Hot Wheels

The Spike slides into the driver's seat

But the word "safety" doesn't pack the kids into the driving schools. That's why Payne is packaging this free class as an "in-your-face, MTV-style" experience. And The Spike will attest that this is definitely not your mother's driving school.

The fire department will be there, hosing down the roadway to provide slick conditions for the BMW racecars. Firemen, expensive racecars, a taste of danger Ė The Spike thinks Payne is a genius. It's like hiding a pet's medicine in a hot dog. It gets the job done, and Sparky thinks he's king for a day.

Payne says he hopes the program will get enough funding to provide the lessons free of charge across the nation. "The goal is to find local support to let it continue," says Payne. The Spike votes for it.

Former racecar driver Jeff Payne demonstrates the proper method for burning rubber.
Quetta Carpenter
Former racecar driver Jeff Payne demonstrates the proper method for burning rubber.

After an hour of safety lessons, The Spike drove away, sighing wistfully at Payne and the pace car in the rearview mirror. Still intoxicated by the lingering tire smoke emanating from its hair, The Spike fingered Lucy's stick shift with a sly grin, gunned out of the parking lot, and set the cruise control at six miles over the posted speed limit.

Just call The Spike "Greased Lightning."

Spike us! E-mail spiked@newtimes.com or call 602-229-8451.

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