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  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Tickets on sale Oct. 6: Tickets for the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be available to the public beginning Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 10am/et. Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner will be honored during this year's ceremony set for Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. Ticket prices range from $45 for general seats to the Induction Ceremony to $350 for the Exclusive Driver Dinner Package. Drivers, celebrities and legends of the sport will take the stage during this premier celebration that will honor the seventh class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Prior to the ceremony, a special Induction Dinner at the Charlotte Convention Center, which is connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, will include a special jacket presentation for the living inductees and an award presentation honoring popular FOX Sports broadcaster Steve Byrnes, the fifth recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Fans also have the exclusive opportunity to purchase a seat for the dinner that puts them at a table with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. After dinner, the Induction Ceremony will take place in the Crown Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center and will honor the five Class of 2016 inductees as well as Harold Brasington, the second recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Following the ceremony, a special NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day will take place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday, Jan. 23. Individual ticket and ticket packages will be available beginning Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. at ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.(NASCAR)(9-30-2015)

  • Steve Byrnes Named Fifth Squier-Hall Award Recipient: Popular FOX Sports broadcaster Steve Byrnes has been named the recipient of the 2016 Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Byrnes most recently served as the play-by-play announcer for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on FOX Sports 1 and was the network's co-host of NASCAR Race Hub. He passed away in April after a long battle with cancer. Byrnes will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony festivities on Jan. 22, 2016 and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
    "For three decades, Steve's hard work and humanity brought NASCAR fans closer to their favorite drivers," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "His passion for the stories and people he covered was always reflected in his work. Steve was respected for his professionalism and adored for his easy demeanor."
    From 2001-14, Byrnes served as a pit reporter for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on FOX. He also served as a studio show host and appeared on various programs. Prior to joining FOX, Byrnes hosted a variety of NASCAR programs including Inside Winston Cup Racing with Ned Jarrett and Darrell Waltrip's Racers on TNN. He also worked as a pit reporter for CBS, TNN and TBS. His courageous battle with cancer served as an inspiration to the NASCAR industry, fans and his peers. In April, shortly before his passing, Bristol Motor Speedway named its Sprint Cup race the Food City 500 In Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand up to Cancer.
    Byrnes was among eight nominees voted upon by a panel comprised of NASCAR and NASCAR Hall of Fame executives, journalists, public relations representatives and former drivers. The Squier-Hall Award was created in 2012 to honor the contributions of media to the success of the sport. Legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall, for whom the award is named, were its initial recipients. Other recipients of the award include Chris Economaki (2014) and Tom Higgins (2015).
    The other seven nominees for the 2016 award were:
    Norma "Dusty" Brandel, the first woman to report from inside the NASCAR garage.
    Russ Catlin, one of the best-known early racing writers and historians, served as editor of Speed Age Magazine.
    Shav Glick, covered motorsports for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years, bringing NASCAR coverage to the West Coast.
    Bob Jenkins, served as the lead NASCAR lap-by-lap anchor at ESPN from 1982-2000.
    Bob Moore, spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR beat writer including stints with the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Charlotte Observer.
    Benny Phillips, spent 48 years covering NASCAR for the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise, 27 years for Stock Car Racing and 12 years on TBS.
    T. Taylor Warren, best known for his three-wide photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 finish, he covered every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008.
    (NASCAR Hall of Fame)(7-4-2015)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame debuts new exhibits: Just in time for summer vacation, the NASCAR Hall of Fame has hundreds of new high octane reasons to visit. Beginning June 17, the venue will welcome two new exhibits including "From the Garage: Street Rides of NASCAR Stars" in the Great Hall along with a revamped Heritage Speedway on the fourth floor. "From the Garage: Street Rides of NASCAR Stars" puts you in the driver's seat of the hot wheels that the sport's icons drive every day. For 38 weeks a year, these top contenders in NASCAR's premier series battle it out in high powered race cars designed and built by top engineers to perform at maximum velocity. While these impressive machines propel drivers to victory, what do these stars choose to drive when they're not on the track? "From the Garage" explores what some of the sport's most well-known names have tucked behind their garage doors and what drew them to each of these one-of-a-kind vehicles.
    Meanwhile, the brand new Heritage Speedway will add more than 200 artifacts that walk you through NASCAR's storied past decade by decade. From dirt and asphalt short tracks to superspeedways across the nation, drivers have showcased their talents over the course of seven eras of motorsports. In this exhibit, guests will find iconic moments illustrated through artifacts that capture the personality of the legends who paved the way for today's drivers along with unexpected memorabilia and relics that pay homage to the sport's deep-seated roots. Items range from Bobby Allison's 1988 uniform that he wore at the Daytona 500 when he beat his son Davey to Dale Earnhardt's money bag from his spectacular come-from-behind win in 2000 at the Winston 500 in Talladega.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(6-12-2015)

  • 2016 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Announced: NASCAR announced the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The five-person group - the seventh in NASCAR Hall of Fame history - consists of Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. In addition, NASCAR announced that Harold Brasington won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Next year's Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2016 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton announced the class and Landmark Award winner, respectively, this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Great Hall.
    The Class of 2016 was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, including representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders, a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com and, for the second year, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion (Kevin Harvick). In all, 57 votes were cast, with two additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Jerry Cook and Robert Yates). The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
    Voting was as follows: O. Bruton Smith (68%), Terry Labonte (61%), Curtis Turner (60%), Jerry Cook (47%) and Bobby Isaac (44%).
    The next top vote-getters were Red Byron, Benny Parsons and Rick Hendrick. Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Buddy Baker, Alan Kulwicki, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin and Benny Parsons.
    The five inductees came from a group of 20 nominees that included, in addition to the five inductees chosen: Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin, Hershel McGriff, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Mike Stefanik and Robert Yates.
    Nominees for the Landmark Award included Brasington, H.Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier. It is awarded to competitors or those working in the sport who have acted as a NASCAR ambassador through a professional or non-professional role. Anne B. France won the inaugural award last year.
    Class of 2016 Inductees:
    Jerry Cook made his name in modifieds, winning six NASCAR Modified championships, including four consecutively from 1974-77. All the while, he was vying with another driver from his hometown of Rome, New York, nine-time champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, for supremacy in NASCAR's open-wheel realm. After retiring from racing in 1982, Cook stayed with the sport and helped shape the series known today as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Cook served as the series' director when it began in 1985 and remains with NASCAR as competition administrator.
    Bobby Isaac's uncanny skill at drawing speed from a race car puts him on a short list of NASCAR legends. His 49 career poles ranks 10th all time. Maybe more impressive: Isaac captured 19 poles in 1969, which still stands as the record for poles in a single season. Isaac began racing in NASCAR's premier series in 1961. He finished runner-up in the series standings in 1968 behind NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson. In 1969, he finished sixth in the standings after posting 17 wins and those 19 poles. In 1970, Isaac won the championship posting 11 victories, 32 top fives and 38 top 10s in 47 starts. Isaac won 37 races in NASCAR's top series, ranking 19th on the all-time list.
    Terry Labonte is a two-nickname NASCAR star. Early in his career he was known as the "Iceman" for his coolness under pressure. But his demeanor belied his determination. Later in his career he became known as the sport's "Iron Man" thanks to 665 consecutive starts in NASCAR's premier series, a record which stood until 2002. Winning two premier series championships, in 1984 and '96, is impressive; the 12-year gap distinguishes Labonte further. No other driver has won his first two championships that far apart and Labonte is one of only six drivers with championships in two decades. Labonte's stellar career is tucked between perfect bookends - his two Southern 500 wins, in 1980 and 2003. His 361 top-10 finishes ranks 10th all time.
    O. Bruton Smith, executive chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., promoted his first stock car race in Midland, North Carolina at the age of 18. Smith's early endeavors included operating the National Stock Car Racing Association - seen as an early competitor to NASCAR - and building Charlotte Motor Speedway. CMS became the foundation of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which currently owns eight NASCAR tracks hosting 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and additional high-profile motorsports activities. Smith took SMI public in 1995, the first motorsports company to be traded at the New York Stock Exchange. He was inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame and National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame, both in 2006; and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.
    Curtis Turner, called by some the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing," was among the fastest and most colorful competitors in the early years of NASCAR premier series racing. Turner competed in NASCAR's first "Strictly Stock" race in 1949 in Charlotte and was the only driver to win a NASCAR premier series race in a Nash. He posted his first of 17 career victories in only his fourth start on Sept. 11, 1949, at Langhorne (Pennsylvania) Speedway. Although many of Turner's victories came on short tracks and dirt ovals - much of his career pre-dated NASCAR's superspeedway era - he won the 1956 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and the first American 500 at Rockingham Speedway in 1965. He remains the only series driver to win two consecutive races from the pole leading every lap. He also won 38 of 79 races in which he competed in the NASCAR Convertible Division.
    Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:
    Harold Brasington, a South Carolina businessman, believed in Bill France's fledgling NASCAR business, created the sanctioning body's first superspeedway - a one-of-a-kind egg-shaped oval, paved on an old cotton and peanut field. Expecting 10,000 fans to show up at Darlington Raceway's first competition on Labor Day of 1950, 25,000 spectators showed up for the inaugural Southern 500 - NASCAR's first 500-mile race. Darlington's success inspired Brasington to extend his reach north -- to North Carolina. He employed his track building and promoting expertise, helping in the creation of Charlotte Motor Speedway and building North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, NC.(NASCAR)(5-20-2015)

  • NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Of 2016 To Be Announced: The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 and winner of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR will be announced following a vote by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel on Wednesday, May 20 at 6:00pm/et at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. The five NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees will be selected from the list of 20 nominees: Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Harry Hyde, Bobby Isaac, Alan Kulwicki, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Hershel McGriff, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, O. Bruton Smith, Mike Stefanik, Curtis Turner and Robert Yates.
    The second Landmark Award recipient will be chosen from the list of five nominees: Harold Brasington, H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier. The announcement will air live on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(5-18-2015)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Fan Vote Opens: Fan voting for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 opened March 31st on NASCAR.com and runs through Monday, May 19 at 11:59pm/et. The five nominees receiving the highest percentage of votes will comprise the Fan Vote ballot.
    Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:
    Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Harry Hyde, Bobby Isaac, Alan Kulwicki, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Hershel McGriff, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, O. Bruton Smith, Mike Stefanik, Curtis Turner, Robert Yates. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 will be voted on and announced at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday, May 20.(NASCAR)(4-1-2015)

  • NASCAR Announces Nominees For 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class, Landmark Award: Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners and drivers. Their roles and responsibilities may have differed, but they all have one trait in common - each made an everlasting mark on NASCAR history. On Friday, NASCAR announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2016, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees - legends all - who excelled in various disciplines, at various levels.
    Among them are three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Ray Evernham; 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Harry Hyde; 1992 NASCAR premier series champion Alan Kulwicki; winner of a combined 96 NASCAR national series races, Mark Martin; and 1986 NASCAR west series champion Hershel McGriff. The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee's votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young. From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2016 class will be Wednesday, May 20.
    The five nominees for the Landmark Award are Harold Brasington, H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NASCAR Hall of Fame enshrinement.
    Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:
    Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR's premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
    Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949
    Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
    Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
    Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
    Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
    Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion
    Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion
    Terry Labonte, two-time NASCAR premier series champion
    Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition
    Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion
    Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
    O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
    Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
    Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner
    The five nominees for the Landmark Award are as follows:
    Harold Brasington, founder of Darlington Speedway
    H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
    Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence
    The 22-person Nominating Committee are as follows:
    NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.
    NASCAR Officials: Chairman / CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton; Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar; Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell; Executive Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook (Note: Due to Jerry Cook's inclusion on the ballot for the NHOF Class of 2015, he was recused from voting for the Class of 2016 nominees.)
    Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of directors member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett; Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery; West Coast representative Ken Clapp.
    Media: Mike Joy, FOX.
    (NASCAR Hall of Fame PR)(2-21-2015)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Nominees to be Announced: The 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 and five nominees for the second Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR will be unveiled live on NBCSN's NASCAR America, Friday, Feb. 20 at 6:00pm/et. Five of these nominees and one Landmark Award recipient will be voted in as the NASCAR Hall of Fame's seventh class on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.(NASCAR)(2-19-2015)

  • 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Honors Five Iconic Wheelmen: Five legendary drivers with distinct styles and contributions to NASCAR were enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina tonight during the Induction Ceremony held in the Crown Ball Room at the Charlotte Convention Center. Those who added their names to the list of now 30 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees, included: Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White. The group makes up the Hall's sixth class in its history.
    Bill Elliott - a fan-favorite with a record 16 NASCAR Most Popular Driver Awards - compiled numerous accolades that put him near the top of many all-time NASCAR lists. In his 37-year driving career, "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville" notched 44 wins (16th in NASCAR history) and 55 poles (eighth), but his most prestigious accomplishment came when he won the 1988 premier series championship. Elliott always performed on the biggest of stages, winning the Daytona 500 twice and the Southern 500 three times. "One thing I look at out here today is one common bond with all these racers, it's the hard work and the dedication all these guys had," Elliott said. "I mean, for me to stand up here among the guys that have already been here, it's just totally incredible."
    Fred Lorenzen - one of the first "outsiders" to capture the fancy of NASCAR's early southeastern crowds - was one of the sport's first true superstars, even though he never ran more than 29 of the season's 50-plus races. The Elmhurst, Illinois, native won 26 races from 1961-67, with his best overall season coming in 1963 as he finished with six wins, 21 top fives and 23 top 10s in 29 starts. The victor of the 1965 Daytona 500 and World 600, Lorenzen boasts the fifth-highest career winning percentage (16.86) in NASCAR history. "Dad always said, 'The sky is the limit and don't let anyone tell you otherwise,'" said Lorenzen's son, Chris, who spoke on his behalf. "That has been dad's most important saying in life, and he certainly lived by it. He also believed people made their own luck and that luck just doesn't fall upon people."
    A true trailblazer, Wendell Scott was the first African-American to race fulltime in NASCAR's premier series, as well as the first to win a NASCAR premier series race. Scott posted 147 top 10s in 495 starts, as well as finished four seasons in the top 10 of the championship points standings. He won more than 100 races at local tracks before making his premier series debut, including 22 races at Southside Speedway in Richmond, Virginia, in 1959 en route to capturing both the Sportsman Division and NASCAR Virginia Sportsman championships. "The legacy of Wendell Scott depicts him as one the great vanguards of the sport of NASCAR racing," said the late Scott's son, Franklin, who accepted the induction on his behalf. "Daddy was a man of great honor. He didn't let his circumstances define who he was."
    Joe Weatherly claimed consecutive premier series championships in 1962-63 and won 25 career races before his untimely death in January 1964 at Riverside (Calif.) Raceway. Known as the "Clown Prince of Racing" due to his jovial personality, Weatherly displayed impressive versatility beyond his premier series dominance. A decade earlier in 1952-53, he won 101 races in the NASCAR Modified division, capturing that championship in 1953. He even tried his hand in NASCAR's short-lived Convertible Division from 1956-59, winning 12 times. "He loved his family and he was very generous, but I am sure there are many memories the fans could share as well, maybe ones of the practical jokes he enjoyed playing on fellow drivers," said Joy Barbee, Weatherly's niece. "He definitely had a sense of humor, he loved a good laugh and he loved to have a good time. He always had a big smile on his face; he was a character to be around and definitely lived up to the title given to him - the 'Clown Prince of Racing.'"
    One of the greatest short-track racers ever, consistency was the hallmark of Rex White's NASCAR career. He finished among the top five in nearly half of his 233 races and outside the top 10 only 30 percent of the time. Of his 28 career wins in NASCAR's premier series, only two came on tracks longer than a mile in length. Driving his own equipment, White won six times during his 1960 championship season, posting 35 top 10s in 40 starts. He finished in the top 10 six of his nine years in the series, including a runner-up finish in 1961. "Words can't express how honored I am to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame along with the other Hall of Fame members, especially my 2015 fellow inductees," White said. "No driver wins a championship by himself and nobody enters the Hall of Fame alone. I am the symbol of a team effort."
    Each of the five inductees had an inductor who officially welcomed them into the hall. The inductors for the five inductees: Ray Evernham for Bill Elliott; Amanda Gardstrom (daughter) for Fred Lorenzen; Wendell Scott Jr. for Wendell Scott; Bud Moore for Joe Weatherly; and James Hylton for Rex White.
    Active drivers introduced each inductee during tonight's program: Kasey Kahne for Bill Elliott; Tony Stewart for Fred Lorenzen; Jeff Gordon for Wendell Scott; Brad Keselowski for Joe Weatherly; and Kevin Harvick for Rex White.
    In addition to the five inductees enshrined on Friday night, Anne B. France was awarded the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. France, paired with her husband, NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., created what today is one of the largest and most popular sports in the world. Anne played a huge role in the family business. "Big Bill" organized and promoted races; she took care of the financial end of the business. She first served as secretary and treasurer of NASCAR, and when Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, served in the same roles for the International Speedway Corporation. She also managed the speedway's ticket office. France remained active in family and business life until her passing in 1992.
    Prior to tonight's Induction Ceremony, long-time Charlotte Observer reporter Tom Higgins was awarded the third Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Higgins was the first beat writer to cover every race on the NASCAR schedule, a role he held from 1980 until his retirement in 1997. He started his journalism career in 1957 at the weekly Canton (N.C.) Enterprise where he covered racing for the first time. Higgins joined the sports staff at The Observer in 1964 as an outdoors writer and soon began covering stock car racing as well. He has continued to write motorsports nostalgia columns for the newspaper and its website ThatsRacin.com since his retirement.(NASCAR)(1-30-2015)

