Where would we be without big corporate marketing ideas to make a point? In the case of COED, we would’ve never ended up at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina, where the Net10 Wireless network wanted to show off some services that are comparable to the speed of NASCAR. Like most drivers, we’re already convinced that we could move faster than the speed of top technology–and we were ready to test that theory by getting behind the wheel of the Net10 Toyota Tundra.
First, a few important facts from our sponsor–with Net10 sponsoring their Toyota Tundra at some really amazing costs. The race car runs on engines that cost $30,000 each and only last for 300 miles. Those engines drive a car mounted with tires that cost $500 each, and can only be trustworthy for 75 miles of use. That’s in races where drivers do between 200 and 500 laps that are often over a mile long.
Now you know why those tires get changed out by the pit crews all of the time. And if you still want a Net10 Toyota Tundra of your own, then get ready to invest in a car that gets 4.5 miles a gallon. You’ll save money on headlights and taillights, though. Those are decals in the best Lightning McQueen tradition.
In contrast, Net10 has 25 million subscribers on America’s largest and most dependable network for plans starting as low as $35–so you can join up with them and not worry that you’re paying for a bunch of extra tires every time these guys take the Net10 Toyota Tundra for a drive out to the Dairy Queen.
Anyway, we hit the Net10 #FreedForSpeed campaign just in time to head out to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, where we were introduced to German Quiroga. He’s the pilot of the #77 Net10 Wireless Toyota Tundra, and you want a guy like that behind the wheel when you’re getting the full race car experience. You can define that as whipping around a track at 200 miles per hour. That kind of speed leaves your stomach behind at the starting line. By the time we got back there in 90 seconds, we were buzzed up on serious adrenaline high.
Then they put COED behind the wheel, and we tore around that racetrack for ten whole laps at 123 mph–and that sure feels like 200 mph when you’re the one behind the steering wheel. We were sweating like real men, too, even if your correspondent is a girl. Drivers on average actually lose about 7 lbs a race just from being in the hot car. Fortunately, Net10 Wireless got us back into fighting shape at the Chima Steakhouse, because drivers like us maintain high protein diets before a race.
We headed off from there to Red Horse Racing, where we met with owner Tom DeLoach (above) and got some insight into how the pit crew works. They work fast, since a tight pit crew is expected to pull off 70-80 moves in less than 13 seconds. The money is good, but it’s a dangerous job with what might be the most demanding success rate in any sport.
We joined in a quick pit-crew mock session, and felt pretty damn proud to finish up in 51 seconds. That probably meant that our crew would never make it to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, but we still got to visit the place that night. All of that made it all the more impressive on Saturday, when we went to Martinsville Speedway to see the pros in action. That made for a wild mix of cool action and humbling comparison–but we finished up our trip to Charlotte feeling like we’d been doing 200 mph all the way.