"I thought we were going to die."
That's how WISH-TV sports reporter Ashley Adamson categorized her recent four-lap spin around the State Fairgrounds' famous one-mile Track of Champions. She took to the track in a special two-seat Silver Crown race car during a promotion for tonight's 57th running of the Hoosier Hundred, a traditional part of Indy 500 weekend for generations of race fans.
In the front seat of the car (the seat with the steering wheel and gas pedal), sat legendary driver Jack Hewitt. Hewitt has started more United States Silver Crown races than any driver in history (162) and is the winningest driver in series history (23). Still, Adamson never got too comfortable in her backseat position.
"It felt like we were defying gravity," she said. "It gives me a much better appreciation for what driving one of these takes."
Adamson is no "sissy." She's an accomplished athlete as a four-time Colorado high school State Track Champion and a former member of an Irish women's rugby team that won the Women's European Invitational in 2003 (she was studying in Dublin at the time). But driving and sliding around the Fairgrounds' dirt oval at speeds of 100 miles per hour takes some getting used to, no matter what kind of athlete you are.
"I didn't know what it would be like," she said. "I used to cover dirt races in New York and I didn't understand how much skill and nerve you need for this. I guess I can cross this off my 'Bucket List.'"
Now that she knows, would she do it again?
"I'd love to!" she said.
Brave girl... or maybe just not too bright.
Submitted by Andy Klotz