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NASCAR Hall of Fame Tour

NASCAR HALL OF FAME
NASCAR HALL OF FAME

Many of today’s NASCAR fans are too young to appreciate the origins of the sport. Us older guys love the nostalgic stuff from back in the day. Which every you are you must go to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and see some of the sports historical routes in person. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is located in Charlotte. It is like stepping into Mr. Peabody’s “Way Back Machine” and touring a modern day race shop all in one stop. We recently visited the Hall and found it to pretty much like what we expected and anticipated. The only complaint we had was that we wanted to see more just like it. Don’t get me wrong, there is lots to see and do, we just wanted even more.

 

There are activities of all kinds throughout the Hall of Fame. You will struggle to see and do them all.

The entry lobby with the simulation of a race track and the progression of old race cars to new is outstanding.

There are activities of all kinds throughout the Hall of Fame. You will struggle to see and do them all.

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet was one of the first Super Stars of NASCAR. I was only 5 or 6 when I remember my dad telling me about how much faster the Hudson was!
The Fabulous Hudson Hornet was one of the first Super Stars of NASCAR. I was only 5 or 6 when I remember my dad telling me about how much faster the Hudson was!

 

On Level One the High Octane Theater, a 64-foot wide projection screen (just like a mini IMax) and surround sound gives you an entertaining and educational experience of NASCAR racing and its history. As great as this is the Glory Road is the must see attraction on this level. It is a banked ramp leading to the second floor and features 18 historic cars and highlights 43 current and historic tracks. It also mimics the various degrees of banking at some of the most notable tracks. Having visited many tracks and stood on the steep banking of some of them I can tell you it is still amazing to stand at the bottom and look up at the 33-degree incline of Talladega with a car sitting there! This ramp is obviously narrower than the real tracks but it is none the less impressive.

This track simulation has gradually increasing degrees of banking with each section labeled as to which track it represents.
This track simulation has gradually increasing degrees of banking with each section labeled as to which track it represents.

 

Katrina stands on the stairs leading to the Talladega 33-degree banking.
Katrina stands on the stairs leading to the Talladega 33-degree banking.

Level 2 is the Great Hall which features a large greeting area and rotating exhibits throughout the year. During our visit it was Rockin & Racin with the Marty Robins restored race car from Nashville being by far our favorite.

This is the Marty Robbins race car as it raced in Nashville. If you don't know who Marty is or is racing history in NASCAR you are missing some wonderful history.
This is the Marty Robbins race car as it raced in Nashville. If you don’t know who Marty is or is racing history in NASCAR you are missing some wonderful history.

Level 3 houses the Hall of Honor which is the pinnacle of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It is where the inductees are enshrined, celebrated and honored. An active exhibit here is Race Week which gives you an up close look at the behind-the-scenes preparation necessary by each race team every week.

The very first Super Star I followed in NASCAR was Fireball Roberts. I still think this Smokey Yunick Fireball car is one of the most beautiful to ever race.
The very first Super Star I followed in NASCAR was Fireball Roberts. I still think this Smokey Yunick Fireball car is one of the most beautiful to ever race.

Level 4 contains the Heritage Speedway exhibit. This area has a lot of small historical items and was extremely interesting. You may be tempted to speed through the area but slow down and read the descriptive signs.

The smaller exhibits enclosed in the glass cases are as interesting as some of the race cars.
The smaller exhibits enclosed in the glass cases are as interesting as some of the race cars.

Throughout the Hall of Fame there are numerous opportunities for you to get hands on and try different tasks such as execute pit stop or drive a race simulator or more videos to watch. There is something for all ages and levels of NASCAR knowledge.

Aerodynamics play a very big part in racing today. In the early days it was known to be important but the importance was still be discovered. The 1969 Ford Talladega and Dodge Daytona along with the Mercury Spoiler II race cars were the first to introduce factory aerodynamic improvements in street cars for the sole purpose of applying the changes to the race cars. However, some car owners such as Smokey Yunick and Junior Johnson developed their own “aero cars” before the factories did.

This is a Junior Johnson built car for Fred Lorenzen.

 

It was this car, labeled the “Yellow Banana” that was so modified it led to the Templates required all cars to pass through to prove they were stock bodies.

 

Look back at the other photos and notice the steeply sloping front fender, chopped top and this obviously non-stock rear trunk and fender treatment. It was very aerodynamic but was so “illegal” it only raced once.
See the slope in the front fender and how high up in the roof the front windshield goes?

Cale Yarboroug's #21 Spoiler II door.

 

Statues of past legends add an interesting touch to the Hall.

NASCAR HALL OF FAME

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Richard

I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check our our www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com page) As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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