There’s the Baseball Hall of Fame, which, established in 1939, is probably the oldest Hall of Fame. Then there’s the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, which first started inducting artists in 1986. The racing world, not to be left out, opened the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010 in Charlotte, NC. Since opening in 2010, the $160-million facility has brought jobs to the area, along with an uptick in tourism.
How did the NASCAR Hall of Fame come to find itself in Charlotte, NC? Why not Atlanta, GA, which also has a long history of NASCAR love, or Daytona Beach, FL, home of the Daytona 500? Charlotte’s own slogan while it bid for the Hall of Fame was “Racing was built here. Racing belongs here.” That truth, along with the financial incentives the city gave to NASCAR, probably explain why Charlotte won the bid for the building in the end. The majority of major NASCAR teams are headquartered in Charlotte, a number of important drivers are from North Carolina, and Lowe’s Motor Speedway, recently renamed the Charlotte Motor Speedway, is located in the area.
Today, the building’s 150,000 square feet serve as a shrine to all things NASCAR. From the Hall of Fame itself to movies, games, gift shops, cafes, and a future ball room, the NASCAR Hall of Fame has been designed to provide fun for all ages.
Without the France family, there would probably be no NASCAR, let alone a NASCAR Hall of Fame. Bill France, Sr., founded NASCAR in 1948. The NASCAR brand and NASCAR racing has remained in the France family ever since. Today, NASCAR’s Chairman and CEO is Brian France, the grandson of Bill Sr. NASCAR has made the France family into multi-billionaires.
Visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame
General admission into the Hall is free for members, $12.95 for children 5 to 12, $19.95 for adults, and $17.95 for seniors 60 and older. Visitors can explore the High Octane Theater, a 278-seat theater that shows videos about the history of NASCAR, along with other special theaters; Glory Road, a simulated race track that features 18 historic NASCAR cars; Heritage Speedway, a museum-like area that walks visitors through the history of NASCAR and its artifacts; and many other special exhibits and features. In all, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is fun for the whole family, even for those who don’t consider themselves NASCAR fans.