  • Anne B. France honored with inaugural Landmark Award: In one of the most emotional moments in Friday night's NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Lesa France Kennedy accepted the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR on behalf of her grandmother, Anne Bledsoe France. Side-by-side with husband Bill France Sr., Anne B. France, affectionately known as "Annie B," played a pivotal role in the founding and growth of NASCAR racing. Where "Big Bill" ran the competition side of the business, Anne B. France handled the business side, keeping the books, managing ticket sales and making sure bills were paid. "My grandfather was a visionary, but my grandmother was the one who kept everything together," Kennedy told the NASCAR Wire Service during a telephone conversation on Thursday. "Without her, NASCAR might not have succeeded the way it did." To Kennedy, there could not have been a more fitting recipient of the first Landmark Award. "I think it's appropriate, in that it's a unique award in the Hall of Fame," she said. "For her to be the first recipient is very special."
    Anne B. France was the first secretary and treasurer of NASCAR, and with the construction of Daytona International Speedway, she filled the same roles with International Speedway Corporation and was active in the business of NASCAR racing until her death in 1992. In accepting the award, Kennedy, the chief executive officer of ISC, revealed to the audience that Anne B. France actually kept two sets of books. "There was the real set of books for the business, and then she had a set of books that she shared with my grandfather, Bill France Sr., just to make sure he didn't spend us out of business," Kennedy said. "I think everybody in this room today should be thankful for that."
    Kennedy had told the NASCAR Wire Service, "I don't know exactly how I'm going to feel until I get up there - it's going to be a very special night." And when she began to describe her grandmother's role in the growth of NASCAR, there was a catch in Kennedy's voice as the emotion of the moment took hold. "I was fortunate enough to know her and to call her 'Grams,'" Kennedy said, "and NASCAR will always remember her as that strong-willed, pioneering woman who helped build the foundation of our sport."(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-30-2015)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame sponsorships fall: A review of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's commitments for sponsorships shows that projected revenue is declining significantly, dropping from $1.5 million in 2012 to $110,000 for the fiscal year starting in July. The loss of sponsorship revenue could further explain why Bank of America and Wells Fargo recently agreed to a deal in which they would forgive $17.6 million in interest and principal from a hall-related loan in exchange for a $5 million payment. The reason: The bank's chances of getting their money back were more grim than the city outlined to City Council. Tom Murray, chief executive of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, said the hall is now focused on selling new sponsorships to help its bottom line. Under the deal reached with the banks, all sponsorship money in the future can go to pay the hall's bills. But he said it will be a challenge. "We don't think we will be selling sponsorships at the $1 million range," CRVA chief executive Tom Murray said in an interview. "The sponsorship world in general is challenging today. (Businesses) are looking for more of a return on their investment." Some of the hall's initial sponsors, such as Belk, Sunoco and M&M, have let sponsorships expire. For the sport overall, Sprint announced last year that it would end its sponsorship of NASCAR's highest racing level in 2016. Two of the biggest hall of fame sponsors were Bank of America and Wells Fargo, who each paid $150,000 last year. Under the deal reached with the city, the two banks will continue to sponsor the hall but won't have to pay.(Charlotte Observer)(1-29-2015)

  • Chiquita closing headquarters at NASCAR Hall of Fame: Chiquita Brands International is closing its Charlotte headquarters barely more than three years after deciding to move here, the company said Wednesday. Chiquita employs about 320 office workers uptown. Chiquita was acquired earlier this month for about $681 million by two Brazilian companies, who took the banana-and-salads firm private after a bruising takeover fight. The move out of Charlotte will help streamline Chiquita's business and move its employees closer to suppliers and customers, Chiquita said in its message to employees. The company was lured to Charlotte from Cincinnati in 2011 with the promise of $22 million worth of state and local incentives. Chiquita moved into the NASCAR Plaza office tower, putting its iconic blue and yellow logo atop the building. The company has agreed to refund the city and county $1 million worth of the incentives money.(Charlotte Observer)(1-15-2015)

  • NASCAR adds new members to Hall of Fame voting panel: NASCAR announced several revisions to the NASCAR Hall of Fame (NHOF) Voting Panel. The 58-member panel will vote for the NHOF Class of 2016 on Wednesday, May 20 in Charlotte, North Carolina, to be announced that afternoon in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Great Hall. For the first time, new NASCAR broadcast partner NBC will be represented on the Voting Panel. Below are the eight new members of the NHOF Voting Panel.
    " Ron Bennett, Holland (New York) Motorsports Complex
    " Jeff Burton, NBC Sports Network
    " Steve Byrnes, FOX Sports 1
    " Brent Dewar, NASCAR
    " Eli Gold, Motor Racing Network
    " Kevin Harvick, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
    " Marty Smith, ESPN
    " Jim Utter, Charlotte Observer
    "These eight new voters collectively hold a vast array of NASCAR knowledge from all disciplines of the industry," said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR senior vice president and chief communications officer. "Each new member brings a unique background and passion for the history of NASCAR and will contribute greatly to the Hall of Fame voting process." The 22-member Nominating Committee -- which includes the additions of Bennett and Dewar -- will meet on Friday, Feb. 20 in Daytona Beach, Florida, to discuss, debate, and vote for the 20 NHOF Class of 2016 nominees and five nominees for the second Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. The results will be announced that afternoon at Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Dr. Jerry Punch will move to the voting panel for the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. The fifth recipient of the award will be announced during the July race weekend at Daytona. The NHOF Class of 2015, which includes Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White, will be officially inducted on Friday, Jan. 30 at 8:00pm/et live on NBC Sports Network.(NASCAR)(1-14-2015)

  • Charlotte city council approves changes to NASCAR Hall of Fame loans NASCAR Hall of Fame loan debt forgiveness was discussed Monday night by the Charlotte City Council. The issue was whether to approve an agreement with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and NASCAR to forgive more than $22 million in debt from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Under the agreement, the city will pay the two banks $5 million. In exchange, the banks will write off $14.1 million in principal and $3.5 million in accrued interest. In addition, NASCAR will waive $3.2 million in royalties that it's owed since the hall opened in 2010. The hall hasn't been able to pay those royalties because the hall has lost more than $1 million a year each year. In the future, NASCAR agreed to reduce the amount of royalties it's owed from as much as 10 percent on hall sales to 3 percent. The city doesn't have to pay royalties until the hall makes $10 million in annual revenue, which hasn't yet happened. The City Council voted 10-1 to approve the deal. Republican Kenny Smith voted no. After the vote, Smith said the primary benefit to the city was to "end operational discussions" about losses at the hall. Other council members defended the terms of the deal, saying the city, the banks and NASCAR all shared in the pain.(Charlotte Observer)(1-13-2015)

  • Fan Appreciation Day Returns to the NASCAR Hall Of Fame: For the second straight year, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will open its doors for free for NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day. On Saturday, Jan. 31, fans will have free access to the Hall for a full day of activities, including autographs and Q&A sessions with current drivers and NASCAR Hall of Famers. Fans will be admitted into the Hall on a first-come, first-served basis in lieu of needing a ticket. However, tickets to the autograph sessions, highlighted by 12-time Sprint NMPA Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott, must be secured in advance. Vouchers for autograph sessions will be available for free on NASCARHall.com starting at 10:00am/et on Saturday, Jan. 17. Each fan can secure up to two autograph session vouchers. In addition, up-and-coming stars of the NASCAR NEXT program and NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 inductees Bill Elliott and Rex White will participate in Q&A's and autographs throughout the day. Advance vouchers are not required for these sessions. Fans in attendance will be among the first to see a series of new exhibits and facility upgrades. Artifacts from all five Class of 2015 inductees will be on display in the Hall of Honor, an exhibit that opens Friday, Jan. 30. Fans can also relive the 2014 NASCAR season with updated Memorable Moments and Champions displays.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(1-13-2015)

  • Induction Ceremony and TV: the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Charlotte, NC is scheduled for Friday, January 30, 2015 and to be broadcast live at 8:00pm/et on NBC Sports Network, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

  • Charlotte City Council to hear proposed changes to NASCAR HOF loan UPDATE: Efforts to persuade two banks to forgive a $19.1 million loan to the city of Charlotte that helped build the NASCAR Hall of Fame appear to have made progress, with City Council members set to hear about "proposed amendments" on Monday to that agreement. On Friday, Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble wouldn't talk about the proposed amendment or the negotiations, saying council members needed to be updated first on the so-called sponsorship loan and another agreement concerning NASCAR royalties. But an agenda item that Kimble wrote for Monday's meeting suggests that some agreement has been reached, with council members hearing the proposed changes. They won't take action until their Jan. 12 meeting. In November, the Observer reported that the city and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which manages the racing museum, had begun negotiations with Wells Fargo and Bank of America to forgive the loan. Growing to $21 million with interest, it was supposed to be repaid from the sale of sponsorships and commemorative bricks. Yet money from those two sources hasn't come close to paying off the loan. When the hall opened in 2010, NASCAR was supposed to get royalties on such items as tickets, T-shirts, and food and drinks - but only if the museum was making money. The facility has lost money, according to the CRVA. It lost $1.4 million for the fiscal year that ended in June, and $1.6 million the previous fiscal year. But CRVA leaders are hopeful that the hall's finances are stabilizing with attendance essentially leveling off. Still, no royalties to NASCAR have been paid.(full story at the Charlotte Observer)(1-4-2015)
    UPDATE: The city of Charlotte has proposed making a one-time payment of $5 million to Bank of America and Wells Fargo on a construction loan for the NASCAR Hall of Fame - but the banks would be required to write off the rest of a $19.1 million loan. In addition, NASCAR has agreed as part of the plan to waive $3.2 million in past royalties it was supposed to receive from the racing museum. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which operates the city-owned hall, hasn't been able to pay NASCAR any royalties on ticket sales, merchandise, and food and beverages because the hall has been losing more than $1 million a year since it opened in 2010. The proposal is part of a city plan to get out of about $22.8 million of NASCAR hall obligations. If the deal is approved, the hall would also be given a break from future payments owed to NASCAR. The City Council, which heard the proposal Monday, will vote on the loan modifications next week. But even if the agreement is approved, the hall is still estimated to lose between $200,000 and $500,000 a year in the future. The hall was supposed to attract 400,000 visitors a year. Last year, it attracted 170,000 people. CRVA chief executive Tom Murray said he's confident that annual financial losses can be eliminated eventually. The $5 million payment to the banks would come from the city's hospitality taxes, which are levied on hotels and motels, as well as restaurant and bar tabs. Under the original agreement, NASCAR was supposed to receive as much as 10% from hall revenues. Because the hall wasn't making money, those payments haven't been made. In addition to wiping out past royalty payments, NASCAR agreed that its future royalty payments would be cut to 3% of revenues. But those royalties are only paid on hall revenues over $10 million.(Charlotte Observer)(1-6-2015)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame 'stabilizes,' loses $1.4 million: Losses at the NASCAR Hall of Fame declined 14% over the past year but still totaled more than $1 million, according to newly released financial reports from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. The $195 million publicly funded hall of fame finished with a deficit of $1.4 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, compared with $1.6 million in 2013. The hall of fame opened in May 2010 and has lost money from the start. Attendance never reached the projections made before the stock-car racing museum opened and has failed several times since to reach revised targets. Tom Murray, visitors authority CEO, and Winston Kelley, executive director of the hall of fame, said in an interview Wednesday they are pleased with the progress of the NASCAR hall. Attendance, they said, has stabilized. Between July 2013 and June 2014, a total of 169,724 people visited the hall of fame, the visitors authority said. Those figures are for paid admissions only. The previous year, 178,838 people visited, but the difference of 7,100 is attributed to private events staged during the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which was included in fiscal 2013 (July 2012-June 2013).
    Murray said talks are underway to revamp terms with the banks and NASCAR. "With our partners, we've had ongoing conversations. We don't have any results with that, but they've been very amicable. There will be a future change in our structure of that some day." Reworking the loans and the deferred royalties is a priority, but Murray said there is no deadline for negotiating revised agreements. Both executives touted the changes to how the hall of fame is run internally as well as private rentals and other events for broadening the NASCAR museum as more than just a tourist attraction. Almost every convention hosts a party or reception at the hall of fame, Murray said.(Charlotte Business Journal)
    AND Faced with continuing financial losses at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the city of Charlotte has begun negotiating with Wells Fargo and Bank of America about forgiving a $19 million loan used to build the racing museum. The loan - which has grown to $21 million with interest - was supposed to be paid from the sale of sponsorships and commemorative brick sales, but revenue from those two sources has fallen far short of what's needed. In addition, the hall is struggling to meet other obligations, including royalties owed to NASCAR on the sale of tickets, merchandise and food and beverages. The hall is also repaying the city for its share of a $32 million loan that was added to the hall in the midst of construction in 2008.(Charlotte Observer)(11-8-2014)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Tickets on Sale Tuesday: Tickets for the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be available to the public beginning Tuesday, Oct. 7. Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White will be honored during this year's ceremony set for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Ticket prices range from $45 for Induction Ceremony General Seats to $350 for an Exclusive Driver Dinner Package. Following the ceremony, a special NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day will take place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday, Jan. 31. More details on driver appearances, activities and programming for this day will be provided in the coming weeks. Individual ticket and ticket packages will be available beginning Oct. 7 at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. For more information, visit www.nascarhall.com.(10-6-2014)

