This is long overdue but a spot in Charlotte, NC not to miss – the NASCAR Hall of Fame! Located a block away from the Hampton Inn Charlotte Uptown which has amazing rooms perfect for your getaway. All you have to do is walk out the front door and you can already see the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame. This interactive attraction honors the history and heritage of NASCAR! A must-see for any fan who is in the area.
From the outside of the building, you can see the cars lined up behind the glass and know that you are in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With 40,000 square feet of exhibit space honoring the history and heritage of the sport, you're bound to fall in love with NASCAR all over again.
After you purchase your pass and enter the first floor you can take a self-guided tour introducing you to the history of NASCAR and then follow the track from there to the second floor which includes:
- Ceremonial Plaza – An outdoor “patio” with a video screen.
- Glory Road – A 33-degree banked ramp (matching that of Talladega Superspeedway) featuring 18 different cars and saluting 46 past and current tracks featuring a line up of cars including:
- Matt Kenseth's 2013 Toyota Camry
- Jimmie Johnson's 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
- Dale Earnhardt's 1990 Chevrolet Lumina
- Buck Baker's 1957 Chevrolet “Black Widow”
- The Great Hall – Dubbed as the Times Square of the hall, featuring a 14 feet-by-18 feet video screen with rotating exhibits honoring those of past and present
- “Studio 43” – Named in honor of Richard Petty's car number – which also served as the home of Showtime's Inside NASCAR television show.
Get ready for your turn behind the wheel as we follow the track to more exciting things, but first a little pit stop.
- Hall of Honor – A 360-degree wall with the honorees enshrined serves as the centerpiece of the building with each enshrinee with their own exhibit.
- Transporter and Race car Simulators – Simulators provided by iRacing.com.
- Race Week Experience – Simulates an actual week in a NASCAR team, from race prep through inspection, practice, time trials, and the race.
- Kobalt Tools – Kid Zone – the kids can test their skills at being part of the pit crew and learn more about racing on the interactive table.
Trust me this is an amazing experience you get to try your skills behind the wheel of a NASCAR on a simulated race track. I was surprised at how much work was behind it between shifting, reading the track, and knowing when to pit. The fun part is you can race against others who came to the Hall of Fame with you! The lose might just have to buy the souvenirs. After you've won and got your adrenaline filled head to the fourth floor!
- Heritage Speedway – The six-decade history of NASCAR is focused here, including a glass-enclosed section with historic artifacts from the history of stock car racing.
Now it's time to get your memorabilia, get your photo taken, and head to the gift shop! You'll find everything you need in the store from shirts to collector cars. I even found Dustin his 18 M&M car he's been hunting out to finish his collection. Hungry? Head to the Hall of Fame Cafe or to Buffalo Wild Wings.
NASCAR Logo Evolution
It's no surprise that NASCAR's first logo featured a car. But it wasn't a stock car. The streamlined land speed vehicle was based on Bill France's favorite car – Frank Lockhart's custom Stutz Blackhawk Special, which competed on Daytona Beach in 1928. The car graphic survived two logo updates util 1976 when the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., began using its current logo.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Challenge
Don't forget to partake in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Challenge! Compete against other guests for the high score of the day as you explore the floors in the Hall of Fame, with eight different stations to visit it will make your day of exploring that much more fun. At each station, you can earn up to 800 points by testing your knowledge, skill, and performance in the ultimate NASCAR challenge.
I loved my visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and I encourage you to stop by for a visit if you're ever in the Charlotte, NC area!