International Drive has a new attraction that will make any speed freak grin from ear-to-ear.
I-Drive NASCAR, a new venture by the folks at AMP Group/Perfumeland and NASCAR, welcomed media and public officials on Dec. 16 to preview the tourism corridor's latest addition. The attraction isn't set to open until Dec. 19.
Located just off I-Drive on Vanguard Street, the facility includes bowling lanes, an arcade area, a bar and eatery, and meeting space that all looks toward the main feature: A half-mile winding and hair-pinning track with electric go-karts whizzing by at 45 miles per hour.
Pleasantries aside, I'll say the karts are among the most wicked, kick-butt things tourists will experience in Orlando. Nothing felt better than hitting a straightaway and flooring the pedal, hearing the electric engine scream as I demanded it to pass the racer in front of me — it was pure awesomeness.
OBJ Photographer Jim Carchidi was a speed demon on the track with me, trying to see just how fast a time we could post on the track. Make sure to check out his photo gallery above from the event.
Sure, the region is home to some of the best roller coasters in the world, but I-Drive NASCAR offers a fun, unique experience that makes guests feel like real racers via the cutting-edge helmets, karts and racing heats – the system used in the real sport.
"We came up with this idea three years ago. We realized a great indoor kart facility wasn't going to be just a track, but a center that offers a wider great time for families to bowl, eat or just watch the races," said AMP Group COO Alejandro Pezzini.
Next in line are plans to take the attraction to other markets, said Pezzini, noting the company has Mexico, Brazil and Argentina as potential future markets. But for now, Orlando is the only place where tourist can find AMP Group's concept.