May 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Terry Foster

150 mph in an IndyCar qualifies as quite a rush

Terry Foster gets Fast and Furious
Terry Foster gets Fast and Furious: The sportswriter takes a lap around the Belle Isle course in an IndyCar and calls it "the experience of a lifetime."

Detroit — "Fear Factor" is a once-popular TV show where contestants eat bugs and duck brains and hang from helicopters, all for the sake of winning some money.

Driving in an IndyCar two-seater at speeds of up to 150 mph around the Belle Isle track doesn't classify as a fear.

Let's just call it fun.

At least that's what it felt like Thursday morning sitting next to former IndyCar driver and current team owner Davey Hamilton.

But this was nothing new, having experienced it last year with Mario Andretti, who once upon a time was the fastest man in racing.

Plus there have been rides at Indianapolis Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.

So there certainly wasn't a fear factor.

Feeling every bump

The only bad part of the ride was the fact it was around 75 degrees on the track, and the suit I wore made me boil. I also wore a stocking hood, helmet and gloves.

Still, it's about protection, and all that heavy-duty clothing was worth it.

Then there's getting in the car. You have to dig in like a batter at the plate to step inside the cockpit into a cocoon that protects your legs. That is important, because there are probably hundreds of drivers — past and present — with crushed toes.

The great thing about the run, though, is that it allows you to understand the Belle Isle track.

Take the bumps. You can feel every manhole cover and piece of gravel. And that's a slight concern, considering the track broke up during last year's race.

Track officials have said the track is ready and will weather the storm. But you shake, rattle and roll so much that you can understand how the pavement would give way to these cars.

Going by in a flash

The ride around the 2.35-mile circuit is a blur. The stands are a parade of colors that flash by in a split second.

The straightaways are a rush, and the only bummer is you can't feel the wind blowing in your face.

After we peeled into pit row, a bunch of guys was waiting to take rides in pace cars — a lot slower than and IndyCar, but it provides the same adrenaline.

"How is your underwear?" one man standing in line joked.

Piece of cake.

It's not scary to get inside these cars. It's scary fun.

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Chris Kennedy of the IndyCar Experience helps Detroit News writer Terry Foster prepare for his ride at Belle Isle on Thursday. / Steve Perez/Detroit News
Detroit News writer Terry Foster took a spin in the IndyCar driven by ... (Steve Perez/Detroit News)
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