Townies & Tourists

Get your speed fix

Football season may only last six months, but there's another sport that holds the attention of many Phoenix residents year-round -- race car driving. We're not talking NASCAR here, we're talking the reckless thrill seekers who speed down the 101 and other Valley freeways like they're training for the left turn circuit. Well, now those would-be Jeff Gordons have a place to take their civic disobedience off the highway.

Though chances of killing yourself, risking the lives of other commuters, or finding yourself locked up in the clink may be slim at the F1 Race Factory, a white-knuckle speed fix can be had.

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F1 Race Factory

Reaching speeds of close to 50 miles per hour, the zippy vehicles at F1 Race Factory are a far cry from your daddy's go kart.

The joint specializes in high-octane kart racing, a sport that has come a long way over the years. In case you don't know, yesterday's sluggish go-slow karts are now souped-up, high-speed thrill mobiles.

The mechanized beasts at F1 can haul tail down two separate tracks at nearly 50 miles per hour while handling corners like a breakneck roller coaster. (Five to 10 participants can burn rubber in a 16-to-24 lap affair.) F1 also boasts a state-of-the-art timing system, which allows speed demons to clock their race performances.

Along with being America's largest indoor kart racing facility, F1 offers more than just a speed rush. "We have a rock wall to climb, billiards, arcade, as well as a track-side bar and grill for you when you're not racing," says F1 race director John Ahrens.

There may not be a higher ecstasy than speeding through a commute with hundreds of other cars trying to get from point A to point B, but you can still achieve a killer adrenaline rush while pushing speed limits at this full-fledged entertainment venue.

F1 Race Factory is located at 317 South 48th Street. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Racing fees vary. Call 602-302-7223 or check out www.f1racefactory.com. Map

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Chris Bowman