Date published: March 2, 2012
Journal code: NDRG
On Monday morning after the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries in Pomona, Toyota Racing invited a number of NHRA stars to Auto Club Speedway in nearby Fontana to drive the Lexus LFA supercar. After learning the track layout in a Lexus IS series car, Morgan Lucas, Brandon Bernstein, Shawn Langdon, Alan Johnson, Alexis DeJoria, and Jeff Arend got to drive the high-dollar sports car on a road course set up at the track.
"When you get a chance to drive a $380,000 car, you have got to make it over," said Arend. "It was first-class all the way as they had pro drivers there to teach us the finer art of road racing. To tell you the truth, I had never driven the Lexus IS series cars before, and I was blown away by the power and traction they had. It was actually drizzling a bit on and off for the first couple of hours we practiced, and I could not believe the grip these cars had.
"After learning the course, we all got a chance to drive the LFA. This car was wicked and sounded like a Formula 1 car. As A.J. told me, it was probably because the engine was a pretty close version of it. A 4.8-liter V- 10 that you shift at 9,000 rpm and a paddle-shift automatic geared after the F-1 version. It was awesome. We got to make a few laps following factory LFA driver and racing legend Scott Pruett, and the power, speed, and traction the LFA had was mindblowing. After we all drove it, we got to go for a ride along with Scott in the car to see how a pro could drive it. The control that he had and the way he applied the power and brakes was really cool to experience. On one of the straightaways, we got close to 150 mph before he got on the brakes hard and made a tight right turn. Exhilarating!"
Pictured, from left: Toyota's Erika Romero, Bernstein, Pruett, Arend, Lucas, Langdon, DeJoria, Don Brown, Johnson, and Andre Jackson.