NASCAR is hotter than the sizzling asphalt it drives on, and the Petty name is legendary, dating back to the inception of Lee Petty Engineering in 1949. Lee's son Richard sped onto the scene in 1958, and the following year he won his first professional race and was named NASCAR's Grand National Rookie of the Year.
Now you can be that speed racer when the Richard Petty Driving Experience roars into town this weekend. Whether you ride shotgun for three high-speed laps ($99; first-come, first-served) or take the wheel for the eight-lap Rookie Experience ($379; reservations required), you will be introduced to a new strain of NASCAR fever. Big spenders can indulge in the Experience of a Lifetime, where you are submerged in the driving zone for 30 mind-scrambling laps ($1249; reservations required). Even if you're not a race fan, it's hard to resist "the aura of coming to the race track and seeing the sights and sounds, the colors and pageantry of the cars," says RPDE director of marketing Chris McKee. Get your motor running and your tires squealing today and Sunday at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, 1 Speedway Blvd., Homestead. Call 1-800-237-3889, or visit www.1800bepetty.com for a complete schedule and program prices. --Lyssa Oberkreser
Bargains for bibliophiles
Books offer hours of travel, magic, and mystery. And you can get more book for your buck at the annual North Miami Public Library (832 NE 132nd St.) book sale. "It's a totally new batch of donated books, videos, and CDs," says assistant director Joyce Pernicone. Proceeds from the sale go to the library "for fabulous things we wouldn't be able to do otherwise," she adds.
Children will have fun at a special storytelling event with Jim "Grasshopper" Greene, and crafts with Miss Lucy, beginning at 1:00 Saturday (a Spanish version follows at 2:30). Friends of the Library members will enjoy a sneak preview of the bargains tonight from 5:30 to 9:00, but you can become a member for a five-dollar donation. The sale is open from 10:00 to 4:00 Saturday, and 5:00 to 9:00 Monday. Call 305-891-5535, or visit www.northmiamifl.gov/community/library. --Lyssa Oberkreser
Totally Ripped and Shiny Shiny
Oiled bods will pump you up
The world of pumping iron is more nuanced than you thought. Did you know that for competitors not interested in bulking up there is a "Fitness & Figure" competition in which women perform routines in gymnastics, dance, or karate, and men display their fine-tuned physique in two rounds: bike shorts and jeans? Or maybe you prefer traditional bodybuilding: dense and sweaty, with a loincloth. The National Physique Committee has everything, even an over-70 age group, at the Southern States Bodybuilding, Fitness & Figure Championships at War Memorial Auditorium, 800 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale. General admission is $15 for tonight's 7:00 show and Saturday's 9:00 a.m. prejudging; $20 for Saturday's 6:00 p.m. finals. Call 954-763-2718, or visit www.npcsouthernstates.com. --Emily Witt
A Yen for Zen
Relaxing and balancing yoga classes can cool you off from the inside out with proper practice of posture, breathing, and meditation. And you can do it without burning through your savings. A month of unlimited classes costs only $85 now through September 30 at the Yoga Room at Brownes & Co., 841 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Call 305-538-7544, or visit www.brownesbeauty.com for a schedule of classes. -- Lyssa Oberkreser