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Living a high-speed dream just north of the Strip

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Why, yes, this is my race car.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

The fire extinguisher is a little unsettling.

You see it when you fold yourself into the driver’s seat of a Ferrari F430GT at Dream Racing, where Joe Average motorists can test their courage and skill in cars that were once used for competitive road racing in Europe.

How likely is it that fire suppression will be needed? Slim and none, since the Dream Racing course at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway features plenty of run-out room between the wall and the track and the cars are so low and wide that overturning one would be next to impossible.

So really, the extinguisher just adds to the thrill, which is already at a red-line level. The cars boast engines that roar loud and wicked, along with steering that is arcade-game precise and brakes that would throw you into the windshield if you weren’t lashed to the seat with a five-point racing harness.

On top of that, Dream Racing offers pampering in the form of a personal instructor, a sophisticated driving simulator, a high-end coffee bar and attendants who escort drivers around the operation.

Options include riding shotgun with a professional driver, an experience as close to riding a go-kart on a roller coaster track as you can get.

It’s not cheap—prices start at $499 for race packages (call 599-5199)—but don’t be surprised if you walk away with a surge of adrenaline and maybe even a tinge of invincibility.

Fire extinguisher? Huh. Never even noticed it.

Plus: Three more places to go fast

Exotics Racing: Want to drive a Ferrari 458 Italia? How about a Lamborghini Aventador that looks like something out of a superhero film? Pick your very speedy poison, opt for a combo package with multiple cars or ride along for a drifting run in a Corvette Z06. Just don’t forget to breathe. Packages start at $199 for 5 laps, 405-7223.

American Muscle Car Challenge: Test the performance of classic American muscle cars with this adventure from the Richard Pretty Driving Experience. From acceleration and braking efficiency to cornering and top speed, you’ll push the cars—and your driving skills—to the limit. $199, 800-237-3889.

Sky Combat Ace: Go wheels-up and take on another plane as part of this dogfight experience based at the Henderson Executive Airport. You’ll fly with an expert pilot, pull aerobatic maneuvers, execute low-level formations and generally feel about as cool as Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Even without the volleyball game. Starting at $414, 938-2486.

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Ric covered beats ranging from police and courts to major-college sports before becoming a news columnist, opinion editor and now ...

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