a chance to drive on the track Wednesday. 

It just takes a season ticket and your own vehicle to feel like the next Jimmie Johnson.  On Wednesday, fans came from all over to drive like a pro at the Martinsville Speedway.

For now, number 48 at the Martinsville Speedway track isn't eight time champ Jimmie Johnson, it is New Jersey native Ryan Gillian.

"You'll see my car in victory lane here, we'll be celebrating in a little while," said Gillian.

It may not be the Sprint Cup race, but for Gillian, this once-in-a-lifetime experience to drive on the same track as his NASCAR heroes certainly feels like a win.

"Ain't nobody is running with Jimmie but we'll see what we can do," said Gillian.

Throughout the day, fans got the opportunity to take five laps reaching up to 70 miles an hour.

"I'm going to try to keep up with him," said Marty Lantz, Harrisonburg resident.

For years, the Martinsville Speedway has been enhancing the fan experience by offering this opportunity. They can't pass but they certainly pretend to be their favorite drivers.

"They love it!" said Dink Gardner, Martinsville Speedway 500 committee member. 

During the Sunday race, the pros will peak at nearly double the speed.

"We just thought it would be neat to actually get out on the track and see how things are from a driver perspective," said Ronnie Bane, South Boston resident.

The grandfather clock may be off-limits but fans walk away with plenty of pictures, a unique NASCAR experience, and often a little bit dizzier.

"Just want to thank my sponsors Chevrolet, Budwiser, Coca-Cola. No it was wild, that was awesome," said Gillian.

Over 30 fans signed up to drive on the track today in Martinsville and if you want to be the next one, you'll have to wait until the next race.

 

 

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