  • Hall of Fame attendance declines: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame dipped slightly in the past year to 169,724, down from 176,838 visitors in the previous year. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said the decline was due to the previous year's attendance being inflated by larger-than-normal crowds for the Democratic National Convention two years ago. The tourism authority, which manages the taxpayer-funded hall, said the DNC attracted about 7,100 visitors in September 2012, which is the same level of decline in attendance from 2012-2013 to 2013-2014. Attractions like the hall often see declines in attendance in their first three years, as the newness of a museum or exhibit wears off. The CRVA said it believes the hall's attendance has stabilized. The hall, which opened in May 2010, was projected to attract about 400,000 visitors a year. It drew 272,000 visitors in its first year. The CRVA has not yet released a financial statement for the hall's most recent fiscal year, which ended in June. The hall has lost money in each of its first three years. Operating deficits are covered by hospitality taxes, such as a hotel/motel room tax, that fund the CRVA. The CRVA said the 2013-2014 audit will be released next month.(Charlotts Observer)(9-18-2014)

  • "American Restoration" Features NASCAR Hall of Fame: A new episode of "American Restoration" titled "Dales of Thunder" is scheduled to air on the HISTORY Channel. The episode features the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte Motor Speedway and numerous NASCAR industry executives and drivers including NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley, Charlotte Motor Speedway President Marcus Smith and NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Danica Patrick and Kyle Larson. In the episode, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and Charlotte Motor Speedway's Marcus Smith commissioned "American Restoration" host Rick Dale to design a trophy inspired by NASCAR's history and heritage for the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series HISTORY 300 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Rick met up with Winston Kelley and NASCAR driver Greg Biffle at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for inspiration on the trophy design. The initial showing of the episode garnered 1.8 million viewers. The episode is scheduled to air on the HISTORY Channel on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 2:00pm/et.(NHOF)(9-9-2014)

  • Rockin' & Racin' Exhibit Brings Good Vibrations to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: Visitors to the NASCAR Hall of Fame are invited to join a jam session like no other at the new Rockin' & Racin' exhibit, opening to the public on Tuesday, June 24. Located in the Great Hall, the electrifying exhibit explores the good vibrations that have complemented NASCAR over the last five decades. From rock stars to country crooners to rappers, the sport has welcomed all genres of music to rally around the action on the track. Musical roots run deep in the sport. From musicians who have used NASCAR sponsorships to promote their records to artists such as Blake Sheton and Kid Rock performing at NASCAR events to NASCAR's influence on chart-topping hits, the worlds of NASCAR and music have formed a special bond over the years. And NASCAR's biggest stars have even found their way into the music scene as performers, music video stars, or by collecting music-themed trophies and memorabilia.
    "Rockin' & Racin' allows us to share our sport's history through a unique lens that's appealing to both NASCAR fans and music lovers," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "It highlights the deep connection between the two industries and how they have profoundly influenced each other over the years in ways that many may not realize."
    The exhibit explores four primary areas of interest including "Racers Who Rock," "Rockers Who Race," "Rocking the Track" and "NASCAR in Song." Carefully curated with the help of music industry influencers like Scott Borchetta and Mike Curb as well as music artist Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down among others, the exhibit features more than 40 artifacts that truly rock. Among them are trophies, guitars, records, driver uniforms, helmets and more as well as seven music-related vehicles, the largest number ever on display in the Great Hall, which include the following:
    1936 moonshine-hauling Ford Sedan from Brantley Gilbert's "Bottom's Up" video
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette featured in Brad Paisley's "Old Alabama" music video
    1964 Late Model Plymouth race car driven by country music star Marty Robbins
    1980 Dale Earnhardt #2 Chevrolet sponsored by record executive Mike Curb
    2005 NASCAR Weekly Super Truck driven by record executive Scott Borchetta
    2011 Camaro featured in Rascal Flatts' "Red Camaro" music video
    2012 Juan Pablo Montoya #42 Chevrolet sponsored by Taylor Swift
    In addition, the exhibit features a digital jukebox with NASCAR-themed music and other unique artifacts like Ron Hornaday Jr.'s KISS-themed driver uniform, Rusty Wallace's Goo Goo Dolls helmet, trophies adorned with Elvis, and Sam Bass-designed trophy guitars. The Rockin' & Racin' exhibit will be on display through the end of the year. For more details, visit nascarhall.com.(NHOF)(6-23-2014)

  • Hall of Famers visit CMS before race: NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rex White and the family of inductee Wendell Scott were in the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center Sunday reflecting on the honor. The Scott family was represented by his three of his seven children, Sybil, Franklin and Wendell Jr. "There was this feeling in my heart that I can't describe," said Wendell Scott Jr. of hearing his father's name called. "This excited me tremendously and has yet to subside. You have so many mixed emotions. There were so many people we raced with. I started remembering laps, races and making strategy for dad. We would try and get a position just for ten extra dollars because it meant shoes for one of the girls or extra money for mom. All of that just imploded in my mind. And all of them were happy moments. It's all about dad and mom. It's just bigger than life." Scott was a gifted mechanic with no formal education who honed his skills driving through the mountains of his hometown of Danville, Virginia. Scott ran several years in the old sportsman circuit before making the move to the Sprint Cup Series. His only Sprint Cup win came in 1963 at Jacksonville, Florida, during a short-track race.
    Rex White is NASCAR's oldest living champion, winning the Sprint Cup Series Championship in 1960. He was also a participant in the first annual Coca-Cola 600 held that same year. "I had no idea I would go in this year," said White. "I was so surprised. It is just so great to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame; it's a big honor for me to be even thought about to go in." After surviving a bout with polio as a child, White said he was attracted to racing thanks to a poster hanging in the gas station where he worked. "I looked at that poster for about a month before I got enough money to go to a race," White said. "And the first stock car that I ever saw go around a race track, I knew that's what I wanted to do. I set out to get in the pits and learn more about them. I met Frankie Schneider (former driver) and I started helping him. And that kicked my racing career off."(CMS Pit Notes)(5-27-2014)

  • 2015 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Announced: NASCAR announced the inductees who will comprise the 2015 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person group - the sixth in NASCAR Hall of Fame history - consists of Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White. In addition, NASCAR announced that Anne B. France won the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Next year's Induction Day is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, broadcast on NBC Sports Network from Charlotte, NC. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte to vote on both the induction class of 2015 and the Landmark Award. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France made the announcements this afternoon in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's "Great Hall."
    Next year's class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which for the first time included the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion - in this case, Jimmie Johnson. The panel also included representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders and a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com - which counted for the 54th and final vote. In all, 54 votes were cast, with two additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Jerry Cook and Robert Yates). The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
    Voting for next year's class was as follows: Bill Elliott (87%), Wendell Scott (58%), Joe Weatherly (53%), Rex White (43%) and Fred Lorenzen (30%). The next top vote-getters were Jerry Cook, Robert Yates and Benny Parsons.
    Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in order of votes received, were Wendell Scott, Bill Elliott, Benny Parsons, Rex White and Terry Labonte.(NASCAR)(5-21-2014)

  • Class of 2015 Inductees:
    Bill Elliott In a 37-year driving career, Bill Elliott compiled a list of accolades that put him near the top of a number of NASCAR's all-time lists. His 44 wins rank 16th all-time and his 55 poles rank eighth. But his most prestigious accomplishment came in 1988 when he won the NASCAR premier series championship with six wins, 15 top fives and 22 top 10s in 29 races. In addition, he won a record 16 Most Popular Driver Awards, in part because of his excellence on the big stage; he won the Daytona 500 twice and the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway three times.
    Fred Lorenzen Fred Lorenzen was one of NASCAR's first true superstars even though he was a "part-time" driver, never running more than 29 of the season's 50-plus races. Lorenzen got his start in NASCAR as a mechanic with the famed Holman-Moody team in 1960, but was elevated to lead driver by the end of the year. Lorenzen won three races in only 15 starts the following season. Lorenzen's best overall season came in 1963 as he finished with six wins, 21 top fives and 23 top 10s in 29 starts. Despite missing 26 races that season, he finished third in the standings. In 1965, he won two of NASCAR's major events - the Daytona 500 and the World 600.
    Wendell Scott One of NASCAR's true trailblazers, Wendell Scott was the first African-American to race fulltime in NASCAR's premier series, as well as the first to win a NASCAR premier series race. Scott posted a remarkable 147 top 10s and 495 starts during his 13-year premier series career. He won more than 100 races at local tracks before making his premier series debut, including 22 races at Southside Speedway in Richmond, Virginia, in 1959 en route to capturing both the Sportsman Division and NASCAR Virginia Sportsman championships. Part of Scott's NASCAR legacy extends to present day with NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, the leading youth development initiative for multicultural and female drivers across the motorsport industry since 2004.
    Joe Weatherly Joe Weatherly won two championships (1962-63) and 25 races in NASCAR's premier series. But that's only part of his story, which is long on versatility. A decade earlier in 1952-53, he won 101 races in the NASCAR Modified division, capturing that championship in 1953. He even tried his hand in NASCAR's short-lived Convertible Division from 1956-59 winning 12 times. When he won his first NASCAR premier series championship, in 1962, he drove for legendary owner Bud Moore. When he repeated as champion a year later, he drove for nine different teams.
    Rex White Consistency was the hallmark of Rex White's NASCAR career. He finished among the top five in nearly a half of his 233 races and outside the top 10 only 30 percent of the time. White was a short-track specialist in an era in which those tracks dominated the schedule. Of his 28 career wins in NASCAR's premier series, only two came on tracks longer than a mile in length. Driving his own equipment, White won six times during his 1960 championship season, posting 35 top 10s in 40 starts. He finished in the top 10 six of his nine years in the series including a runner-up finish in 1961.
    Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:
    Anne Bledsoe France Anne Bledsoe France, paired with her husband, NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., would create what today is one of the largest and most popular sports in the world. Anne played a huge role in the family business. "Big Bill" organized and promoted races; she took care of the financial end of the business. She first served as secretary and treasurer of NASCAR, and when Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, served in the same roles for the International Speedway Corporation. She also managed the speedway's ticket office. France remained active in family and business life until her passing in 1992.(NASCAR)(5-21-2014)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame to unveil sixth class of inductees on Wednesday: The NASCAR Hall of Fame will unveil its sixth class of inductees on Wednesday afternoon. Five inductees to the 2015 class will be announced at 4:00pm/et by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in the "Great Hall" area of the hall of fame in downtown Charlotte. Also announced will be the inaugural winner of the hall's Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.
    The five new inductees will be chosen from a list of 20 nominees, via a meeting Wednesday morning of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel. The panel's make-up:
    ˇ 22 members of the hall's Nominating Committee;
    ˇ 33 others, a group consisting of former drivers, former owners, former crew chiefs, manufacturer representatives, media members and community leaders;
    ˇ One ballot representing the results of a nationwide on-line fan vote on NASCAR.com (closed);
    ˇ And, for the first time, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion, in this case Jimmie Johnson;
    NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 nominees
    ˇ Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR's premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
    ˇ Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949
    ˇ Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    ˇ Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
    ˇ Bill Elliott, 1988 premier series champion, two-time Daytona 500 winner and 16-time Most Popular Driver
    ˇ Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and car owner
    ˇ Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    ˇ Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion
    ˇ Terry Labonte, Two-time NASCAR premier series champion
    ˇ Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins including the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600
    ˇ Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    ˇ Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion
    ˇ Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion
    ˇ Wendell Scott, first African-American NASCAR premier series race winner
    ˇ O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
    ˇ Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
    ˇ Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    ˇ Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier series champion
    ˇ Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier series champion
    ˇ Robert Yates, NASCAR premier series champion as engine builder and car owner
    Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR nominees
    ˇ H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
    ˇ Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    ˇ Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    ˇ Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
    ˇ Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence (NASCAR Wire Service)(5-20-2014)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Included in New Racing Insiders Tour: The new Racing Insiders Tour is an all-access, in-depth tour that includes stops at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, area race shops and racing attractions in the region. The behind-the-scenes tour is an unforgettable opportunity for race fans and non-fans alike to explore NASCAR's deep roots in Charlotte. The full-day tour begins at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where participants learn about the legends and legacies of NASCAR and enjoy lunch from the Pit Stop Café. Participants then load a private motorcoach to visit various race shops and local racing attractions. Fans have the option to choose one of two Racing Insiders Tour itineraries-the Tour 77 Itinerary or the Tour 85 Itinerary. The Tour 77 Itinerary takes participants to race shops located along Interstate 77 such as Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing, while the Tour 85 Itinerary includes locations such as Stewart-Haas Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Hendrick Motorsports located near Interstate 85. Exact tour sites and itineraries are subject to change. The Racing Insiders tour costs $90 for adults, $80 for children (ages 5-12) and $70 for NASCAR Hall of Fame members (all prices are subject to applicable taxes and service fees). This all inclusive package covers admission costs to the participating locations. Racing Insider Tour tickets can be purchased by calling (704) 654-4400 or online at racinginsiderstour.com. Participants that purchase tickets in advance receive free parking in the NASCAR Hall of Fame parking garage.(HOF)(4-10-2014)

