We all know that cruising the Parkway is lots of fun. If you’ve got the need for speed, though, it’s best to take things to the Xtreme. Xtreme Racing Center is one of Pigeon Forge’s greatest attractions. Open to the public since Labor Day weekend 2013, this go kart center offers drivers of all ages a chance to experience life in the fast lane with professional-style cars that reach top speeds of up to 40 mph. Three of the PigeonForge.com girls took a time out last Thursday morning to see if the cars at Xtreme Racing Center lived up to the hype. Our opinions were unanimous: Xtreme Racing is AWESOME!
We had a chance to ride both tracks at the center. Both feature professional-quality Sodi racers: The family-friendly GT-5 and the more extreme RT-8. Both cars were zippy and fun, but as a driver I could definitely feel more muscle behind the wheel of the RT-8. Both cars ride on tracks that feature fun twists and turns, but also have straight ways that let you see how fast your car can really go! I’m confident my RT-8 ride reached the max speed on the straightaway; I really felt like a racer — until Devon breezed by me, anyway.
The folks at the Xtreme Racing Center take safety seriously. Both cars have A LOT of power, and they take precautions to make sure everyone stays safe at the center. Before climbing behind the wheel, each driver and rider will watch a 3-minute video in the briefing room to learn the rules of the road. Then, all riders will be fitted for helmets with assistance from the pro on staff (Hi, Kevin! Thanks for the help!).
When you’re ready to ride, your racing pro will lead you down to the track. An Xtreme Racing Center staff member will help you get your helmet on and make sure it’s secure before you get behind the wheel, then he’ll make sure you’re snug in your car and buckled in safely. Both the seats and pedals adjust in the GT-5 and RT-8 cars, so you’ll get a custom fit. Another cool thing about the karts at the Xtreme Racing Center is that both models are equipped with a special silencing muffler. You’ll hear the hum of the motor; not the roar of the powerful engine. This made the ride much more enjoyable — we could hear each others’ laughs and giggles as we raced around the track!
We rode the GT-5 cars first. If you’re visiting with little ones, you’ll definitely want to take a spin on these. Anyone over 48 inches tall can sit behind the wheel of a single car; the double car will accommodate drivers over age 16 and passengers ages three and up. All GT-5 cars come equipped with a roll bar, safety belt and LED lights. The GT-5 cars also boast a lot of power and can reach top speeds of 30 mph. The cars handle well on the curves of the track, too.
The GT-5 cars were a perfect warmup for the faster RT-8. These racers are the fastest go karts on the Parkway and are perfect for tweens, teens and adults with a need for speed. These cars max out at an average speed of 40 mph and boast many of the same features you’ll see on a professional-grade car. These cars have a lot of power, which is perfectly accompanied by smooth handling and steering. I felt like I was behind the wheel of an real F1 car! The brake pedal was sensitive, too, as just a tap gave the the traction I needed to whip around the track’s tight hairpin curves!
There were staff members located along both tracks, all at the ready to help any driver in any way. I tried taking a curve too fast in the RT-8 and kind of got turned around; I just waved my arms and help was immediately there to get me pointed the right way and zooming down the track.
We had such a good time at the Xtreme Racing Center. This new attraction is definitely now a “must visit” stop for me when I’m playing tour guide to friends and family in Pigeon Forge. Xtreme Racing Center is located right on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, between lights #5 and #6. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Call (877) 920-6294 or click over to their website for information. In addition to the go kart tracks, Xtreme Racing Center features an arcade with classic games (skee-ball is my personal favorite!) and a few of the latest-and-greatest video games.
Pro Tips From PigeonForge.com:
- Make sure your car’s seat and pedals are properly adjusted. Racing is more fun (and much safer) when you’re not straining to reach the wheel! Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the staff!
- Families with little ones might want to try the GT-5 single run; big kids and adults will have a ball taking advantage of the GT-5 and RT-8 combo run.
- Plan on hitting the arcade after racing in the karts!
- Most importantly, remember to HAVE FUN!