Armchair daredevils, wrest yourselves from your Barcaloungers and make tracks to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend for the Richard Petty Driving Experience, which offers average joes the opportunity of a lifetime: to hitch a ride in an honest-to-god stock car. The brain child of the 68-year-old former NASCAR king, Petty's Experience is a pedal-to-the-metal touring event with three options: the "Ride-Along," which offers shotgun seating for three laps at speeds in excess of 150 mph; the "Rookie Experience," in which you take the wheel for eight laps; or the "King's Experience," an o solo you-o 18-lap marathon.
The Driving Experience happens Friday, October 7, through Sunday, October 9, at PIR, 7602 South 115th Avenue in Avondale. (Additional dates are scheduled October 14 through 16.) Tickets cost $99 for a "Ride-Along," $379 for the "Rookie Experience," or $799 for the "King's Experience." Start times vary, and classes precede each option. Call 1-800-237-3889 or 602-252-2227, or visit www.1800bepetty.com or www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com. -- Clay McNear
Skate expectations in Scottsdale
Richard Petty Driving Experience
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Gone are the days of "extreme" figure skating, when a trailer-park-tough blonde would bash the kneecaps off another ice princess and leave her wailing, "Why? Why?" on the locker-room floor. But the competition is still fierce at the Southwest-Pacific Regional Figure Skating Championships scheduled Thursday, October 6, through Sunday, October 9, at Alltel Ice Den, 9375 East Bell Road in Scottsdale. Skaters from California, Nevada, and Arizona compete in three divisions, and the top performers have a shot at the U.S. Nationals in St. Louis. Admission is $10. Call 480-585-5811. --Aaron Burckle