  • Fan Appreciation Day at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame on Feb 1: For the first time since its 2010 opening, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will offer fans unlimited access to the attraction ... FREE OF CHARGE. On Saturday, Feb. 1, fans will be admitted into the Hall for free as part of NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day - a full day of special activities that includes autograph and Q&A sessions with current drivers and NASCAR Hall of Famers.
    "Our sport is unique in many ways, starting with our fans - the most loyal fans in all of sports," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "Any successes we have start with our fans, which is why we always look for opportunities to 'give back.'
    "NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day is one of those opportunities, with the added benefit of building excitement for the upcoming Daytona 500 thanks to the combination of current and past NASCAR stars coming together."
    Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and Greg Biffle headline a group of more than 20 NASCAR national series drivers scheduled to interact with fans during this first-of-its-kind event in Uptown Charlotte, N.C. Several NASCAR Hall of Famers, including Class of 2014 inductees Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett and Maurice Petty, will also be on hand.
    Fans will have free access to the Hall on a first-come, first-served basis in lieu of needing a ticket. However, fans need to secure free tickets for the driver autograph sessions in advance at nascarhall.com, where they can also find schedules and details about NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day.
    Several new exhibits will be on display, including a revamped Glory Road; newly rewrapped Gen-6 racing simulators; a Champions exhibit honoring Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon and Matt Crafton; and a Memorable Moments exhibit highlighting recent significant NASCAR milestones. In addition, fans will be among the first to see the new Hall of Honor exhibit featuring artifacts from the Class of 2014, which will open Thursday, Jan. 30.
    Immediately following NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will close for a special Junior Johnson Midnight Moon Sign & Shine. The event will feature a private Q&A and autograph session with Junior Johnson and other NASCAR Hall of Famers, and a free tasting at the Midnight Moon moonshine bar. Fans purchasing NASCAR Hall of Fame memberships at NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day will have access to the event.
    Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at nascarhall.com. Admission is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Memberships are available starting at $125. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is open daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. For more details, visit nascarhall.com. Up-to-the-minute updates are available at facebook.com/nascarhall or by following @NASCARHall on Twitter.(NHOF)(1-14-2014)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Unveils 18 New Historic Cars on Glory Road: After nine exclusive stock car sneak peeks over the past two months, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is unveiling a complete makeover of one of its signature exhibits, Glory Road, on Jan. 11. Encircling the Great Hall, Glory Road has served as one of the Hall's most prominent focal points since opening in 2010, featuring 18 historic stock cars from the first 60 years of NASCAR. Speedways from across the country are illustrated here as well, where guests can touch the texture of various tracks and feel the intense banking that drivers face week-to-week. In preparation, the Hall has closed its doors from Jan. 6-10 for installation of the exhibit. The changeover requires extensive cranes and rigging equipment to mount the cars on the surface of Glory Road, which gradually builds to the extreme 33-degree banking found at Talladega Superspeedway. Also coming to the Hall this January, the layout of the Race Week exhibit, which features the Kobalt Tools Pit Crew Challenge and newly wrapped Gen-6 racing simulators, has been revamped for eased navigation for visitors. Portions have also been modernized to reflect the technological evolution of NASCAR. A new Champions exhibit in Race Week will highlight 2013 season titleholders for NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon and Matt Crafton. An updated Kobalt Tools Kid Zone also offers new interactive features including a kid-friendly Pit Crew Challenge specially constructed for pint-size NASCAR fans.
    Downstairs in the High Octane Theater Lobby, a new Memorable Moments exhibit will showcase recent significant milestones in history from the 2013 NASCAR season. The exhibit will be updated often to highlight history in the making in NASCAR.
    The complete lineup of the new cars installed on Glory Road include the following:
    1. Generation 1 Marshall Teague's 1952 Hudson Hornet (revealed Dec. 26)
    2. Generation 1 Buck Baker's 1957 Chevrolet 150 "Black Widow" (revealed Oct. 12)
    3. Generation 1 Wood Brothers' 1961 Ford Starliner
    4. Generation 1 Fred Lorenzen's 1966 Ford Galaxie "Banana Car" (revealed Dec. 17)
    5. Generation 2 Ned Jarrett's 1966 Ford Fairlane (revealed Nov. 17)
    6. Generation 2 David Pearson's 1969 Ford Torino Cobra Talladega
    7. Generation 2 Bobby Allison's 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle (revealed Dec. 7)
    8. Generation 2 Cale Yarborough's 1976 Chevrolet Laguna S-3
    9. Generation 2 Richard Petty's 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    10. Generation 3 Darrell Waltrip's 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Aerocoupe
    11. Generation 3 Dale Earnhardt's 1990 Chevrolet Lumina
    12. Generation 4 Jeff Gordon's 1994 Chevrolet Lumina (revealed Nov. 5)
    13. Generation 4 Rusty Wallace's 2000 Ford Taurus (revealed Dec. 10)
    14. Generation 4 Bill Elliott's 2001 Dodge Intrepid R/T
    15. Generation 4 Jimmie Johnson's 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS (revealed Nov. 29)
    16. Generation 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 2008 Chevrolet Impala SS
    17. Generation 5 Tony Stewart's 2011 Chevrolet Impala (revealed Nov. 12)
    18. Generation 6 Matt Kenseth's 2013 Toyota Camry
    More detail on each car can be found at nascarhall.com/explore/glory-road. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at nascarhall.com.(NHOF)(1-9-2014)

  • DIY Network's Yard Crashers Casting Call at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Jan. 5: Homeowners and NASCAR fans living in the Charlotte area are invited to the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Sunday, Jan. 5 from 10:00am to 2:00 pm for the chance to receive a racing-themed backyard makeover and appear in an upcoming episode of Yard Crashers that will be filmed at a later date in early 2014. The DIY Network is partnering with Great Clips to look for one lucky homeowner to dig up, demolish and transform their backyard into a racing fan's dream space. Matt Blashaw, licensed landscape contractor and host of DIY Network's Yard Crashers, will be on site to meet and greet with fans and choose a family/yard for the racing-themed episode. To participate, homeowners must bring a picture of their current backyard and be ready to convince Matt Blashaw and the Yard Crashers crew why they are the worthy fan that should receive a free yard makeover racing style. There is no charge to participate in the casting call. Parking is available in the NASCAR Hall of Fame parking garage on Brevard Street. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at nascarhall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(1-4-2013)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame adds Teague's 1952 Hudson Hornet: As part of the revamped Glory Road set to debut Saturday, Jan. 11, the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced the final exclusive sneak peek of the cars included in the exhibit. Marshall Teague's 1952 #6 Hudson Hornet will join the 18 historic cars that will comprise the exhibit. The reveal took place online on the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages on Dec. 26. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will be closed from Jan. 6-10 to prepare for the special exhibit reveal and additional venue enhancements.
    Marshall Teague built and drove the 1952 #6 Hudson Hornet sponsored by Hudson Motor Company, the first manufacturer in NASCAR history to support a race team. Teague's 1951 victory at Daytona Beach drew the attention of Hudson Motor Company leading to a sponsorship and allowing Teague to sign a second driver to his team - 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Herb Thomas. Teague went on to win at Daytona Beach in 1952, marking the first back-to-back win on the beach-road course. Teague and Thomas won 10 races throughout the season, and Thomas finished second in points to champion Tim Flock. The Hudson Hornet's "step-down" frame design gave the car a low center of gravity greatly increasing its handling capabilities. Its "Twin H Power" carburetion system used two carburetors to power its potent six-cylinder flathead engine. The Hudson Hornet brand dominated NASCAR racing in the early 1950s with various drivers capturing 80 wins from 1951 through early 1955 and winning three consecutive championships in 1951, 1952 and 1953.(NASCAR Hall of Fame PR)(12-27-2013)

  • NASCAR Announces Modifications To NASCAR Hall Of Fame Eligibility And Selection Process: NASCAR announced a number of changes to the selection process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame (NHOF), including a modification to driver eligibility parameters and the creation of a new award to honor significant contributions to the growth and success of the sport. In all, six changes and updates will be made starting with the selection of the Class of 2015 - all designed to improve upon an already strong process that has led to the selection of 25 deserving inductees. Following is a summary of changes:
    Driver Eligibility: Currently, drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for three years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. That will not change. Moving forward, however, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF. Also, any competitor who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age. Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.
    Nominating Committee Will Select Five Fewer Nominees for Enshrinement: Throughout its history, the NHOF Nominating Committee has selected 25 nominees each year to be discussed and voted on for NHOF enshrinement. That number will be reduced to 20 starting with the selection process for the 2015 class.
    Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:
    Beginning with the 2015 class, a new award - Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR - will be initiated to honor significant contributions to the growth and esteem of NASCAR. Potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners will remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement. Five nominees will be selected by the NHOF Nominating Committee and then be voted on by the Voting Panel. To win the award, an individual must appear on at least 60 percent of the ballots and no more than one award will be presented annually. Voting for this award will occur immediately following the voting for the NHOF class and be monitored by the same independent accounting firm that oversees NHOF voting.
    Nominating Committee to Meet, Vote on 20 NHOF Nominees / Five Landmark Award Nominees: For the first time, the Nominating Committee will meet in person to discuss, debate and vote to create two ballots - the NHOF ballot and the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR ballot. Previously, the committee submitted nominees via mail to an independent accounting firm that tallies the nominations in order to create the final NHOF ballot. The Nominating Committee will meet during Speedweeks at Daytona on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, and the nominees for both ballots will be announced later that day.
    Nominees To Be Recused From the Nominating / Voting Process: Any member of the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel who appeared on the previous year's ballot or current year's ballot will now be recused from participating in the nominating and / or voting process for as long as he / she appears on the ballot. If an individual who is currently on the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel is inducted, or is no longer included on a final ballot, he or she is immediately reinstated to active participation on the panel(s).
    Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Added To Voting Panel: As was already announced on Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the annual NASCAR Championship Contenders Press Conference, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be added to the following year's voting panel. That means Jimmie Johnson, who captured his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, will be included in the selection meeting and can cast a vote for the NHOF Class of 2015 on Voting Day, Wednesday, May 21, 2014.(NASCAR)(12-5-2013)

  • NASCAR to change Hall of Fame selection process and eligibility; Cup champ to get a vote: before the 2013 NASCAR Championship Contenders Press Conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Thursday, NASCAR's Brett Jewkes made a special announcement:
    BRETT JEWKES: "At Champions Week in Las Vegas, NASCAR will announce a number of different significant changes to the Hall of Fame selection process and eligibility. There is one we want to announce today because it's relevant to the proceedings that we'll have on Sunday afternoon. As we meet to select the 2015 Hall of Fame class this May, NASCAR will become the first major sport to include a current competitor on the voting panel. Moving forward, the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion will have a vote for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. One of these gentlemen [Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick] will be invited into that closed-door meeting and cast one of those precious votes to seat the 2015 class.(NASCAR)(11-14-2013)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Offers Full-Throttle Fun During Charlotte Race Weekend: To enhance the race experience for fans in Charlotte, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will offer a legendary lineup of full-throttle fun throughout race weekend including extended hours at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Oct. 11-13. Fans and visitors can experience the 150,000-square-foot interactive, entertainment attraction during special operating hours on Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday Oct. 12 from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm and on Sunday, Oct. 13 from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm. Before the green flag drops at the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 12, fans can get closer than ever to their favorite drivers at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Pit Party on Pit Road from 2-5:30 p.m. Emceed by Paul Schadt of 96.9 The Kat, the Pit Party will feature appearances by NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski. The Pit Party is open to all fans with a pit pass or driver intro pass. On Sunday, Oct. 13, fans can lace up their running shoes and do a little racing of their own at the Fourth Annual Kasey Kahne Foundation "Five Kahne" 5K and Kids Dash. Also this weekend, NASCAR Hall of Fame members will get a sneak peek at 1 of 18 new cars to be installed on Glory Road in January. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at nascarhall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(10-11-2013)

  • 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Tickets Now On Sale: Make plans to be in Charlotte for the fifth Annual NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty and Fireball Roberts will be honored during this year's ceremony set for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. For more info and tickets go to nascarhall.com.(10-9-2013)

  • NASCAR hall loses $1.6M, execs see hope for future: The NASCAR Hall of Fame lost $1.6 million during the fiscal year ended June 30, results disclosed in newly released annual financial figures compiled by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. The $200 million auto racing museum, which opened in May 2010, has run deficits since its inception. Tom Murray, the visitors authority CEO, told me in an interview at his office Wednesday, "The ultimate goal for us is to make money" at the hall of fame. A pre-audit report provided by the visitors authority showed the deficit for fiscal 2012 was $835,281. The numbers were calculated differently, so making a direct comparison and saying the deficit doubled is difficult. The 2012 figure excludes money for improvements to the exhibits allocated after construction had started; for the fiscal 2013 statement, that expense totals $900,000. A CRVA spokesperson said the comparable deficit for 2012 was $1.8 million. Despite the deficits in fiscal 2013, Murray said the results beat projections by $600,000. If you're confused, the simple math works this way: the NASCAR Hall of Fame is still losing a lot of money and the visitors authority is revamping sales and advertising tactics to turn things around.(see full story at the Charlotte Business Journal)(8-22-2013)

  • Hall of Fame Attendance Down Again: The NASCAR Hall of Fame's attendance in its third year was 176,838, a 10% decrease compared with the year before, according to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which manages the racing museum. The CRVA hasn't finished a detailed financial analysis of the hall, so it's unknown how it fared financially. It lost money in its first two years of operations. The attendance numbers cover the fiscal year that ended June 30. In the hall's first year, it attracted 272,000 fans. Second year attendance was 197,410. The decrease isn't a surprise, as museums and attractions often see attendance declines after opening. Attendance often stabilizes in the fourth year of operation. Improving the hall's financial performance is more important than ever for the CRVA, whose funds have been depleted to help the Carolina Panthers. The City Council this year voted to give the Panthers $87.5 million for stadium renovations in exchange for a six-year "hard tether" to keep the team in Charlotte. The money for the Panthers came from the city and the CRVA's Convention Center fund, which comes from a 3% hotel/motel tax and a 1 percent tax on prepared food and beverages in Mecklenburg County. With a significant part of the CRVA's future revenues going to the Panthers, the CRVA has less financial breathing room to pay for Hall of Fame operating losses.(Charlotte Observer)(7-13-2013)

  • Economaki Named Third Squier-Hall Award Recipient: Known for more than 50 years as the "Dean of American Motorsports," the late journalist and broadcaster Chris Economaki has been named the third recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Economaki will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony festivities on Jan. 29, 2014 and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
    Economaki, who died last year at age 91, was the editor, publisher and columnist for National Speed Sport News for more than 60 years, a weekly racing publication he began selling at race tracks at the age of 14. He began his television broadcast career with ABC in 1961 and with CBS Sports helped make the Daytona 500 one of racing's marquee events.
    Economaki was among eight nominees voted upon by a panel comprised of NASCAR and NASCAR Hall of Fame executives, journalists, public relations representatives and former drivers. The Squier-Hall Award was created in 2012 to honor the contributions of media to the success of the sport. Legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall, for whom the award is named, were its initial recipients.
    "Chris Economaki dedicated his life to covering motorsports, and his exceptional talent for storytelling brought NASCAR to millions of readers and viewers for more than 60 years," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. "Though we all miss seeing him at the race track every week, we're proud that Chris' legacy will continue to live through this well-deserved award."
    The son of a Greek immigrant who was born in Brooklyn but spent most of his life in Connecticut, Economaki participated in the growth of automobile racing from its pre-World War II small-town and county fair circuits. He worked at the sport's grassroots, alongside many historic promoters - including NASCAR founder Bill France - and went on to cover most of the 20th and 21st centuries' greatest figures.
    Economaki's National Speed Sport News "three-dot" column was a weekly must-read throughout the motorsports industry. He eschewed technology for decades, hammering out his copy on an old, manual typewriter while others in the media centers tapped on computer keyboards. Few, however, matched Economaki's insights - or his many reliable sources.
    He appeared in several racing-themed motion pictures and was part of the CBS broadcast team that won a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Special (the 1987 Daytona 500). He was awarded the 1990 NASCAR Award of Excellence and NASCAR Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Economaki is a member of several halls of fame including the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) Hall of Honor, Eastern Motorsports Press Association (EMPA) Hall of Fame and the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame.(NASCAR)(7-6-2013)

  • Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence to be announced: NASCAR will announce the third recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. The recipient of the award, which is named after inaugural winners and NASCAR broadcasting legends Ken Squier and Barney Hall, will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony festivities on Jan. 29, 2014 and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
    One of the following nominees will receive the prestigious annual award:
    Russ Catlin, one of the best-known early racing writers and historians, served as editor of Speed Age Magazine
    Chris Economaki, known as the "Dean of Motorsports," spent more than 50 years as editor of National Speed Sport News
    Shav Glick, covered motorsports for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years, bringing NASCAR coverage to the West Coast
    Tom Higgins, the first NASCAR beat reporter to cover every race in a season, he covered motorsports for The Charlotte Observer for 34 years
    Bob Jenkins, served as the lead NASCAR lap-by-lap anchor at ESPN from 1982-2000.
    Bob Moore, spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR beat writer including stints with the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Charlotte Observer
    Benny Phillips, spent 48 years covering NASCAR for the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise, 27 years for Stock Car Racing and 12 years on TBS
    T. Taylor Warren, best known for his three-wide photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 finish, he covered every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008.(NASCAR)(6-29-2013)

  • Free admission to some Father's to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: The NASCAR Hall of Fame is offering free admission with the purchase of a second admission to the first 103 dads who visit the adrenaline-pumping, entertainment attraction on Father's Day Sunday, June 16. More info at nascarhall.com.(6-15-2013)

  • Impressions from a NASCAR Hall of Fame voter: from AutoWeek's Al Pearce...... often wondered how much pressure NASCAR exerts on voters, either subtly or outright. Short answer: none, at least not publicly. Granted, several executives from Daytona Beach spoke eloquently in favor of specific nominees, but never once did anyone suggest the rest of the voting panel should follow their lead. In three cases, in fact, the nominees they seemed to favor didn't make the cut. On the other hand, Maurice Petty and Dale Jarrett did..........often wondered whether officials lobby voters to consider living candidates who can support and promote the Hall of Fame........often wondered whether the high-profile "Voting Day" is just an elaborate and well-orchestrated sham. See full story at AutoWeek.(5-24-2013)

  • 2014 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Announced: NASCAR announced the inductees who will comprise the 2014 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person group - the fifth in NASCAR Hall of Fame history - consists of Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty and Fireball Roberts. Next year's Induction Day is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, broadcast on Fox Sports 1 from Charlotte, N.C. The 54-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2014. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France made the announcement this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's "Great Hall." Next year's class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders and a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com - which counted for the 55th and final vote. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes. Voting for next year's class was as follows: Tim Flock (76%), Maurice Petty (67%), Dale Jarrett (56%), Jack Ingram (53%) and Fireball Roberts (51%). The next top vote getters were Jerry Cook, Joe Weatherly and Wendell Scott. Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Dale Jarrett, Benny Parsons and Fireball Roberts. The five inductees came from a group of 25 nominees that included: Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, H. Clay Earles, Tim Flock, Ray Fox, Anne Bledsoe France, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Bobby Isaac, Dale Jarrett, Fred Lorenzen, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Maurice Petty, Larry Phillips, Les Richter, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Wendell Scott, Ralph Seagraves, O. Bruton Smith, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly and Rex White.
    Class of 2014 Inductees:
    Tim Flock - A two-time NASCAR premier series champion, Flock was one of the sport's first dominant drivers. In 187 starts, Flock had 39 victories, a total that still ranks 18th on the all-time wins list. Flock won his first series title in 1952 while driving Ted Chester's Hudson Hornet, and his second in 1955 driving Carl Kiekhaefer's Chrysler. He dominated that season, posting 18 wins, 32 top fives and 18 poles in 39 races. Flock's 18 wins stood as a single-season victory record until Richard Petty surpassed it with 27 wins in 1967.
    Jack Ingram - The NASCAR Nationwide Series has had a variety of incarnations through the years but when considered collectively, an argument can be made that Jack Ingram is the series' all-time greatest driver. Before the formation of the series, Ingram won three consecutive championships, from 1972-74, in its precursor - the Late Model Sportsman Division. When the NASCAR Busch Series was formed, he won the inaugural title in 1982 and again in '85. In his 10 years of competition in what was called the NASCAR Busch Series, Ingram had 31 wins, a record that stood until Mark Martin broke it in 1997. All but two of Ingram's 31 wins came on short tracks.
    Dale Jarrett - Dale Jarrett personified big-stage performances. A three-time Daytona 500 winner and two-time winner of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jarrett excelled under NASCAR's brightest spotlights. His 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories - 21st all-time - also include the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jarrett won the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, and recorded six additional top-five championship finishes. With father Ned, the Jarretts are only the second father-son combination with NASCAR premier series championships after NASCAR Hall of Famers Lee and Richard Petty. Ned Jarrett was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2011. Ned and Dale Jarrett become the third father-son duo selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, following Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr., and Lee and Richard Petty.
    Maurice Petty - The chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises, Maurice Petty becomes the fourth member of the dynasty to be chosen for membership in the NASCAR Hall of Fame - following his older brother Richard, father Lee and his cousin Dale Inman. The man simply called "Chief" supplied the horsepower that propelled Richard Petty to a majority of his record 200 NASCAR victories, plus his seven NASCAR premier series championships and seven Daytona 500 victories. Lee Petty, Buddy Baker, Jim Paschal and Pete Hamilton were also among those who won with his engines. Petty had a brief driving career - 26 premier series races with seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes between 1960 and 1964 - but was satisfied to work behind the scenes as one of the top engine builders ever seen in the sport.
    Fireball Roberts - Glenn Roberts, who got his legendary nickname from his days as a hard-throwing pitcher in high school, is perhaps the greatest driver never to win a NASCAR title. He was arguably stock car racing's first superstar, an immensely popular prototype for some of today's competitors who are stars on and off the track. During his career he often came up big in the biggest events, winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and the Southern 500 in 1958 and '63. Overall, he won seven races at Daytona International Speedway, starting with the Firecracker 250 in the summer of 1959 - the year the speedway opened.(NASCAR)(5-22-2013)

  • Newest class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame to be announced Wed: The newest class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame is set to be announced live this Wednesday during a special edition of NASCAR Race Hub on FOX Sports' SPEED starting at 6:00pm/et. Steve Byrnes and Danielle Trotta host the event in-studio, while Mike Joy, Kyle Petty and Rick Allen all report from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Uptown Charlotte to provide news, analysis and interviews. A 34-person panel, among those are the aforementioned Joy, Petty and Allen, with 55 total votes available (including a fan vote) will select the five members comprising the Class of 2014. They choose among a group of 25 nominees, including those on the ballot for the first time in Maurice Petty, Dale Jarrett, Larry Phillips, Rex White and Bruton Smith.(SPEED)(5-22-2013)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 to be announced today: The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be announced Wednesday, May 22 at 6:00pm/et following a vote by the 54-member Voting Panel. Five inductees will be selected from the 25 nominees at the Great Hall, NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 Nominees
    Red Byron, first NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, in 1949
    Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
    H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
    Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
    Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion
    Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Dale Jarrett, 1999 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises
    Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion
    Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway
    Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500
    T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company senior VP
    Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
    O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
    Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    NOMINATING COMMITTEE
    NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.
    NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; President Mike Helton; Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Senior Vice President Paul Brooks; former Vice President Ken Clapp.
    Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Kingsport Speedway operator Robert Pressley; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery.
    VOTING PANEL
    The Voting Panel consists of the above 21-member Nominating Committee and the following 34 representatives.
    American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association: Dusty Brandel, AARWBA President.
    Eastern Motorsports Press Association: Ron Hedger, EMPA President.
    National Motorsports Press Association: Kenny Bruce, NMPA President.
    Print & Online Media: Jenna Fryer, Associated Press; Dustin Long, MotorRacingNetwork.com; Al Pearce, Autoweek; Jim Pedley, RacinToday.com; Bob Pockrass, Sporting News; Nate Ryan, USA Today.
    Broadcasters: Mike Joy, FOX; Jerry Punch, ESPN; Kyle Petty, TNT; Barney Hall, MRN; Doug Rice, PRN; Rick Allen, SPEED; Dave Moody, SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio.
    Manufacturers: Chevrolet - Jim Campbell, former General Manager; Ford - Edsel B. Ford II, Board of Directors; Toyota - Lee White, President/General Manager, Toyota Racing Development USA.
    Retired Drivers: Harry Gant; Ned Jarrett; Richard Petty; Ricky Rudd.
    Retired Car Owners: Junior Johnson; Bud Moore; Robert Yates.
    Retired Crew Chiefs: Buddy Parrott; Waddell Wilson; Eddie Wood.
    Industry leaders: Retired Associated Press writer Mike Harris; former motorsports journalist Tom Higgins; former broadcaster Ken Squier; former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler.
    Fan Vote.(NASCAR)(5-22-2013)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame's Newest Exhibit, "Lights. Camera. NASCAR.": The NASCAR Hall of Fame introduces its newest and largest exhibit in its three-year history, "Lights. Camera. NASCAR." opens to the public May 17. A never before seen look at NASCAR, the exhibit chronicles how the industry has influenced films, how NASCAR has promoted movies through sponsorship and how film has portrayed the sport's legends over the years. With more than 40 artifacts on display, box office favorites represented include "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," Disney's "Cars," "Days of Thunder," "Greased Lightning," "Herbie Fully Loaded" and much more.
    The new exhibit, located in the Great Hall within the NASCAR Hall of Fame, is just in time for the excitement accompanying the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 18 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Lights. Camera. NASCAR." opens Friday, May 17 and runs through mid-October. Extended hours for the NASCAR Hall of Fame will take place through May 27 to accommodate fans visiting for the May races and attending the Food Lion Speed Street 600 Festival. More info at nascarhall.com.
    "This exhibit has an incredible universal appeal because movies have an extraordinary ability to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "When you pair that fascination with the allure of NASCAR, it becomes an engaging representation of the sport's reach that embraces five decades of entertainment. It includes movies that have captured the sport's intensity, parodied its celebrities and benefitted from the type of national exposure that only NASCAR can provide."
    Among the 40+ artifacts that encompass items such as driver uniforms, hoods, scripts, stills and original cars, the exhibit also boasts the largest number of cars featured in the Great Hall to date. The six on display had starring roles in movies and film promotion:
    Cole Trickle's City Chevrolet car from "Days of Thunder" (1990): Several real life NASCAR figures were the inspiration for the characters of "Days of Thunder" including Cole Trickle played by Tom Cruise, Harry Hogge played by Robert Duvall and Tim Daland played by Randy Quaid. The real life inspiration for each was driver Tim Richmond, crew chief Harry Hyde and team owner Rick Hendrick.
    Ricky Bobby's Wonder Bread car from "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" (2006): "If you ain't first, you're last," was the mantra for Will Ferrell's character Ricky Bobby, who drove this car during filming at Rockingham Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
    Herbie Volkswagen Beetle from "Herbie Fully Loaded" (2005): This car, complete with NASCAR racing components such as roll bars, a spoiler and racing slicks, reached speeds of more than 130 mph during filming at Auto Club Speedway in California.
    Doc Hudson car from Disney's "Cars" (2006): The "Fabulous Hudson Hornet"-inspired car was built by Gunnar Racing, a private company in Palm Beach, Fla., as a tribute to Paul Newman and was driven at the "Cars" movie premiere at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May 2006.
    1962 Chevrolet built by Wendell Scott for "Greased Lightning" (1977): Based on the legacy of Wendell Scott, Warner Bros. commissioned Scott to build the car, which would be his last creation. To date, Scott is the only African American to win a premier series race and the first to be nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Jeff Gordon's Jurassic Park car "T-Rex" promoting "Jurassic Park: The Ride" (1997): Built by Hendrick engineer Rex Stump and used to promote Universal Studios new "Jurassic Park"-themed ride, the car picked up the nickname "T-Rex." Jeff Gordon dominated the 1997 All-Star Race to make it one of the most legendary cars in NASCAR history.
    Kicking off the exhibit for families, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will host a kid-friendly "Lights. Camera. NASCAR." Premiere Party on Saturday, June 1. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free with a paying adult and are welcome to partake in fun-filled programming and activities on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza as well as inside the venue including a bounce house, caricature artists, coloring stations and more to celebrate the premiere of the newest and largest exhibit to date.
    Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at nascarhall.com. General admission is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Annual Memberships are available starting at $25 for children and $50 for adults.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-17-2013)

  • 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominees Announced: Larger than life figures who built NASCAR lap by lap and bolt by bolt from the post-World War II era into the 21st century comprise the 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014. NASCAR announced those 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's fifth induction class, and included among the diverse group are five newcomers whose achievements are cornerstones of the sport's origins and continue to fuel its growth in contemporary times. Of the 25 nominees, 20 return from last year's group. Five are first-timers with varying backgrounds in the sport: second generation NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion Dale Jarrett; Maurice Petty, for more than three decades the chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises; five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion Larry Phillips; race track builder and owner Bruton Smith; and 1960 NASCAR premier series champion Rex White. From that list, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM. Voting Day for the 2014 class will be May 22. Fans can attend the announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The NASCAR Hall of Fame's 2014 inductees will be determined by a 54-member Voting Panel, which includes the entire Nominating Committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners and crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel's final ballot. Following are the 25 nominees, listed alphabetically:
    Red Byron, first NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, in 1949
    Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
    H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
    Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
    Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion
    Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Dale Jarrett, 1999 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner
    Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises
    Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion
    Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway
    Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500
    T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company senior VP
    Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
    O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
    Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    (NASCAR)(4-10-2013)

  • SPEED's Race Hub and SiriusXM to announce NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominees: NASCAR Race Hub, the popular Monday through Thursday news, feature, interview and information show on FOX Sports' SPEED, is teaming with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday to announce the 25 nominees with 2014 eligibility for election into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The show starts at 6:00pm/et, with a portion of this broadcast being simulcast by both NASCAR Race Hub and SiriusXM Speedway, which is originating its live daily show from the FOX Sports' SPEED studios in Charlotte starting at 3:00pm/et. SPEED co-hosts Steve Byrnes, Danielle Trotta, along with NASCAR analysts Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds will be joined by SiriusXM Speedway's Dave 'The Godfather' Moody and Angie Skinner in announcing this year's 25 nominees. A 21-member panel selects up to 25 people to be eligible for the NASCAR Hall of Fame nominating pool. These notables go up for a vote by an induction process that entails 55 total ballots.(SPEED)(4-10-2013)

