While in Charlotte, NC for Type-A Parent Conference my roommate, Karon Warren and I spent part of our Sunday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. We are both avid NASCAR fans and as soon as it was announced that the 2012 conference was in Charlotte, we planned to visit the Hall of Fame. To our surprise, the Hall of Fame was located about 1/4 of a mile from our convention hotel so we were able to walk over.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in May of 2010. The 150,000 square foot building includes, a theater, historical artifacts, interactive exhibits, a restaurant, gear shop and broadcast center. The Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. The Hall is open 10am-6pm (hours subject to change) seven days a week every day except Christmas. General Admission is $22.45 for ages 13+, children 5-12 are $15.45 and Military and Seniors 60+ can get in for $20.45.
Upon entering the HoF (Hall of Fame) you receive your hardcard (pictured above). This card saves the data from all of the interactive exhibits that you experience during your visit. Most of the data is also available to view on the NASCAR Hall of Fame website when you return home. After registering your hardcard and choosing your guide, I chose Darrell Waltrip and Karon chose Kasey Kahne, you head into the 278-seat Belk High Octane Theater. In the theater you watch an entertaining and informative film about the history of NASCAR on a state-of-the-art 64′ wide, curved projection screen. After viewing the movie you exit into the Great Hall where you can enjoy some rotating exhibits before heading down Glory Road.
Sunoco Glory Road is a progressively banked ramp that starts at 1 degree of banking and increases to 33 degree banking as you travel through NASCAR history. On the road are 18 historic cars and highlights of 46 current and historic tracks.
When you finish traveling the Sunoco Glory Road you are on level 3 of the HoF. On your right is the Hall of Honor. This is where the NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees are honored with individual exhibits.
Now that we have given honor where honor is do, it is time to put our skills and knowledge to the test and see where we fit in the NASCAR community. Get your hardcards ready because we are heading into the bulk of the interactive exhibits including the NASCAR Performance Race Shop, Kobalt Kid Zone, and Food Lion Race Week. In the NASCAR Performance Race Shop Strategy Game you get input from your driver, crew chief and engineer so that you can decide how to set up your car’s shocks, springs and tire pressure. In the Kobalt Kid Zone kids can race each other to see how much horsepower they can generate. The Food Lion Race Week takes you through all of the basic steps a race team goes through each week to get ready for race day. These activities include learning about car parts on the Tear Down Cart as well as Engine Dyno and Shock Dyno exhibits. You can try your hand at Car Design, Inspection, Qualifying, Penalties and Scoring and even drive a Race Simulator! Once you complete all of the activities you receive your team assignment based on how you fared in all of your tasks. My assignment was Crew Chief due to my knowledge of the sport and decision making abilities :-).
Now you’ve reached Level 4 of the HoF and here you will be immersed in history as you view the Frances Flock Scrapbook, visit the Honoring our Legacy theater and test your knowledge in the Milestone Moments trivia game. You will also learn about safety as well as research and development at Dynamic Design, a cut-away Sprint Cup Series Car and Crash Types. On level 4 you can also Test you knowledge with the Ultimate Fan Guide and have your picture taken while waving a flag from the flag stand!
We spent about 4 hours enjoying the NASCAR Hall of Fame. We had a great visit and I am trying to figure out when I can get my entire family there! You don’t need to be a die-hard NASCAR fan to enjoy the Hall of Fame. If you appreciate sport, history and/or technology I think you would enjoy your visit. If you are wondering about visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame with Disabilities please hop on over to my friend Connie Roberts post Fans with Disablilities Welcome at Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame post. Next time you visit Charlotte make sure you add the NASCAR Hall of Fame to your itinerary.
Disclosure: I received free admission to the NASCAR Hall of Fame all opinions are 100% mine.