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