If someone handed you the keys to a car that donned the logo of your personal brand – as well as those of four small towns that were considered amongst the coolest – what would you do?
Do donuts and stand on it, yeah?
The Coolest Small Town Road Trip hasn’t even officially kicked off yet – it starts tomorrow in Cape May – but yesterday I spent the day in Hammondsport where we unveiled the “Coolest Car,” my chariot as I drive up and down the east coast for the next two weeks. There was a press conference and a bunch of media interviews, however the best part for me was getting behind the wheel of my new whip on a professional raceway.
For $25, Watkins Glen International Speedway offers visitors the chance to take a joyride (3 laps) around the infamous track, a three-mile road course located about 30 minutes from Hammondsport. Shocked by the affordability of this experience (for some reason I thought it’d be closer to a hundred), I took the coolest car for a spin, literally.
A few interesting notes about driving on Watkins Glen:
Because of all the twists and turns, it’s not uncommon for visitors to crash and spin out. Consumer Marketing Coordinator Jonathan Fuller said it “happens all the time to the people who try to be a hot dog,” and that they see it most with the classic car clubs that come through, as well as the young guns who forget that their purchase of a V6 Mustang doesn’t come with adequate driving skills.
Watkins Glen hosts a variety of racing circuits, and most travel the track at 180-200 mph. I was going 70 and felt my fate might be a date with the wall if I stayed on the gas. Even though I know how to drive (you know, being from Jersey and all), I suppose the Corolla wasn’t the ideal candidate to tackle the uphill portions. Haters bang on auto racing all the time as being monotonous, and now I can confidently say that those people have never driven on a course themselves.
After the three laps, we rolled the Coolest Car into Victory Lane for a photo shoot. I had an absolute blast – no question, I’m still sort of stunned and flattered by the whole day – however I think it’s time we start directing our attention to these great towns, the reason this whole trip has been organized.
Here’s the schedule:
June 20: Cape May, New Jersey
June 22: Beaufort, North Carolina
June 25: Damascus, Virginia
June 28: Hammondsport, New York
Below are a few pictures from Watkins Glen. For more, check out the new Coolest Car album on Wake and Wander’s Facebook page.