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Spinning Your Wheels in Las Vegas

Roulette wheels aren’t the only things spinning in Las Vegas.

  • Richard Petty Driving Experience track image
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    The Richard Petty Driving Experience lets racing enthusiasts tear up the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a 600-horsepower race car.
  • Fast Lap Indoor Racing track image
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    Ride Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing's speedy go-karts on the 11-turn track.
  • SunBuggy Fun Rentals Baja Race image
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    Escape the pavement with the Vegas Mini Baja Chase from SunBuggy Fun Rentals.
  • Exotics Racing image
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    Experience the speed of your dream ride on the 1.2-mile road course at Exotics Racing.

For the better part of the last century, the only wheels that attracted visitors to Las Vegas were the notoriously unpredictable ones at the roulette tables. That’s all changed with a number of new four-wheeled attractions that motor sports fans will find to be a much safer bet.

Start Small
Anyone who thinks Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing is some pokey kiddie ride should know two things. First, the racing go-karts here are capable of speeds up to 50 mph. And second, whatever speed you’re going feels twice as fast when you’re sitting just inches off the pavement. Just one lap of this nine-turn kart track makes both of these points crystal clear. Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing, (702) 736-8113.

Stock Up
Ever wonder what it would be like to get behind the wheel of one of the heavily modified NASCAR stock cars that battle it out on Sundays? Satisfy your curiosity at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Under the watchful eye of an instructor, students take a 600-horsepower race car out for eight wide-open laps around the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Richard Petty Driving Experience, (800) 237-3889,

Sans Pavement
Those who believe the fun begins where the pavement ends likely will dig what the folks at SunBuggy call their Vegas Mini Baja Chase. After being safely strapped into one of their custom-built dune buggies, participants head out, chasing the tail of an experienced guide through 15,000 acres of rocky washes and steep sand dunes northeast of the Las Vegas Strip. SunBuggy Fun Rentals, (866) 728-4443,

Supercar Special
Every automotive enthusiast has daydreams about the cars they’d buy if they ever hit the lottery. Folks who can’t wait should check in with the staff at Exotics Racing. The operation has its own dedicated 1.2-mile road course near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Here, it’s possible to uncork any or all of the rides in one’s fantasy supercar stable, from Ferraris and Lamborghinis to Porsches and Aston Martins. Exotics Racing, (702) 405-7223,

Speed Needs
Drag racing aficionados know that nothing feeds the need for speed like a rear-engine dragster blasting down the quarter-mile at full throttle. Experience this thrill first-hand with the help of the people at Pure Speed, who put their students behind the wheel of a 500-600–horsepower dragster that will travel those 1,320 feet in less time than it took to read this sentence. Pure Speed, (800) 485-4746,

Photography courtesy of Richard Petty Driving Experience; Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing; SunBuggy Fun Rentals; Laurent Vu/Exotics Racing