DYERSBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Judy Thurmond of RoEllen believes in living life to the fullest.

Daily, she shows her heart for family by serving as caregiver for three of her most precious loved ones. She pampers them with gourmet meals and a laid-back attitude that allows them to enjoy each day to the fullest.

The wife of Jim Thurmond, Thurmond cares for her mother and father-in-law, Roy and Venice Thurmon, also of the RoEllen community. The Thurmons, 99 and 98 years old, respectively, celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary on Nov. 21. Judy Thurmond also serves as caregiver for her husband, who has suffered two severe strokes and cannot speak.

But, as Thurmond focuses her energy on others, her children do their best to ensure their mother finds time to relax and pamper herself, as well.

Stephen Thurmond, Amber Carlson, Lara Thurmond and Jonathan Thurmond recently joined together to give Judy Thurmond a very special gift; one that both revved up her engine and crossed an item off of her bucket list.

Last month, the 68-year-old Thurmond hopped into an official NASCAR racer and completed nearly a dozen laps around Memphis International Raceway in Millington.

"I have great kids," said Thurmond. "I've always had a heavy foot and I have wanted to do this since I was 18 -- to go around a racetrack as fast as I can go."

As a participant of the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, Thurmond enjoyed the thrill of the fast lane behind the wheel of a souped-up Dodge Charger race car. In fact, she enjoyed it so much, she took an extra lap.

"I went between 100 and 110 miles per hour," said Thurmond. "The car was set to go 155, but they told us in the class that none of us would go that fast. I just wanted a straight stretch so I could get it to go as fast as I could. I was having so much fun, I overran the exit so I had to go an extra lap.

"You go three rounds with a professional to get a feel of the track," continued Thurmond. "You get a feel of how to do the turns. They tell you, 'lift and left'. Lift your foot off the gas and turn sharp left to stay off the (elevated portion of the track). They are speaking into your headphones so you know what to do the whole time."

Although Thurmond took to the track well, her children's favorite part of the day was watching their mother climb in and out of the race car. Jonathan Thurmond was unable to attend, but twin granddaughters Trista and Sadie were on hand to share in their grandmother's special day.

"I am a positive thinker," said Thurmond. "I love life to a passion. I think you have to enjoy life."

Items already checked off Thurmond's bucket list include parasailing and taking glamour shots.

But, it seems her children have their own experiences to add to their mother's list.

"Stephen said 'Next year, Lara turns 40 and we are all going to parachute together -- and you are going with us!'"

Thurmond laughs heartily.

"I don't know about that ..."