Cindy McCain spent her Saturday getting up close and personal with the IndyRacing League at the series' stop at the Nashville Superspeedway, taking a spin around the track in the pace car with Johnny Rutherford and checking out Danica Patrick's car in the garage.

"It was great," McCain said of her laps around the 1.33-mile concrete oval with Rutherford driving. "Oh my God."

Wearing a short-sleeved denim shirt and designer jeans with heels, the wife of likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain visited with IRL drivers during their pre-race meeting and spent time talking with Phoenix resident and 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice. She also held the Gibson guitar trophy for the winner of Saturday night's Firestone Indy 200, saying "I wish I knew how to play."

After waiting out a rain delay from a thunderstorm, McCain finally climbed into the pace car at least 30 minutes later than planned. She then walked over to the garage, stopping to take photos with a couple of fans, before going through the garage, the IRL's inspection area and even the officials' trailer.

Later, she had a private chat with Patrick.

"It was a thrill for me, and she lives in Phoenix," McCain said. "It was just wonderful to meet her. I've been a huge fan of hers, and I wished her well the remainder of the year."

McCain, a racing fan who does something called drift racing with her son, planned to watch the 266-mile race from a luxury suite.