At 258 M.P.H., Swedish Dream Car Hits the U.S.

I believe my two laps continued something like that. I'd speed up a bit, reveling in the car's power, and even take a couple of hard fast turns. Then suddenly I'd realize I had no idea where I was going next, knowing too well that I would be there very, very soon.

It's hard to remember details. My brain was spinning, trying to process everything: the thrill of driving this awesome machine; the panic of not knowing the course; the fear of embarrassing myself by driving like a little old lady; and the knowledge that my modest car insurance policy probably wouldn't cover the cost of a blown tire on the CCX, let alone a rollover.

With the Las Vegas strip occasionally appearing off in the distance, I couldn't help thinking of the many times I'd taken my cyber-car off the road on "Crusin' USA"'s Las Vegas track, and wondering how long I'd be paying for any similar miscalculation in the real world.

Then I'd hit a straightaway, and all of that would fade away while I simply enjoyed the sensation of pushing the accelerator toward the floor.

In minutes, my two laps were over, and I realized I'd never had a split second to glance at the speedometer.

"So how fast do you think we hit?" I asked Bell.

"I think on the long straightaway, I hit about 150, which is about as fast as you're going to get on this track," the seasoned pro replied casually.

"And what about me?" I asked sheepishly, only to learn that I probably hadn't pushed it much past 100 miles per hour (a speed I've been known to exceed in my four-cylinder Mercedes C-Class on the long stretch of Interstate 15 between Las Vegas and Los Angles). Bell tried to reassure me that it wasn't that bad for someone who didn't know the course or the car.

I didn't believe him. I have no doubt that my wife, the speed-demon of the family, would have torn up that course. But I'm not complaining; those few minutes in the CCX were the ride of a lifetime. And if anyone out there has a McLaren they'd like to loan me, I think I've proven I can be trusted.

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