Two years ago, Jacksonville, Fla., home builder Bryan Lendry of Brylen Homes was not much of a race car fan, let alone a race car driver.
|Three or four times a year builder Bryan Lendry becomes a racing student at the Fast Track driving school at Lowe's Motor Speedway.|
Two years ago, Jacksonville, Fla., home builder Bryan Lendry of Brylen Homes was not much of a race car fan, let alone a race car driver. But that changed when his lumber supplier, Ken Kuester of Lumber Unlimited, invited him to a three-day driving lesson at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., under the tutelage of NASCAR driver Andy Hillenburg.
"It was one of those things where I was second-guessing my decision to even go," says Lendry, who since has attended several similar sessions at Hillenburg's Fast Track driving school. "It took me the first three days to get comfortable behind the wheel going that quick."
These days Lendry is hooked on the three-day sessions, where he gets a chance to drive the same NASCAR vehicles the pros do, at speeds in excess of 150 mph. He attended three sessions last year and plans to attend three more in 2003.
"Taking off in that car is probably the most invigorating feeling you can have," Lendry says. "You have all that power underneath your foot. It's pretty intense."
Lendry is now certified to buy his own car and become a driver in ARCA, a minor-league stock car series, but he has no plans to go that route. He just enjoys the total immersion into something other than home building.
"It's one of those things where you are so focused and caught up in what you are doing that you forget everything else," Lendry explains. "You forget your problems in the office. I don't even call the office to see what's going on because I don’t want to find out there is a problem and then have to get behind the wheel and have to concentrate."
His biggest thrill so far was being part of a group of eight cars that did 24 high-speed laps at Lowe's at close range.
"That was pretty wild. You're definitely keeping your act together. When I got out of that car, I was sweating like nothing else."
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