June 12-13 

Redneck Weekend

Before you pitch those redneck river duds like horseshoes in a sand pit, remember that terry-cloth tube tops, dark denim jeans and Candies have made a comeback — just in time for summer. And you can bet your tan line, there's a certain cachet in all things redneck, not to mention a helluva lotta fun to be had. So this weekend, indulge in the true grit of good ol' boys and bubbas. Blow off tee time for Miller time and mark laps at the race track — not the club swimming pool.


15 Weekends: Back to the introduction of our big fat summer guide.

Calendar: Plan your weekend with our interactive calendar

Talk Back: What's your idea of the perfect weekend getaway?

Skip work Friday. Today's destination: Pony Pasture (or other sunny spot on the rocks in the James River.) Oh thank heaven, today the only pit stop is 7-Eleven, a redneck's Ukrop's. After purchasing a tasty picnic lunch with all the additives, head to the river for a day of fun in the sun. Find a smooth rock among the cluster of bodies and spread your towel. Be sure to take a boombox or move in close to someone blaring XL-102. Wear old sneakers and explore the warm frothy water of the James. Stay until you're either waterlogged or brain clogged with the interminable lyrics to "Freebird" and "American Pie." Total price: $14.74. Includes: Hot 'N Spicy Fried Pork Skins, two 40-ounce Miller bottles (the champagne of beers), a sleeve of sunflower seeds, a large bag of ice, four lottery tickets and a king-size package of Skittles.

Saturday is the day of reckoning. Nothing spells excitement like NASCAR. And although you have to wait until September for the Busch Series Grand National and the Winston Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway, you don't have to sweat out the summer without the whirl of thunder road.

This weekend, get behind the wheel or ride shotgun at the Richard Petty Driving Experience driving school at RIR at the Fairgrounds on Strawberry Hill. "You are Richard Petty ... and the world is about to eat your dust!" shouts the school's Web page at www.racingschools.com. Feel the power of a V-8 NASCAR Winston Cup stock car that roars with 600 horsepower. Learn firsthand the do's and don'ts of track protocol from a professional driving instructor. After your lesson, climb into the driver's seat and rev it up for the ride of a lifetime. You could reach top speed of 160 mph crying YEE-HAW! like Bo and Luke sailing airborne in the General Lee.

Courses offered include:

Rookie Experience — Drive the car for eight laps. Program lasts three hours. Cost: $329.99

Winston Experience — Drive 16 laps, five-hour program. Cost: $699.99

Experience of a Lifetime — Work on establishing a comfortable driving line and building your speed. Three 10-lap sessions. Cost: $1,099.99

Racing Experience — Two-day program. Work on passing, driving line, building speed and a final round of one-on-one with the instructor. Four 10-lap sessions per day (80 laps total). Cost: $2,199.99

Advanced Racing Experience — Must be a graduate of "Experience of a Lifetime" or "Racing Experience." This 40-lap program offers more personal instruction based on individual student skill levels. Cost: $2,399.99. Not exactly redneck

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