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North Carolina Motor Museums Thrill Racing Fans
North Carolina is in some ways the home of racing in America – many of the sport’s biggest names live here and many of the sport’s most important tracks were built here. Race fans can learn more about the sport in a number of important museums. Just 20 miles north of Charlotte, the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame has a massive collection of cars and memorabilia. See more than 40 cars from all types of auto racing, plus an art gallery. Read about inductees into the hall of fame and make sure to visit the gift shop, where there are even used racing tires autographed by some of the sport’s greatest names for sale!
Also in Charlotte, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a major draw for race fans. See the hall where inductees are enshrined, go behind the scene to see how a NASCAR team prepares for race day, view authentic artifacts from the sport, see 18 historic race cars, and witness highlights of 40 of the sport’s most important tracks. Make sure to see a show in the High Octane Theater, which has a 64-foot wide projection screen with surround sound.
Memory Lane Motorsports & Historical Automotive Museum
Located in the town of Mooresville – otherwise known as the motorsports capital of the U.S. – the Memory Lane Motorsports and Historical Automotive Museum offers an excellent glimpse into the humble beginnings of the American automobile. The museum primarily features over 150 exhibits any self-proclaimed motor head will surely enjoy.
Among the many displays, some of the highlights include the impressive collection of vintage NASCARs and racecars ranging from soapbox derby cars to Hollywood props from “Talladega Nights” and “Leatherheads”. The museum is found in the Piedmont region near Charlotte.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Racing fans in the Charlotte area are in the right place. Charlotte, and much of the NC Mountain region, is considered by many to be the "NASCAR Valley," because of the number of famous drivers from North Carolina. In 2009, the twenty-story NASCAR Plaza office building opened, followed by the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, in 2010.
The buildings are located in downtown Charlotte, near the Charlotte Convention Center. The Hall of Fame honors NASCAR drivers, crew chiefs, owners and major contributors to the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.
Begin your tour of the Hall of Fame by watching a primer video in the Belk High Octane Theater, before heading to the Ceremonial Plaza. The Glory Road, a 33-degree banked ramp, showcases eighteen cars and several historic and current racing tracks.
The Great Hall features a fourteen foot video screen and exhibits. "Studio 43," honoring Richard Petty, broadcasts the Inside NASCAR television show. For an adrenalin rush, test your skills in the Transporter and Racecar simulators. With so much to see, make sure you have time for it all.
Richard Childress Racing & Museum
Just a few minutes south of Winston-Salem, the Richard Childress Racing Museum is great stop for race fans and history buffs alike. The RCR Racing Museum features a variety of displays, including a collection of over 40 race vehicles, some driven by legendary NASCAR racers.
The museum is about 47,000 square feet in total, housing plenty of race memorabilia – most notably six NASCAR Winston Cup championship banners and trophies. Piedmont region visitors typically enjoy viewing the RCR video exhibits, showcasing some of RCR’s key victories over the years.
Roush Fenway Racing Museum
Get a feel for some of NASCAR’s history and legend at Roush Fenway Racing Museum in Concord, just north of Charlotte in the Piedmont region. Getting its namesake from Jack Roush, legendary NASCAR owner and engine builder, the museum foremost displays Roush’s intriguing timeline as well as countless other motorsports exhibits.
Some of the perks and exhibits at the Roush Fenway Racing Museum include NASCAR victory trophies like the Winston Cup, Nextel Cup, and Spring Cup Series – as well as a collection of real-life NASCAR race vehicles. Take the full tour and be sure to stop by the gift shop on your way out for official Roush Fenway Racing apparel.
Curb Motorsports Museum
Located in Kappapolis – just a short drive north of Charlotte – the Curb Motorsports Museum houses a great deal of NASCAR exhibits. The museum gets its namesake from longtime motorsports owner, sponsor, and enthusiast, Mike Curb.
Exhibits and displays at the museums include the actual stock cars driven by Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. There are 23 cars in total on display at the Curb Museum, as well as a great deal of racing memorabilia.