By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
Sorry Joey Logano, but the NASCAR Hall of Fame has officially supplanted you as the best thing since sliced bread. Sure Logano may in fact be the brightest star of NASCAR’s future someday, but even then he’d only be a microscopic piece of the brand new NASCAR Hall of Fame… That’s how big of a deal this place is.
The Hall of Fame itself is three floors packed with amazing pieces of NASCAR history, and amazing interactive attractions for fans young and old to partake in. I’m not going to lie, from the looks of it they have pulled out all of the stops.
On the first floor is the High Octane Theatre. There fans will get an informative look into what NASCAR is about, how the sport became, and everything in between. The theater seats 278 guests, and it is actually also available for after hours rental… pretty cool.
Also on the first floor is “Glory Road”. Here fans can actually stand next to some of the most important and recognizable cars throughout the 62-year history of NASCAR… From cars that ran on the beach to Bobby Allison’s famed No. 22 car to Dale Earnhardt’s intimidating black No. 3 every generation of the sport is represented, and represented well. This is also a great way to see how far the sport has come aerodynamically in my opinion.
Floor two is jam packed with all sorts of activities that give fans a greater appreciation for what the drivers, and crews go through during the week, but the actual “Hall of Honor” is located here as well. The Hall of Honor will be where the members that make it into the Hall will be enshrined starting May 23rd.
As far as the activities on this floor go, there is a “Race Week Experience” where fans can fuel an actual race car, change tires, and jack up an actual race car. Really cool, and you can actually test whether you think you could jump over the wall on Sundays or not. There is also the Transporter Simulator, that shows the fans exactly what it is like inside one of the teams haulers.
My favorite activity in the entire place is the iracing.com simulators. The iracing simulation that has taken the internet by storm is just about as accurate to driving a real NASCAR as it gets, but the reason this is my favorite activity in the Hall is that NASCAR thought to make sure they included every fan. What do I mean? Well they made sure that they have a wheel-chair accessible simulator on the floor so handicapped fans can also fight it out on the track just like their heroes do every week. It just truly shows that NASCAR really cares about every fan.
Moving on to the third floor… This is the place for all of you racing antique nuts. Here you will find rare artifacts from NASCAR including helmets and firesuits from the earliest days in the sport. There is also the “Heritage Speedway” which will showcase important cars from NASCAR, as well as the stories behind them, such as Rusty Wallace’s 1989 Winston All-Star Race winning car.
Another really cool thing for fans is that because the Hall is located in the heart of “NASCAR Country” in North Carolina, you never know who will stop by when you’re there. For instance Tuesday at the grand opening Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace, Bobby Allison, and Kasey Kahne were just some of the people who were there. This is the icing on the cake for a truly amazing display of our sport’s history, which just so happens to be inside a state-of-the-art building.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is definitely the new “Sliced Bread”. Tickets to gain access to all of the wonderful items and activities inside the Hall are just $20… well worth the price of admission, and to make sure you don’t have to leave all day long there is an on-site Buffalo Wild Wings to keep you fed. Plan a visit to the NASCAR Hall today by going to their website NASCARHall.com.