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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NASCAR HALL OF FAME