Visiting Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame

 

Visiting Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame

By Burt Carey

 

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is more than a mural-static history of a great American sport. Its interactive displays, mind-boggling video clips and portrayals of some of auto racing’s biggest characters will have you and your family buzzing about your stay in Charlotte.

NASCAR, Hall of Fame, racing, Charlotte, North Carolina, Sprint Cup champion,360-degree Hall of HonorAnd now is a fantastic time to schedule a trip there as the 2015 season prepares to crown the next Sprint Cup champion, and the Hall of Fame (www.nascarhall.com) readies pedestals for five new inductees in January.

You don’t have to be a NASCAR fan to enjoy this place. After all, NASCAR poured some $160 million into its Hall of Fame, which opened in 2010 as one of the most modern museums in the world today. There are 50 interactive attractions for visitors to try out, including the Pit Crew Challenge and racing simulators.

As you participate in those displays or watch videos, all of your visit can be recorded, downloaded and viewed again from your home computer – your own personalized visit among NASCAR’s greatest drivers, owners, promoters, crew chiefs and announcers. Every visitor gets a Hard Card, an all-access pass that is used to activate videos and displays, and records your hands-on activities. You even get to pick a NASCAR legend who will serve as your host throughout your visit.

Visitors start on the hall’s first floor at the Belk High Octane Theater. There’s a screening room below ground level that shows videos, and first-time visitors can watch a primer video about the hall.

On the second floor, a large video screen dominates the outdoor Ceremonial Plaza, but the big attraction is just inside. It’s Glory Road, where visitors can step up on the 33-degree banking that matches the turns of Talladega Superspeedway. Atop Glory Road are 18 different cars marking NASCAR’s stock car history through time, along with 46 past the current tracks. This is the floor where you’ll also see the Great Hall, where a 14 x 18-foot video screen is used to show off exhibits. And there’s Studio 43, a television production room named in honor of Hall of Famer Richard Petty’s car number.

The 360-degree Hall of Honor, the centerpiece of the entire building, contains displays of those inducted into the Hall of Fame on the third floor. Today, because the hall is relatively new, the Hall of Honor contains just 30 inductees. Five more will be added on Jan. 22: Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner.

The third floor is also home to the Transporter, where visitors can see how cars and their replacement parts are moved from track to track, and the Racecar Simulators. Let’s go racin’, boys! Raceweek Experience simulates everything – from race prep, through inspections, practice, time trials and the race – a NASCAR team goes through during race week.

And up on the fourth floor, you’ll experience Heritage Speedway; six decades of NASCAR that includes artifacts from the history of stock car racing.

The Hall of Fame also has a gift shop, the Pit Stop Café, and a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.

Admission to the hall is just $19.95 for adults, $12.95 for children (ages 5-12). Seniors (60+) and military (ID required) pay just $17.95.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is located at 400 East Martin Luther King Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28202. Questions can be answered by calling toll-free 888-902-6463, or locally 704-654-4400. It’s open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To find out more, go to www.nascarhall.com.

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

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