  • Baker, Owens, Thomas, Wallace and Wood Officially Enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame: Five legends of stock car auto racing were enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., Friday night [Feb 8, 2013] ght during the Induction Ceremony held in the Crown Ballroom of the Charlotte Convention. Four were NASCAR pioneers, building the sport during its formative years; the other ushered it into modern times and its exploding popularity. Combined, they make the fourth class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It's a group with talents that run the gamut necessary for NASCAR excellence: Unparalleled driving skills; team unifying and talent evaluating ownership prowess; a brilliant mechanical mind.
    Here are the five new members, a group that pushes the total number of NASCAR Hall of Famers to 20.
    Buck Baker - a two-time NASCAR premier series champion in 1956-57, the first to ever win back-to-back titles in NASCAR's top level. Cotton Owens - a master of two crafts, that of driver and owner. Herb Thomas - the first driver to win multiple championships in NASCAR's premier series. Rusty Wallace - the 1989 NASCAR premier series champion and a 55-time race winner. Leonard Wood - legendary engine builder, mechanic and crew chief for the Wood Brothers.
    Baker, a 46-time winner, joined the ranks of NASCAR royalty after becoming the first driver to capture consecutive championships in NASCAR's premier series. He earned his first championship driving cars for legendary owner Carl Kiekhaefer; he won his second driving his own cars. Baker passed his immense driving talent to his son Buddy, who himself won 19 times in the premier series. Buddy Baker inducted his father during tonight's ceremony.
    "Buck always made an impression on people, good or bad," said widow Susan Baker, who accepted the induction on Baker's behalf. Buck Baker passed away in 2002. "If you ever met him, you never forgot him. It was never boring being married to Buck, either. He could make me laugh like no one else could, and he had that same effect on others."
    Cotton Owens joins Junior Johnson as NASCAR Hall of Famers who excelled as both driver and owner. The Union, S.C., native won nine times as a driver in NASCAR's premier series, and won more than 100 more races in NASCAR's Modified division. The latter feat earned him the moniker of "King of the Modifieds." He wore the crown in the NASCAR premier series as an owner in 1966, winning the championship with fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson.
    "I know this is a biased opinion, but in our family's book, there was no better racer than Cotton Owens," said Kyle Davis, Owens' grandson, who accepted the induction on his grandfather's behalf. Owens passes away last year. "My grandfather was one of the most humble, most loyal and hardest working men I've ever met. He took great pride in the fact that he could build a race car from the ground up ... engine, chassis, transmission, you name it ... drive it to the race track and then drive it to Victory Lane. He was a wizard at both turning wrenches and behind the wheel."
    Herb Thomas was one of NASCAR's first superstars thanks to his premier series championships in 1951 and 1953. Becoming the first driver to win multiple championships, Thomas laid the groundwork for a record-setting career. His 48 victories in 228 starts translates to a winning percentage of 21.05 percent, a NASCAR premier series record. Thomas' son Joel accepted the induction on his behalf. "I truly believe this is the greatest honor a driver could receive," Joel Thomas said. Herb Thomas passed away in 2000. "My father would have been very honored and humbled in receiving this recognition. ... Thank you all for helping him reach his dreams. Thank you to all of his fans for cheering him on and keeping his memories alive."
    Ninth on the all-time premier series wins list, Rusty Wallace enjoyed one of the most successful careers in modern-day NASCAR. Wallace won the 1989 premier series championship a season after finishing second in the final points standings. For 16 consecutive seasons, from 1986-2001, Wallace scored at least one win per season. That's tied for the third-longest streak in history. "I look out in this crowd and I see some of the biggest stars in history," said an emotional Wallace. "I am humbled that I'm standing up here, and I just can't thank everybody enough for selecting me to be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame."
    Leonard Wood again joins his brother Glen, this time in the NASCAR Hall of Fame (Glen was inducted last year). Leonard served as chief mechanic for the Wood Brothers his entire career, winning a total of 94 races with some of biggest names in NASCAR history including brother Glen, Marvin Panch, David Pearson and Cale Yarborough. "It's certainly a high honor to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, especially right behind my brother, Glen, and two of our former drivers, David [Pearson] and Cale [Yarborough]," Wood said. "Glen and I always did things together, we learned together and we won together."
    Each of the five inductees had an inductor who officially welcomed them into the hall. The inductors for the five inductees: Herb Thomas was inducted by NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett; Cotton Owens was inducted by his former driver NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson; Leonard Wood was inducted by his nephew and Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood; Buck Baker was inducted by his son Buddy Baker; Rusty Wallace was inducted by his son Greg Wallace.
    Active drivers introduced each inductee video during tonight's program. The list of drivers who participated: Carl Edwards for Herb Thomas; Mark Martin for Cotton Owens; Jeff Gordon for Buck Baker; Brad Keselowski for Rusty Wallace; and Trevor Bayne for Leonard Wood.
    Prior to tonight's Induction Ceremony was the presentation of the inaugural Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, awarded to namesakes Ken Squier and Barney Hall.
    Squier, co-founder of Motor Racing Network, is perhaps best-known for his work during the 1979 Daytona 500, a milestone moment for the entire sport, as Squier's voice on CBS welcomed millions to the first live flag-to-flag coverage of "The Great American Race" - a moniker he coined. Squier proceeded to call races for CBS and TBS until 1997 before shifting to the studio as host for NASCAR broadcasts until 2000. Squier continues to enlighten NASCAR fans to this day, mostly through special appearances on SPEED.
    Hall began his career in the 1950s working at local radio stations in North Carolina and served as Bristol Motor Speedway's first public address announcer when the track opened. He called his first Daytona 500 in 1960, and has missed only three broadcasts in the 54-year history of The Great American Race. He joined MRN as an original announcer at the network's inception in 1970, first as a turn announcer and then moving to the booth in the late 1970s where he has been a fixture ever since at race tracks from coast to coast.(NASCAR)(2-9-2013)

  • "UnDeck the Hall" Event at NASCAR Hall of Fame: After St. Nick has come and gone on Dec. 26, be sure to stop by to help "UnDeck the Hall." Choosing from a display of festive Christmas trees in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Theater Lobby, each guest can take home one NASCAR-themed item until all are gone. The HALLiday trees are decorated with NASCAR-themed items including autographed souvenirs, memorabilia, ornaments, die cast cars, secret surprises and more. Among the hundreds of items available, guests can walk away with some big ticket presents including tickets to the April races in Martinsville, posters signed by all 12 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers, or hats signed by Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and more. The event runs on Wednesday, Dec. 26 from 10 am. - 6 pm at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Theater Lobby in Charlotte, NC. More info at , 400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Charlotte, NC. More info at nascarhall.com.(12-25-2012)

  • NASCAR Plaza office building sold: Parkway Properties has agreed to buy the 20-story NASCAR Plaza office building for approximately $100 million. The Charlotte Business Journal reported earlier this month that the Orlando, Fla.-based real estate investment trust had made an unsolicited offer to buy the 390,000-square-foot uptown building as well as the 525 North Tryon building. Parkway acquired the Hearst Tower from Bank of America earlier this year for $250 million. The NASCAR Plaza building, owned by Trinity Capital Advisors and Rubenstein Partners, is 88 percent leased, with an average in-place rent of $25.61 per square foot. NASCAR has a lease for 139,000 square feet that runs through May 2021, and Chiquita Brands International Inc. signed a lease for about 138,000 square feet this year after deciding to relocate its headquarters from Cincinnati. Parkway says NASCAR Plaza is expected to generate a 2013 estimated cash net operating income yield of approximately 7 percent. The company expects to close on the purchase by the end of the year.(Charlotte Business Journal)(11-1-2012)

  • NASCAR Acceleration Weekend returns in February: NASCAR has announced the return of NASCAR Acceleration Weekend, a fan-friendly season-launching event that celebrates the past, present and future of the sport. Next year's NASCAR Acceleration Weekend will again take place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Convention Center from February 8-10, 2013.
    The weekend's activities begin Friday, February 8, with the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 induction into the Hall of Honor. The five inductees - Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood - will be honored during a dinner and ceremony at the Charlotte Convention Center. At the same event, Ken Squier and Barney Hall will be presented with the inaugural Squier-Hall Award for Media Excellence.
    The following day, Saturday, February 9, the NASCAR Preview 2013 begins at 7 a.m. in the Charlotte Convention Center. Similar to last year's event, the all-day fan festival will feature autograph and on-stage Q&A sessions by top drivers from all three national series. The event will also include a look at the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars and paint schemes, interactive displays, giveaways and activities for fans of all ages.
    On Sunday, February 10, the newly inducted NASCAR Hall of Famers and/or their representatives will be on hand at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the unveiling of the granite markers on the Ceremonial Plaza.
    Tickets for all events during the 2013 NASCAR Acceleration Weekend go on sale Oct. 9, 2012. They are available online at www.nascaracceleration.com or the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office.(NASCAR)(10-4-2012)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Awarded 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence: TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel website with more than 60 million user-generated reviews, has awarded the NASCAR Hall of Fame a Certificate of Excellence in 2012. Targeted at showcasing hospitality excellence, the accolade is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor and extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. The NASCAR Hall of Fame currently has a 4.5 stars rating on a five-star scale and ranks seventh in Charlotte attractions on TripAdvisor.com.(NHOF)(6-19-2012)

  • The 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class: was named Wednesday, May 24, 2012:
    Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion, 1951, '53.
    Leonard Wood, former crew chief for Wood Brothers, revolutionized pit stops.
    Rusty Wallace, 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion.
    Cotton Owens, driver-owner, won 1966 owner championship with David Pearson.
    Buck Baker, first driver to win consecutive Sprint Cup series titles (1956-57).
    NASCAR announced today the 2013 class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person class, which will be officially inducted in a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., consists of Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood.
    Members of the 54-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2013. The announcement was made by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's "Great Hall."
    Next year's class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders and a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
    Voting for this year's class was as evenly distributed as any previous NASCAR Hall of Fame induction class.
    Herb Thomas and Leonard Wood each garnered 57% of the vote, followed by Rusty Wallace (52%), Cotton Owens (50%) and Buck Baker (39%).
    For the first time in Voting Day history, there was a tie for the fifth and final induction spot. Voting Panel members chose Baker over Fireball Roberts after a re-vote between the two nominees. The next top vote getters were Roberts, Jerry Cook and Tim Flock.
    Results for the NASCAR.COM Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Benny Parsons, Fireball Roberts, Wendell Scott, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood.
    Class of 2013 Inductees:
    Buck Baker
    Elzie Wylie "Buck" Baker established himself as one of NASCAR's early greats, becoming the first driver to win consecutive NASCAR premier series championships. His repeat performance in 1956-57 was the highlight of an incredible four-year span; in 1955 and '58 Baker finished as the series championship runner-up. His career victory total of 46 ranks tied for 14th all-time.
    Cotton Owens
    Everett "Cotton" Owens enjoyed success as both a driver and owner in NASCAR. Behind the wheel, he won nine times in NASCAR's premier series competition, including the 1957 Daytona Beach road course. He nearly won the 1959 championship, finishing second to NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty. But as an owner, Owens stood out as one of the greats of NASCAR's early eras. His eye for talent was unmatched. He hired NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson in 1962, the same season in which he began a future championship relationship with another NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson. Owens won 38 races as an owner.
    Herb Thomas
    Herb Thomas was truly one of NASCAR's first superstars. He was the first to win two NASCAR premier series championships (1951, '53). He finished second in the points standings in 1952 and 1954 giving the North Carolina veteran top-two championship finishes in four consecutive seasons. He finished outside the top two in the championship only once (fifth in 1955) between 1951 and 1956. Thomas won both his championships driving self-owned cars.
    Rusty Wallace
    Russell William Wallace Jr., the 1989 NASCAR premier series champion, won his first of 55 races in 1986, capturing the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway. His 55 victories rank ninth all time. He was especially adept on the circuit's short tracks winning 25 times at Bristol, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro and Richmond. His influence on the sport continued after his retirement, as an analyst on ESPN.
    Leonard Wood
    The Wood Brothers team is renowned as the innovator of the modern pit stop. Leonard Wood, brother of Glen and Delano Wood, was front and center in its development as chief mechanic (crew chief) for the Stuart, Va.-based team. As crew chief, Wood amassed 96 wins and 117 poles in 990 races.(NASCAR)(5-23-2012)

  • NASCAR Adds Media Excellence Award To Annual Hall Of Fame Honors: Following the announcement of the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class tonight, NASCAR announced the creation of a new award to honor the contributions of media to the success of the sport. This award, which will become part of the annual NASCAR Hall of Fame ceremonies beginning in February 2013, will bear the names of the first two award winners, legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall, and be called the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence.
    A special exhibit will be created as part of the existing media section within the NASCAR Hall of Fame to recognize the careers of Squier and Hall, as well as honorees in the years to come.
    "Media have played an important role in the growth and popularity of NASCAR over the years by telling the stories of legendary drivers, championship moments and week-to-week action to millions of fans across the world," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "The voices of Ken Squier and Barney Hall are an indelible part of our sport's history and we couldn't be more pleased to recognize their long and outstanding careers."
    Squier, one of NASCAR's original broadcasters, carved a massive footprint during NASCAR's formative broadcast years. Beginning with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) in 1970, Squier's golden voice took NASCAR to a national audience thirsting for live coverage. He is perhaps best-known for his work during the 1979 Daytona 500, a milestone moment for the entire sport, as Squier's voice on CBS welcomed millions to the first live flag-to-flag coverage of "The Great American Race" - a moniker he coined. Following that signature moment, including his call of the post-race fight between Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison, Squier proceeded to call races for CBS and TBS until 1997 before shifting to the studio as host for NASCAR broadcasts until 2000. Squier continues to enlighten NASCAR fans to this day, mostly through special appearances on SPEED. Hall began his career in the 1950s working at local radio stations in North Carolina and served as Bristol Motor Speedway's first public address announcer when the track opened. He called his first Daytona 500 in 1960, and has missed only three broadcasts in the 54-year history of The Great American Race. He joined MRN as an original announcer at the network's inception in 1970, first as a turn announcer and then moving to the booth in the late 70s where he has been a fixture ever since at race tracks from coast to coast. The Elkin, North Carolina, native who is widely known for his calm voice and unmatched storytelling, was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame in 2007. Hall has called a number of the sport's milestone moments, including the landmark 1979 Daytona 500, Richard Petty's 200th-career victory in 1984 and Dale Earnhardt's 1998 victory in the Daytona 500. Still active, Hall led the MRN broadcast of last week's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Each year, five nominees will be selected by a panel made up of NASCAR executives, NASCAR Hall of Fame staff, and the president of the NMPA, among others. From there, a voting panel will select an annual winner of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, beginning with the third honoree (Squier and Hall are the first two) in 2013. It is anticipated the annual award winner will be announced in June, approximately one month after the Hall of Fame inductees are announced. Squier-Hall Award winners will remain eligible for NASCAR Hall of Fame induction. Likewise, current and future inductees who made significant contributions as a member of the media will be eligible to win the Squier-Hall Award. The 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held Feb. 8, 2013.(NASCAR)(5-23-2012)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Vote Day TODAY: SPEED delivers a one-hour NASCAR Hall of Fame Vote Day preview at 5:00pm/et on Wednesday. Mike Joy and Rick Allen, both voting members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, host the show, with Danielle Trotta reporting. The 2013 class of inductees will be announced at 6:00pm/et on SPEED's NASCAR Race Hub with Steve Byrnes and Kyle Petty
    The 25 nominees:
    Buck Baker, first driver to win consecutive Sprint Cup series titles (1956-57).
    Red Byron, first Sprint Cup series champion, in 1949.
    Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series.
    Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion.
    H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway.
    Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion.
    Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others.
    Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr.
    Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series.
    Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion.
    Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion.
    Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600.
    Cotton Owens, driver-owner, won 1966 owner championship with David Pearson.
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner.
    Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion and popular television commentator.
    Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway.
    Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500.
    T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company executive.
    Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR Sprint Cup series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
    Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion, 1951, '53.
    Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing."
    Rusty Wallace, 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion.
    Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion.
    Leonard Wood, former crew chief for Wood Brothers, revolutionized pit stops.(SPEED)(5-23-2012)

