But before we get into those other great rides, we’d be remiss not to talk about the six go-kart tracks that form the centerpiece of NASCAR Speedpark—its raison d’être.
Thunder Road is a one-of-a-kind go-kart experience in that participants do not race side-by-side on the track. It is a narrow, half-mile long serpentine circuit more reminiscent of Le Mans than Talladega. The thrill of Thunder Road comes from trying to earn the fastest possible lap time and comparing that time with friends. Fans of the BBC show “Top Gear” might liken themselves to the mysterious “Stig” when they climb into their cars and prepare to fly around the track. Drivers must be at least 58” tall to take on Thunder Road.
The rest of NASCAR Speedpark’s go-kart tracks offer the more traditional side-by-side racing experience that fans enjoy. The Intimidator, named for late, great NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, is a road-style course where racers climb into NASCAR-shaped go-karts and take on friends and family members over 54” in height.
Family 500 is one of two race venues at NASCAR Speedpark that include a number of two-seater cars for a tandem racing thrill. Parents can take their children along for the ride or brothers and sisters can team up with younger siblings on another road-style course full of hairpin turns and breathtaking straightaways. The height requirement in the two-seat cars is 60” for drivers and 40” for passengers. Single-seat drivers must be at least 54” tall. This height requirement also goes for The Competitor, which sports a tight oval track meant to simulate the thrill of many traditional NASCAR venues.
Slidewayz is a unique racing experience at the park. Its surface is slightly polished, meaning that overly aggressive driving can cause a spin-out and potentially an unexpected bump from a competitor. Its minimum height requirement is 54”.
The remaining two tracks at NASCAR Speedpark—The Champions and The Qualifier—are decidedly kid-oriented. The former is a road-style course available to the widest variety of visitors, with a relatively low height requirement of 48”. The latter is more of a kids-only 200-foot starter track, a place where the young racer in the family can hone his or her skills before graduating to the bigger tracks in future years. Its height requirement is a mere 40”.
While the most prominent, go-karts are but one major part of the NASCAR Speedpark experience. For one, the towering Skycoaster looms over the rest of the park. Participants (42” height requirement) are reeled up to a height of 109 feet and let fly through the air, experience a combination of thrills that are at once similar to both bungee-jumping and hang-gliding.
For those who prefer to be rooted to the ground, NASCAR Speedpark delivers plenty of amusement. NASCAR Challenge Mini Golf includes two 18-hole courses for families to enjoy as a break between races or as a stand-alone outing. And for those who may want to get into the shade for a while after a run on the Skycoaster, the SpeedDome Arcade is a 20,000 square foot interactive arcade that contains over 90 state-of-the art video games, including linked racing machines, prize cranes, basketball, skeeball and other amusements. NASCAR Speedpark also sports batting cages for those who feel like taking a few bigger swings than they’ll need on the mini golf courses (52” minimum height requirement and closed-toe shoes).
In addition to these, four different rock climbing walls are available for a different type of physical challenge than outdueling a friend on the track. Weight requirements are between 40 and 250 pounds for these experiences.
Rounding out the off-track activities are a trio of kid-oriented rides. Kiddie Speedway is a fixed-position rotating NASCAR-themed race ride, Sky Wheels is NASCAR Speedpark’s interpretation of a Ferris wheel and Slick Spin is its version of the beloved “teacup ride” that can be found at most any county or state fair. All three of these rides have 36” height requirements, allowing most youngsters access.
NASCAR Speedpark is an ideal venue for a birthday party, family reunion outing or school trip to Myrtle Beach. Group packages can include discounted tickets for unlimited rides, catered meals and specially-run checkered-flag races for the sake of formal competition.
Single-day tickets to the park range from a $25.99 online-only special for unlimited rides on all tracks except for Thunder Road and unfettered access to the mini golf courses, kids’ rides and rock climbing walls, to $39.99 for all of the foregoing privileges in addition to two laps around Thunder Road and a ride on the Skycoaster. One-month, season-long, and multi-park passes are also available. NASCAR Speedpark is open from 10 am until 11pm through Labor Day. From September 4 until October 28 and subsequent weekends for the remainder of the calendar year, it is open from 11 am until 8 pm. Visit www.NASCARSpeedpark.com or call (843) 918-8725 for more information or trip inquiries.