Fast Cars & Superstars: Serena Williams

CONCORD, N.C. — The tennis pro was a little overwhelmed during her ride-along in the car at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as part of “Fast Cars & Superstars — Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race” reality show, which is sponsoring, and which begins airing June 7 on ABC. She rode with NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, and afterward she seemed moved by the experience.

What moved her the most?

“The fact that they’re driving 200 mph behind each other and there’s like two inches that separate them,” she said. “And then if, they just, you know — it’s crazy.”

Part of that insanity was Williams’ discovery that NASCAR steering wheels can be (easily) removed. Reassured that the racecars have lots of protective features, she took a skeptical tone.

“I guess it’s the safest car on the road,” she said, with a hint of sarcasm. “That’s one way of looking at it.”

Williams and her sister, Venus, became tennis stars before they were even old enough to drive legally, so Serena’s car was not a typical teen’s first car. Her first ride? A BMW Z3.

“It’s a two-seater,” she said. “I still have it. I drive it fast.”

How fast?

“Not as fast as young Kurt [Busch]," she laughed.

She allows that she has occasionally gone faster than authorities would like. “I’ve gotten a few speeding tickets in the past, but I try not to drive as fast any more.” This experience may reinforce that resolve.

So, besides the Z3, what else is sitting in her garage?

“I have a truck, a Cadillac truck,” Serena said. “I have a Range Rover Sport.

“I’m an SUV kind of girl.”

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Editor-in-Chief Patrick Olsen was born and raised in California. He loves pickup trucks and drivers who pay attention.  Email Patrick