Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Well we decided to stay two days in Charlotte because this is the seat of all things racing. Too much to see in one day; too much to see in two but that was all we were willing to devote to this pursuit. We did the reading last night and headed out this morning to Hendrick Motorsport. Hendricks is the team for which Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson all race. Hendrick has a 100 acre 'campus' in Concord NC which is about a ten minute drive out of Charlotte, close to the Speedway (which looked unbelievable from the outside....HUGE!!!!). We visited the museum first and then the team buildings. This is the place where the cars come and is actually the base for these four racers. In addition, any racer can have an engine built here. Of course you don't get to go into the areas where the engines are being built or where the industrial secrets are being executed but what you do see is pretty impressive. We also watched the pit crews practice which in itself was quite something. One person glues the lug nuts onto the rims of the tires so when the tire guy removes the wheel, the lug nuts are already on the replacement. They replace 4 tires in thirteen seconds. After a couple of hours there we headed into the heart of Charlotte for the Hall of Fame.

Charlotte is a very old city and it's laid out in a circle.. very convenient for navigation!!!! The streets are numbered or they have n, s, e or w after their name. It is a freaking nightmare to drive around Charlotte because you are driving AROUND. Mike said he was driving in circles for two days and he was!!! In the end, we stopped the car, I got out a little tourist map of Charlotte and after locating ourselves, gave him the directions right to the parking. Not that difficult really but we had been struggling with the GPS for a bit and finally gave into good old fashioned reading and pointing!!

Once inside, the HoF was amazing. I took lots of pictures for my own personal memory book and it was a great day but there was too much to see in a day. TOO MUCH. It's like an art gallery that you would go to a few times to really enjoy. There is quite a history to this sport (I know lots of people don't believe it's a sport) and the personalities are huge. The people who follow racing are die hards who love the people and love this checkered history. After all, it all began when moonshiners were trying to out race the revernuers and their competition lead to races, the fore-runners of those we love today. In Daytona, originally the races were on the beach and on the streets. It's come a long way in it's career.

Anyway that was Charlotte. The daffodils are all out; beautiful blooms on trees. It looks like spring here. We were in shorts today and it's all good.

Thanks for stopping by. Gloria...I wasn't successful with your list at the Gift Shop at the Hall. Only managed to get a hat for Gerald. The ones you suggested for the kids just weren't there but I will keep my eyes open at other NASCAR stores along the way. Got Gerald's Hall of Fame hat but they didn't have one for 2010. Hope he likes what I got.

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