  • Things at NASCAR Hall of Fame looking better: As the NASCAR Hall of Fame turned two this month, the racing museum had some rare good news: It has recently seen its attendance stabilize compared with the same months a year earlier. The hall is still losing money and is far short of original attendance projections. But the better turnstile numbers have hall officials believing they are on the right track. "There is a series of different things that we have learned have worked," said executive director Winston Kelley, noting that reduced-price tickets for locals in February and March helped boost attendance. Kelley and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority projected 800,000 people would attend but only 272,000 came, including 12,000 for a free week in January 2011. The hall lost $1.4 million. The hall's second year began poorly. After projecting higher attendance, attendance was down more than 30% in the summer of 2011 compared with the same months of the previous year. But in late 2011, the NASCAR hall's attendance began to stabilize. For instance, the hall attracted 16,270 people in March compared with 15,882 a year earlier. February attendance this year was 12,989 compared with 13,091 in 2011. The hall is entering one of its most crucial periods - the stretch between the All-Star Race May 19 and the Coca Cola 600 on May 27. The hall is running shuttles between Charlotte Motor Speedway and the museum for those who have an admission ticket to the hall. Through March, nine months into the fiscal year, the hall had lost $1.31 million. But that loss has been mitigated by a subsidy from the city of Charlotte, which helps pay for the maintenance of the hall building, which it owns. That subsidy - which comes from a special hotel/motel tax devoted to the hall - has reduced the attraction's official deficit for the year to $684,000. That money must be covered by the CRVA, a taxpayer-supported group that operates the NASCAR hall.(Charlotte Observer)(5-19-2012)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame exhibit focuses on grassroots: The NASCAR Hall of Fame kicks off a new exhibition in the Great Hall, "Grassroots Racing: Where NASCAR Heroes are Born" on Monday. The exhibition is included in general admission. "Grassroots Racing: Where NASCAR Stars are Born" tells the story of hometown racetracks, affectionately called "grassroots," where many NASCAR drivers began their careers racing every Friday and Saturday night. "It's a vital part of our mission to preserve, uphold and be a resource for the sport and its history," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the facility. "This is the eighth new Great Hall exhibition since opening in May 2010 and it is with these exhibitions the Hall continues to present new chapters in the history book" of NASCAR. The exhibit explores four race tracks historically known and recognized to be the beginnings of NASCAR racing - Greenville Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory, N.C. and South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Va. Highlighting the exhibition are historic race cars - David Pearson's Ford Modified (1937), Richard Childress' Plymouth Modified (1937), Dale Jarrett's Busch Series Pontiac LeMans (1986) and Denny Hamlin's Late Model Chevrolet (2003). Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at NASCARHall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-10-2012)

  • Nominees announced for 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class: Determination and innovation, two qualities existing in abundance in the men and women who built NASCAR, characterize the 25 nominees for the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. NASCAR announced those 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's fourth induction class, and included among the diverse group are five newcomers who make this list arguably the most intriguing in the hall's history. Of the 25 nominees, 20 return from last year's group. Five are first-timers, and all vary in expertise: NASCAR's first treasurer and secretary Anne Bledsoe France, engine builder and owner Ray Fox, trailblazing driver Wendell Scott, promoter and sponsor executive Ralph Seagraves and driver champion Rusty Wallace. Of those new five, two represent 'firsts' for the hall: Scott the first African-American nominee; France the first female nominee. From that list, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM. Voting Day for the 2013 class will be May 23, and once again, fans can attend the announcement live at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This round of nominees was selected by a 21-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks. The committee's votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young. The NHOF's 2013 inductees will be determined by the Voting Panel, which includes the entire Nominating Committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel's final ballot. Fan voting on NASCAR.COM opens today, April 11, and closes May 16 at midnight.

    Following are the 25 nominees, listed alphabetically:
    Buck Baker, first driver to win consecutive NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series titles (1956-57)
    Red Byron, first NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, in 1949
    Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
    H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
    Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
    Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion
    Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
    Cotton Owens, driver-owner, won 1966 owner championship with David Pearson
    Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway
    Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500
    T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company senior VP
    Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
    Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, 1951, '53
    Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    Rusty Wallace, 1989 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    Leonard Wood, part-owner and former crew chief for Wood Brothers, revolutionized pit stops

    The 21-person Nominating Committee is:
    NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.
    NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Senior Vice President Paul Brooks; President Mike Helton; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Vice President Ken Clapp.
    Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); former Toyota Speedway at Irwindale operator Jim Williams; Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery.(NASCAR)(4-11-2012)

  • NASCAR to announce nominees for next Hall of Fame class: NASCAR will unveil the 25 nominees for the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:00pm/et during SPEED's hour-long Race Hub show.(NASCAR)

  • Spring Break at the NASCAR HOF UPDATE: Visitors can break out with spring fever and family fun at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during the second annual Spring Break from the Ordinary, Saturday, March 24 - Monday, April 9. With new special events and activities, Spring Break From the Ordinary offers students and their parents "Grade A" entertainment with scavenger hunts, racing simulator competitions, pit crew challenges, crafts, video game competitions plus more than 50 hands-on exhibits at the 150,000 square-foot entertainment facility. In a class by itself, Spring Break From the Ordinary features daily physical challenges and games for students (K-12). Each day during Spring Break From the Ordinary guests have a chance to compete in a number of high-octane activities and contests for prizes including NASCAR memorabilia, K'NEX building sets, Spin Master toy cars, NASCAR Hall of Fame Memberships and more.(NHOF).(3-24-2012)
    UPDATE: Due to popular demand, the second annual Spring Break from the Ordinary at the NASCAR Hall of Fame has been extended through Sunday, April 15 giving families another chance to enjoy the added activities at the popular entertainment attraction in Uptown Charlotte, N.C. Spring Break From the Ordinary, which began Saturday, March 24, offers students and their parents "Grade A" entertainment with scavenger hunts, racing simulator competitions, pit crew challenges, crafts, video game competitions plus more than 50 hands-on exhibits at the 150,000 square-foot entertainment facility. More info on the event and tickets at NASCARHall.com.(4-10-2012)

  • Chiquita inks deal for NASCAR Plaza space: Chiquita Brands International has signed a lease for more than 130,000 square feeet in the NASCAR Plaza building uptown, real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announced Monday. The banana giant announced last year it was moving its corporate headquarters from downtown Cincinnati to uptown. Chiquita will occupy six floors in NASCAR Plaza by September.(Charlotte Observer)(3-27-2012)

  • CRVA exec to focus on NASCAR Hall: Charlotte's top tourism official said Monday he is working to fully integrate different parts of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, and said a top priority is to convince people attending conventions to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tom Murray, who was hired as CRVA chief executive in December, gave a briefing to the Charlotte City Council about his reorganization of upper management. The biggest change is that former CEO Tim Newman is no longer with the organization. Newman, who was demoted by the board after the council members questioned his management, had stayed with the CRVA as an executive in charge of sales. But he stepped down Friday. The new CRVA will have six people working directly under Murray as part of an executive management team. Murray said he wants to have the different aspects of the CRVA - sales, marketing and management of city-owned venues - working together smoothly. The CRVA was created in 2004 as a merger of Visit Charlotte and the Auditorium-Coliseum-Convention Center Authority. Murray said his next goal is to improve attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which lost $1.4 million in its first year. His goal is to have the racing museum break even financially or turn a profit, he said. Murray said new lower ticket prices for local people have been successful, and that the hall may try to offer discounted tickets to convention attendees in the future. The CRVA has said it has struggled to convince convention attendees to visit the hall. Murray also said Monday he "never considered" replacing current NASCAR hall Executive Director Winston Kelley. Kelley is now listed as a CRVA vice president in addition to heading the NASCAR hall. The other vice presidents are Ted Lewis (convention center); Bob Buchanan (human resources); Mike Crum (chief financial officer); Mike Butts (Visit Charlotte) and Gina Sheridan (marketing).(Charlotte Observer)(2-29-2012)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame losses are slowing: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in December was 15,428 people, down only slightly from the 16,136 people who visited in December 2010. The December attendance was good news for the hall, which had seen attendance decline in some months by more than 30% compared with the same periods a year earlier. Hall spokesperson Kimberly Meesters said the week after Christmas is a strong period for the hall. A year ago, the "UnDeck the Hall" promotion, in which visitors can take ornaments and other items off of Christmas trees, lasted three days. "This year all items were gone within hours," Meesters said. The hall lost money in December, but the loss was smaller than a year earlier. In December the hall lost $242,485. A reimbursement for maintenance costs from the city of Charlotte reduced the deficit to $171,882. A year earlier, in December 2010, the hall lost $327,000. For the first six months of the fiscal year, the hall has lost $767,725. Reimbursements from the city have closed that loss to $440,000.(Charlotte Observer)(2-9-2012)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame To Offer Local Rate: The NASCAR Hall of Fame is introducing a special Local Rate throughout the months of February and March. Available for a limited-time only, the special rate offers North and South Carolina residents visiting the interactive, entertainment attraction a discounted admission price of $15.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors and $9.95 for children. Guests with a valid photo ID and proof of residency, such as a North Carolina or South Carolina driver's license, can receive the special price when purchasing at the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office during regular operating hours. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at www.NASCARHall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(2-2-2012)

  • NASCAR welcomes 2012 Hall of Fame members: During an emotional induction ceremony Friday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a pair of three-time champion drivers, racing's quintessential crew chief, a founding father of the sport and the hands-down best modified driver who ever lived all took their rightful places among NASCAR's elite. The third class of five NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees evidences no fall-off in quality from the two classes that preceded it in 2010 and 2011. In fact, some would argue that the 2012 inductees all boast credentials worthy of consideration for an earlier welcome to the Hall.
    Darrell Waltrip, for instance, won three Sprint Cup titles and is tied for fourth on the career win list with 84 victories.
    Cale Yarborough, the only driver to win three straight Cup titles before Jimmie Johnson equaled and then eclipsed the feat in the first decade of the 21st century, is sixth in all-time wins with 83.
    As far as championships are concerned, Dale Inman is the most prolific winner among NASCAR crew chiefs, having accumulated seven Cup titles during his pioneering run at Petty Enterprises and a series-record eighth with driver Terry Labonte and owner Billy Hagan in 1984.
    Glen Wood, who with brother Leonard Wood founded the most enduring team in the sport's history, was an innovator who nurtured the careers of a litany of elite drivers, most notable among them Hall of Famers Yarborough and David Pearson.
    Richie Evans, a nine-time modified champion, simply was without peer. The "Rapid Roman" clinched his first NASCAR National Modified title in 1973. On Oct. 24, 1985, a week after securing his ninth modified championship, Evans was killed in a crash during practice at Martinsville Speedway. He was 44.(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-21-2012)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction / Acceleration Weekend: Charlotte becomes the epicenter of NASCAR Acceleration Weekend on Jan. 20-21. The NASCAR Hall of Fame inducts its third class comprised of the late Richie Evans, Dale Inman, Glen Wood, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough on Jan. 20 at the Crown Ballroom in the Charlotte Convention Center. Activities begin at 7:30 p.m.

    Class of 2012 Inductees:

    Cale Yarborough
    William Caleb Yarborough was the first driver to win three consecutive NASCAR premier series championships, from 1976-78. During his three-year dominance, Yarborough won 28 races - nine in 1976, nine in '77 and 10 in '78. His final championship points margin in those three years was never fewer than 195 points and was as much as 474 in 1978. Yarborough totaled 83 victories in his 31-year career, which ranks sixth all-time. His 69 poles rank fourth all-time. He also won the Daytona 500 four times (1968, '77, '83-84), a mark that ranks second only to Richard Petty's seven. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Darrell Waltrip
    A three-time NASCAR premier series champion (1981-82, '85), Waltrip won all three with legendary driver/owner Junior Johnson. Waltrip is tied with Bobby Allison and Jeff Gordon for third all-time in series victories with 84. His 59 poles rank fifth all-time in NASCAR premier series history. He competed from 1972-2000, which included a 1989 Daytona 500 victory in a Rick Hendrick-owned Chevrolet. He currently is a commentator on FOX's NASCAR broadcasts. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Dale Inman
    Dale Inman, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty's crew chief at Petty Enterprises for nearly three decades, set records for most wins (193) and championships (eight) by a crew chief. Inman won seven of those championships with Petty (1964, '67, '71, '72, '74, '75 and '79), and a final one in 1984 with Terry Labonte.

    Richie Evans
    The recognized "king" of Modified racing, Evans captured nine NASCAR Modified titles in a 13-year span, including eight in a row from 1978-85. In the first year of the current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour format in 1985, Evans won 12 races, including a sweep of all four events at Thompson, Conn. Evans ranked No. 1 in the 2003 voting of the NASCAR All-Time Modified Top 10 Drivers, and he was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Glen Wood
    Glen Wood laid the foundation for the famed Wood Brothers racing team as a driver in NASCAR's premier series. Competing on a semi-regular basis, mostly at tracks close to his southern Virginia home, Wood won four times - all at Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. Wood, of course, is best known for his collaboration with brothers Leonard and Delano in Wood Brothers Racing. The Stuart, Va.-based team, which dates to 1950 and remains active, has amassed 98 victories.

