Friday, 6 June 2014

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Last Saturday we embarked on a trip to Charlotte, NC.  We had promised Oliver a trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of his birthday celebration.

We arrived fairly early, and queued to get tickets.  The queue was not long at all.

We decided on general admissions tickets, though they do lots of different packages that include things such as food, drink, audio tours and simulator rides.  The tickets are like little credit cards.

Once inside, you are ushered towards the Belk High Octane theater.  While waiting for the next showing, we registered out tickets, so we could use them at various other places around the building.  We were shown a movie on the history of NASCAR.  It was very interesting, though we knew quite a lot of it already.  After the film, you walk out into the great hall.  This contains different NASCAR's from the ages, starting with the Hudson Hornet in the 1950's, all the way to the modern era.  They are displayed on Glory Road.This is a replica of a track, with different degrees of banking.  At places, you can walk up the banking to see how steep it is.  They also have info on all the NASCAR tracks, and the different surfaces.  Very interesting (even to me!) 

The Steep Banking 

From there, you walk up the ramp to the Hall of Honor.  This is where NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees are honored.  It contains various cars and memorabilia from the inductees, and information on them all.  Again very interesting 

Pete Hamiltons famous Plymouth Superbird

Then it is on to the Race Week part of the building.  Here you get to see the goings on of a race team in the week leading up to a race.  There is a kids area, and lots of interesting things for adults to do.  This area is very hands on, and we were glad we went early, so it was no too busy.  We even got to walk through a big truck that transports the cars around, very cool. 

Daddy and Isaac working a pit stop

The bigger boys even got to have a go on an iRacing game, and set qualifying laps.  They loved it!  This is also where the race simulators were.  I thought that this would not be suitable for the boys, I thought they would be too little, but they may have been alright.  Plus you have to pay extra.  They are the iRacing games, inside actual size NASCAR's.  I kinda wish we had a go now, but hey ho! 

The simulator cars

From there we headed to the top floor, which contained Heritage Speedway, an area with individual exhibits about the history of NASCAR.  For people new to the sport, this was fascinating.  We then headed down in the elevator to the Great Hall, where we had missed the exhibit in the middle.  This was to do with women in the sport of NASCAR.  Again, fascinating.  The boys loved seeing Danica's car 

Danica Patrick's car

We really enjoyed the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  As a family who are just starting to get enthused about the sport, it was a great eye opener, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  The staff were friendly, polite and courteous.  It is well managed and maintained, with a lot of modern touches.  I would quite like to go back again in about 20 years time, when the current drivers are the inductees!  

We don't normally buy photo packages or spend a lot of time in the gift shops of places we visit, but this time we decided to buy the photos the staff had taken as we walked in.  It was well worth it.  


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