While in town for the Tennessee Big Shots benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Open Division finalists Martin Borgmeier, Ryan Reisbeck, and James Tait took in the experience of a lifetime at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Tait and Borgmeier are from England and Germany respectively, and haven’t seen a lot of NASCAR.
“I’ve never done anything like that before,” said Borgmeier after driving around the track at more than 80 miles per hour. “I was driving only 10 laps and these guys do like 500, that’s crazy.”
Tait, who is facing Justin James tonight in his first match of the Open Division finals, echoed Borgmeier’s thoughts.
“I felt like I was on one of those circus rides that just spins you round and round and your head is just dizzy,” said Tait after his laps around the track. “It was insane because even at 70 mph you feel like you’re going so much faster than you are around the corners because the g-forces are so great.”
The bank of the turn stretches to 22.5 feet at its tallest point from the white line to the top, or the equivalent of climbing three stories.
“I think you’ve got to be in peak physical shape to be honest,” said Tait after learning that drivers do 500 laps with no air conditioning in the car. “I imagine the pressure is like any other sport where you’ve got to be so on top of everything when you’re doing that for that many laps.”