The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 17, 2013

Shawn Wood's Inside Track column: One more wild ride


In the old car, I was quite cramped, but it was pretty awesome doing 180 miles per hour down the frontstretch with Unser Jr.

Andretti has always been known as a gasser and he proved that the second we left pit lane and headed on the pit-out road to get on the track on the backstretch.

The entire experience lasted a lap-and-a-half, but it is indescribable to a point.

Going into Turn 3 for the first time, I thought the G-forces were greater in the new car than the old car. They are legally allowed to go 180 miles an hour, but, with Andretti on the loud pedal, it seemed like we went faster than last time.

The same 'tunneling' effect occurred as we sailed off into Turn 1, but it seemed like we were in the short-chutes less and more in the corners this time around.

It was a windy day on Wednesday and that was noticeable in the north-end short-chute when I think, for a fraction of a second, the car twitched heading into Turn 4.

I was not worried. I had one of the greatest drivers of all-time at the wheel.

While the free ride is something that I get to do now and then, it truly gives you a great understanding of what the drivers do for 200 laps on a Sunday in May.

And now you know why they call it the greatest spectacle in racing.

n Shawn Wood covers motorsports for The Daily Item. Email comments to

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