Erica Hill's Life on the Fast Track

Erica Hill doing her dream job as an Indy 500 racer. CBS

Erica Hill has been itching to get behind the wheel of a racecar since she attended a race in 2001 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Wednesday on "The Early Show", Hill shared how she got to live her dream. She stepped into a race suit, strapped on a helmet, and got behind the wheel -- a bonafide Indy 500 racer.

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She got to drive the winding roads in Toronto, where the IZOD Indy series speeds through winding narrow streets, a challenge even for the most experienced driver.

""It's one of the toughest race tracks physically, mentally and on the equipment," said Tony Kanaan, of Andretti Autosports.

Hill started off in the passenger seat as she squeezed herself in the narrow space behind the driver, who happened to be veteran racer Davey Hamilton. As Hamilton bobbed and weaved through the road, Hill said she could feel every bump, and all the G-force pushing on her body and the car.

At top speed, Hamilton estimated the car reaching about 140 miles per hour on the straightaway stretch. Adrenaline pumping after hopping out, Hill was ready to get behind the wheel herself.

Before she put on her seatbelt, Hill took a stroll down pit row where she met some of the biggest names in racing: Franchitti, Andretti and Castroneves.

A little further down the track, Kanaan, Hill's coach for the day, was waiting for her to begin their leisurely, high-speed drive.

"I think like any rookie you should respect the race track. It's a very hard course, but I think you'll have a blast," said Kanaan.

As Hill took off, she was determined to break the 70 miles per hour rule, which is instilled as a way to keep new drivers in check. As she followed her pace car, she pushed her limits and reached a speed up to 85. But before she could push the pedal any closer to the medal, her pace car slowed, and it was all over too soon.

Hill couldn't get enough.

"It was fantastic," she said. "I loved it I wouldn't mind staying out there a few more laps."
  • CBSNews

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