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USA D8: Race shops and the NASCAR Hall of Fame

Yesterday we visited several race shops and NASCAR-related places.

First up was Michael Waltrip Racing as they have the best setup for visitors. One of NASCAR’s strengths is its accessibility to fans.

Our spanky rental car with its New York plates sits uncomfortably between two much cooler vehicles

Our spanky rental car with its New York plates sits uncomfortably between two much cooler vehicles

As seen from the fantastic public viewing platform at Michael Waltrip Racing

As seen from the fantastic public viewing platform at Michael Waltrip Racing

As well as its massive visitor centre and workshop facility (which utilised an old multiplex movie theatre) they also offer a tour out to the fabrication shop (built in an old roller skating rink), something no other team does. It so happened that given the time of day / the day of the week, it was a private tour for just Mike and I.

These are chassis from wrecks which cannot be repaired and hence need to be destroyed to prevent re-use

These are chassis from wrecks which cannot be repaired and hence need to be destroyed to prevent re-use

We missed the pit stop practices earlier in the morning

We missed the pit stop practices earlier in the morning

This was VERY typical of the carparks of the race shops we visited

This was VERY typical of the carparks of the race shops we visited

Next up was the Penske Racing facility – all of these places were between 15-30 minutes(ish) drive from each other.

Another great viewing platform at the Penske race shop

Another great viewing platform at the Penske race shop

A showroom was next for one of the sport’s most famous identities, Dale Earnhardt (senior). He died as the result of an accident in the 2001 Daytona 500.

dale earnhardt showroom

me

racing suits, dale earnhardt showroom

sign, dale earnhardt showroom

Across now (could have been north or south, I just did as the machine bid me) to Hendrick Motorsport. They have a big showroom and shop as well as separate workshop facilities for their race teams.

me

The Hendricks Motorsport museum and gift shop

The Hendricks Motorsport museum and gift shop

Nowhere near as good viewing as at the earlier

Nowhere near as good viewing as at the earlier places

At the Hendricks race shop for cars 48 and 88

At the Hendricks race shop for cars 48 and 88

Then I drove us into the city of Charlotte, which almost caused the TomTom to spaz out such was the road spaghetti it had to navigate through. We were here for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

To visit this place properly you need several hours (a day would let you cover everything comprehensively) and lots of stamina. Mike knew it would be a big and so made sure we got here early afternoon.

Glory Road with its progression of amazing cars and life-like banking angles

Glory Road with its progression of amazing cars and life-like banking angles

Ever since watching Cars, I have a soft spot for Hudson Hornets!

Ever since watching Cars, I have a soft spot for Hudson Hornets!

Mike pretend-driving really, really fast

Mike pretend-driving really, really fast

The original NASCAR logo

The original NASCAR logo

After another twice-as-long-as-it-should-have-been trip back to our hotel, though I s’pose it was rush hour for the working population, we freshened up and hit the mall. We did a recce the night before and I’m sure it’s not huge by American standards but to little old us it was massive.

Inside the massive Bass Pro Shop. Along the same lines as 'Where's Wallie?', Mike is down there somewhere - wearing the head cover from a ghillie suit.

Inside the massive, and I mean massive, Bass Pro Shop. Along the same lines as ‘Where’s Wallie?’, Mike is down there somewhere – wearing the head cover from a ghillie suit.

In lieu of a squirrel photo, as we were not on their turf today, a catfish will have to do. Granted it's the opposite of cute

In lieu of a squirrel photo, as we were not on their turf today, a catfish will have to do. Granted it’s the opposite of cute. This aquarium was also in the Bass Pro Shop

And naturally we couldn't leave this shop empty handed

And naturally we couldn’t leave this shop empty handed

Glenda, I found Cinnabon! And I see what you mean... :)

Glenda, I found Cinnabon! And I see what you mean… 🙂

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Glenda #

    Yum yum – they are heavenly! Realise I’ve been to Charlotte back in 1986 & obviously then motor racing wasn’t on my radar (but since I met you Hayley & also accumulated a husband whose passionate it is also) I realise for you fanatics its a must see! Am impressed with your driving/navigating skills and remember that saying from the South – “ya all come back now ya ha-yea”

    19 October 2013

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