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Hall of Fame a must for any NASCAR fan

By admin | August 11, 2011

By Richard Allen


On Wednesday I had the opportunity to experience one of the great family experiences I have had in a long time. Three generations of the Allen men made a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. My dad, myself and my two sons had a great time taking in all the many displays and interactive exhibit offered by the sport’s showplace.

There truly is something in the building to appeal to every age. My 69 year old father found a number of pieces that brought back treasured memories of the sport he has loved since its earliest days. For the history teacher in me, the museum seemed like a time capsule of my own life. I found a great many relics of my most memorable childhood experiences right up through the awe inspiring technology of today. And my eight and six year old sons found activities that not only kept their attention but spurred their imaginations.

For each of us, the visit to the Hall will be long remembered.

The HoF is laid out in four main levels, with the lowest level serving primarily as the entrance a spectacular theater.

After entering the lobby area, which is considered level two, the visitor’s attention will immediately be drawn to the historic ‘Glory Road’ of NASCAR. Twenty-two cars that have raced throughout all eras of the sport are displayed in a timeline that begins with a 1939 Ford Coupe of Raymond Parks all the way to a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson to five consecutive championships. Cars once raced by such legends as Fireball Roberts, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. are contained within the display which runs in such a way as to demonstrate the degree of banking on many of the tracks to have held races in the sport’s history.

Level three was the favorite of my sons. On this level are a number of simulators and things to touch, see and hear in a way that a child best experiences the world. My oldest son enjoyed driving the qualifying simulators while my youngest made a number of trips through the hauler replica, complete with the #48 car sitting atop its elevator as if it were being raised or lowered at the track.

Also on level three is the Hall of Honor where the sport’s legends are enshrined for posterity. My dad and I were moved by the plaques, cars and other memorabilia on display. Most moving to me was the case showing the medals from World War II earned by Bud Moore.

The Hall’s top level includes displays that take the visitor through some of NASCAR’s earliest beginnings. A moonshine demonstration as well as statues of Bill France, Sr. and other early pioneers as they would have appeared at the very founding of the sport adorn the space. This level provides an historic walk through the sport from its beginnings to the present.

This was my first visit to the Hall. I have never been to any of the other sports shrines so I have nothing to compare it to, but I was very much impressed with what I saw in Charlotte. The Hall offers a fine tribute to the sport’s history as well as a powerful glimpse into the modern day look of stock car racing.

Without question, our time as a family was well spent at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It was a day of great memories for three generations of the Allen men.

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5 Responses to “Hall of Fame a must for any NASCAR fan”

  1. Ken Says:
    August 12th, 2011 at 6:56 am

    The Hall Of Fame’s biggest problem is in the timing of it being built. The Hall should have been conceived and built at least 20-years ago, during NASCAR’s growth. Instead, it has been built during NASCAR’s decline, a decline that could easily sink the Hall within the next couple of years. Too bad! Any Hall Of Fame for any sport is a great idea. Here in Hamilton, Ontario, we have the Canadian Football Hall Of Fame (my Uncle played on the 1944 Hamilton Tigers and won the Canadian football Grey Cup, and the team he played on is celebrated there.), and even though I can’t stand football (never have, and never will), I’ve still taken a tour through the place. So it’s too bad the NASCAR Hall has everything going against it. If only it had been built sooner!

  2. Charles Says:
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I went to Hof and it was okay!

    I had hoped for more material, such as cars, the Talledaga Museum has a big car showcase! But Nascar HoL of Fame is a great visit!

    But my big beef with the HOF is how its funded, I mean taxpayers are paying aprox 75% of the cost to build it!

    Now they have lost over aprox million and half dollars, then what really is disturbing is that 947 million of that is royality payment to Nascar!

    Now Nascar says they are forgiving these payments until profitable! But that is really making a statement of how money hungery Nascar is!

    I mean just the idea of them collecting royality payments of that amount on a museum that promotes Nascar and is taxpayer funded! Havent we given enough already?

    I mean I will build a museum if someone else pays for it! then to charge these royality payments is just not right in the spirit of having a HOF the start with!

    Nascar should have been the one who funded the most of the HOF the start with, us fans have paid for their success and now they still want more!

  3. Ken Says:
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:30 am

    My comment should have read: never have liked it and never will.

  4. Lou Says:
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    The interest in NASCAR’s past just isn’t there anymore. Beginning in 2000 I began collecting any book I could find on NASCAR history. Early selections were from precious few books but soon the number of selections from which to choose skyrocketed. However, in the last two years the biggest chain bookstores in my area, Borders (r.i.p) and Barnes & Noble, have nothing on the allegedly fastest growing sport. I can only assume this is because the interest has died off, and nobody cares to read about driving in circles any more, past or present. There may be deep-rooted long time fans who will find the HOF’s offerings interesting, but the great uncommitted masses on whom NASCAR counted during it’s growth spurt aren’t so easily lured in any more.

  5. loose nut Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 7:53 am

    should have been built closer to charlotte motor speedway. I would like to see more cars or at least a display showing pictures of cars from past years .