    NASCAR Preview 2012 Presented by Sprint takes place beginning at 9 a.m. Jan. 21 with NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series drivers on hand for autographs in the ballroom and Exhibit Hall. Here's a complete rundown of drivers and appearance times:
    NASCAR Preview 2012 Presented by Sprint
    Driver Appearance Times (Ballroom)
    9:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth
    10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson
    11:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. - Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski
    12:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - Greg Biffle
    12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman
    2:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Juan Pablo Montoya
    3:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. - Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart
    Driver Appearance Times (Exhibit Hall)
    9 a.m. - 11 a.m. - AJ Allmendinger, Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, David Ragan, Justin Allgaier, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Timmy Hill, Blake Koch, Travis Pastrana, Timothy Peters
    11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Marcos Ambrose, Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Brian Vickers, Aric Almirola, Trevor Bayne, Brian Scott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brad Sweet, Cale Gale, Justin Lofton, Todd Peck
    12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Michael Annett, Elliott Sadler, Mike Wallace, Dakoda Armstrong, Johnny Sauter, Parker Kligerman, Brian Keselowski, Michael Waltrip, Jason Leffler, Todd Bodine
    2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Danica Patrick, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, Morgan Shepherd, Kenny Wallace, Joey Coulter, Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan, Tim George Jr., Max Gresham
    (NASCAR)(1-20-2012)

  • MRN, SiriusXM to provide live coverage of Hall of Fame induction: Motor Racing Network is poised to kick off its 43rd year of broadcasting with live coverage of Friday's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Charlotte, N.C. The Class of 2012 will be formally enshrined as the sport honors its third group of inductees: Richie Evans, Dale Inman, Darrell Waltrip, Glenn Wood and Cale Yarborough. MRN Radio's live coverage will be anchored by Barney Hall and Joe Moore, and produced by Amada Trautman. Air time is 7:30 p.m. (EST).(MRN)
    AND: SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 will also have live coverage of the induction ceremony. SPEED will show the ceremony on Sunday, January 22 at 6:00pm/et.(1-20-2012)

  • Hall of Famers to meet with fans Saturday: NASCAR Hall of Famers and others who have a deep history in the sport will interact with fans following the NASCAR Preview 2012 on Saturday. The event will take place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame and is open to all fans who have a ticket to the hall of fame that day. Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond, Ned Jarrett and former car owner Bondy Long will be at various locations where their cars or exhibits are from 5-6 p.m. ET Saturday. Junior Johnson, Glen Wood, Leonard Wood, Dale Inman, Bud Moore and journalist Tom Higgins will be in the hall from 6:15-7:15 p.m. to talk with fans. Earlier in the day, the hall of fame will have guided tours that feature meet-and-greets with hall of famers. The tours are limited to 30 people with Junior Johnson meeting a group at 10 a.m., followed by Ned Jarrett at 11 a.m., Richard Petty (noon), Bud Moore (2 p.m.), Bobby Allison (3 p.m.) and Darrell Waltrip (4 p.m.). Tickets are $20 and include the NASCAR Preview, where more than 50 NASCAR drivers will appear throughout the day from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for autographs and question-and-answer sessions inside the Charlotte Convention Center, which is adjacent to the hall of fame.(Scene Daily)(1-20-2012)

  • November among hall's better months in 2011: The NASCAR Hall of Fame had 15,189 visitors in November, down 18% compared with the same month in 2010. The hall lost $118,582 in November. A reimbursement from the city of Charlotte for certain maintenance costs reduced the loss to $65,904. The November attendance, while down, was an improvement for the hall. In earlier months this fiscal year, attendance declines exceeded 30%. In November, the hall had a number of high-profile drivers available for autographs. For the first five months of the fiscal year, 86,196 people have visited the racing museum. In the first five months of last fiscal year, attendance was 119,576.(Charlotte Observer)(1-12-2012)

  • UnDeck the Hall Returns to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: Visitors can continue to celebrate the holidays while helping undecorate the NASCAR Hall of Fame beginning Monday, Dec. 26 at the facility's second annual UnDeck the Hall. Choosing from a display of festive Christmas trees in the Great Hall, each guest can take home one NASCAR-themed item until all are gone. The HALL-iday trees are decorated with NASCAR-themed items including autographed souvenirs and memorabilia, NASCAR-themed ornaments, die cast cars, secret surprises and more. UnDeck the Hall begins Monday, Dec. 26 and continues through the week while supplies last. For tickets, updates and details about the NASCAR Hall of Fame, go to NASCARHall.com.(NASCAR HOF)(12-25-2011)

  • Visits to Hall of Fame fall in October: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell in October by 30% compared with the same month in 2010. Attendance in October was 19,340. A year ago it was 27,555. Attractions like the NASCAR hall often see second-year attendance drops. Due to cost-cutting measures, the hall made a small surplus for the month of $43,089. The hall also receives money from the city of Charlotte for some maintenance items on the hall, which raised its surplus for the month to $89,657. For the first four months of the fiscal year, hall attendance is 71,007 compared with 100,991 through the first four months of last fiscal year.(Charlotte Observer)(12-16-2011)

  • SPEED to air biography series on 2012 Hall Of Fame Inductees: A biography series of all five 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees will air on SPEED beginning this Friday, Dec. 9 with back-to-back shows featuring Cale Yarborough at 8 p.m. ET and Dale Inman at 9 p.m. ET. The remaining biographies, also produced by NASCAR Media Group, will air on SPEED throughout December and January 2012: Richie Evans on Friday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. ET; Darrell Waltrip on Friday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. ET and Glen Wood on Friday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. ET. Each year five NASCAR legends are inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, beginning with the inaugural class of 2010. These five outstanding individuals make up the third class and will be officially enshrined at the third annual NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday evening, Jan. 20 in the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.(NASCAR)(12-8-2011)

  • Chiquita relocating headquarters to Charlotte: Chiquita Brands International, an iconic company whose name is almost synonymous with 'bananas,' said Tuesday that it will move its global headquarters to Charlotte next year, bringing some 400 jobs. The company was lured by $21.1 million in government incentives and the promise of easier international travel from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which has grown as the Ohio airport near Chiquita's current headquarters has shrunk. Chiquita is in negotiations to lease five or six floors in the NASCAR Plaza office tower adjoining the racing Hall of Fame. At the NASCAR Plaza, which has struggled to lease office space and faced foreclosure proceedings last year, Chiquita branding will feature prominently on and in the building.(Charlotte Observer)(11-30-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame open on Thanksgiving: The NASCAR Hall of Fame will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. It's one of several promotions planned by the motorsports museum in uptown Charlotte. In addition, the NASCAR hall if offering a combo-ticket package that provide admission to both the racing museum and the WBT Holiday on Ice rink at the hall of fame plaza. The rink opens Tuesday and will be in operation through Jan. 8. More info at nascarhall.com.(Charlotte Business Journal)(11-22-2011)

  • Attendance declines leveling off at NASCAR Hall of Fame: September attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell compared to September 2010, and the racing museum again lost money. But the good news for the hall is that attendance declines are leveling off. The hall's attendance in September was 13,054 - a 20% decrease compared with the 16,327 people who visited in September 2010. Previous year-over-year attendance declines had been greater than 30%. Through the first three months of the fiscal year, the hall has lost $449,747. During the same time period in 2010, the hall had lost $448,000. This fiscal year, the hall is being reimbursed for some maintenance items by the city of Charlotte. That lowers the hall's loss to $292,150. The September loss was $83,982. After being reimbursed by the city, the hall's books show a loss of only $11,962.(Charlotte Observer)(11-11-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame To Offer Limited-Time Twilight Rate: The NASCAR Hall of Fame is introducing a special Twilight Rate throughout the month of November. Available for a limited time only, the Twilight Rate offers guests visiting the interactive, entertainment attraction a special admission price of $9.95 for visits between 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. each weekday in November. In addition, Twilight Rate ticket purchasers receive a coupon for $5 off a return visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The special rate will not be offered during the Thanksgiving holiday, Thursday, Nov. 24 or Friday, Nov. 25. The Twilight Rate admission is valid for entry any time between 4 - 6 p.m. and provides full access to the NASCAR Hall of Fame where visitors can pack in the high-octane fun with more than 50 hands-on stations, authentic NASCAR artifacts and historic stock car exhibits. Guests also can get actively involved and practice a pit stop, walk through a full-size NASCAR Sprint Cup hauler, call a race, get behind the wheel in one of eight iRacing simulators and more. Young racers can get their hands-on experience in Kobalt Kids Zone and Race Week's child-friendly pit stop challenge. More info and tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at NASCARHall.com.(NASCAR HoF)(10-31-2011)

  • Hall of Fame attendance down in August: The NASCAR Hall of Fame lost $177,450 in August on attendance of 16,703 people, according to financial information released Wednesday by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. Those attendance numbers show a 27% decline compared with August 2010, when 23,539 people visited the hall. But that is actually an improvement over recent months. For the first two months of the fiscal year, the hall has lost $365,764. Its reimbursements from the city have meant its deficit is only $280,188.(Charlotte Observer)(10-13-2011)

  • Tickets on sale for "NASCAR Acceleration" Weekend: Tickets are now on sale for NASCAR Acceleration Weekend 2012, a combination of events and activities scheduled for Jan. 20-22 in Charlotte, N.C. that gives race fans an unprecedented, festival-like experience featuring legends of the sport and stars of today and tomorrow. Ticket prices range from $10 for individual event admission to $299 for a VIP weekend package. Starting off the inaugural NASCAR Acceleration Weekend on Friday, Jan. 20 is the induction of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2012 - Richie Evans, Dale Inman, Darrell Waltrip, Glen Wood, and Cale Yarborough - at a dinner and induction ceremony located in the Charlotte Convention Center, which adjoins the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Following the Induction Ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 21 is the NASCAR Preview 2012 Presented by Sprint, a new addition to the annual calendar reminiscent of popular season preview events of the past. The fan-focused, all-day event located inside the Charlotte Convention Center will feature driver and show car appearances, simulators, games, prizes, and a host of other fan-friendly and interactive activities. The highlight of the day for many fans will be autograph and on-stage Q&A sessions with drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, plus all four living NASCAR Hall of Fame members inducted the previous night. The weekend's activities continue into Sunday, Jan. 22 when the Hall of Fame exhibits of the five-member Class of 2012 will be unveiled inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame. For more information, visit www.nascaracceleration2012.com.(NASCAR)(9-21-2011)

  • More attendance woes for NASCAR Hall of Fame: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell by 35% in July from a year earlier, continuing a trend of declining results. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, operator of the $200 million publicly funded stock-car museum, reported the figures at its board meeting Wednesday. In July 2010, 33,452 people visited the hall of fame. Attendance declined to 21,910 in July 2011, the first month of the new fiscal year. July marked the third month of attendance slips of 30 percent or more in year-over-year comparisons. Those figures offer a barometer of interest in the hall of fame, which opened in May 2010. For May 2011, attendance was 30 percent below the previous year (25,034 visitors compared with 35,090 in May 2010). In June 2011, crowds dropped by 39 percent to 17,604 visitors for the month. Visitors authority board members didn't discuss the hall of fame results during their meeting. A recent update to City Council included questions and discussion of whether ticket prices could be hurting attendance (Charlotte Business Journal)(9-15-2011)

  • Special Fan Event Joins NASCAR Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony: NASCAR announced the addition of a new fan-friendly event - the NASCAR Preview 2012, Presented by Sprint - that will follow January's 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. "NASCAR Acceleration Weekend," scheduled for Jan. 20-22 in Charlotte, N.C., gives race fans an unprecedented, festival-like experience with a combination of events and activities featuring the legends of the sport and stars of today. "The NASCAR Acceleration Weekend will be an unforgettable start of a special tradition centered on the NASCAR Hall of Fame," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "Putting the 2012 Induction Ceremony together with the NASCAR Preview 2012 makes this a must-visit event weekend for racing fans across the country."
    Kicking off the inaugural NASCAR Acceleration Weekend on Friday, Jan. 20 is the induction of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2012 - Richie Evans, Dale Inman, Darrell Waltrip, Glen Wood, and Cale Yarborough - at a dinner and ceremony located in the Charlotte Convention Center, which adjoins the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This revered group, comprised of three drivers, a crew chief and a team owner, marks the third class to be inducted into the Hall. Exhibits of the five-member class will be unveiled inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Sunday, Jan. 22.
    Following the Induction Ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 21 is the NASCAR Preview 2012, Presented by Sprint, a new addition to the annual calendar reminiscent of popular season preview events of the past. The fan-focused, all-day event located inside the Charlotte Convention Center will feature driver and show car appearances, simulators, games, prizes, and a host of other fan-friendly and interactive activities. The highlight of the day for many fans will be autograph and on-stage Q&A sessions with drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, plus four of the five new NASCAR Hall of Fame members inducted the previous night.
    The NASCAR Preview 2012, Presented by Sprint now joins the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway, held the previous week, as the two premier events for fans to meet their favorite drivers and get revved up for the start of the season at the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 26. "Accessibility to the stars of the sport is what sets NASCAR apart from other professional sports," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "Giving fans an opportunity to honor legends of the sport one day and then meet future Hall of Famers the next day is the kind of fan-focused activities that the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte is uniquely positioned to deliver." Tickets for the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the NASCAR Preview 2012, Presented by Sprint go on sale Sept. 20. Fans can enter their e-mail address at www.nascaracceleration2012.com to receive updates and to receive a promo code for pre-sale opportunities.(NHOF)(8-17-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame posts $1.42 million loss: The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which will induct its third five-member class in January, posted an overall loss of $1.42 million for its first operating fiscal year. Owned and operated by the City of Charlotte through a license from NASCAR, the hall opened in May 2010 and its fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30. The losses are covered from the Charlotte tourism board reserves, but $979,563 of the deficit are royalties owed to NASCAR, which has deferred collecting on those payments until the hall of fame become profitable. The year-end figure was slightly higher than the $1.24 million loss originally forecasted in January as the hall lost $137,895 in June. Attendance for June was 17,604, compared with 28,678 for June 2010, the month after the hall opened.(Scene Daily)(8-12-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame attendance for June: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell nearly 40 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago, a development that could bring more cost-cutting to the city-owned hall. Unofficial numbers released Wednesday showed 17,604 people visited the hall in June, compared with 28,678 people in June 2011. Second-year attendance declines for attractions such as the hall aren't unusual, as initial excitement wears off. But the hall's budget for fiscal year 2012 calls for admissions from ticket revenue to increase by nearly 20 percent. Attendance in May was also down compared with the same month in 2010. Last year, 35,979 people attended the hall during the 21 days it was open. This year 25,034 people came during the entire month of May. If those attendance declines continue the hall could face a multi-million dollar loss for the current budget year.(Charlotte Observer)(7-14-2011)

  • Auto Show at the NASCAR Hall of Fame: The NASCAR Automotive Group invites NASCAR fans and automotive enthusiasts in the Charlotte, N.C. area to get their July 4th weekend in top gear this year by heading out to the NASCAR Performance Auto Show, which will be held on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Ceremonial Plaza on Saturday, July 2, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm/et.
    NASCAR fans will have the opportunity to check out personal cars of some of their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and personalities like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Ray Evernham and many more. The event will include games and giveaways, enter to win promotion featuring great prizes and experiences, exhibits by NASCAR automotive partners, NASCAR Hall of Fame discount offers, and passes for the Coke Zero 400 viewing party that night in the NASCAR Hall of Fame High Octane Theater.
    Notable personal cars of NASCAR stars set to be featured at the NASCAR Performance Auto Show. The NASCAR Performance Auto Show is the second in a series of car shows to hit the NASCAR Hall of Fame Ceremonial Plaza this year. Admission to the Auto Show is free. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at www.NASCARHall.com.(NHOF)(6-30-2011)

  • 3rd Hall of Fame class announced:
    NASCAR announced today the 2012 class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person class, which will be officially inducted in a ceremony during the weekend of Jan. 20, 2012 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., consists of: Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman, Richie Evans and Glen Wood.
    Members of the 55-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2012. The announcement was made by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's "Great Hall."
    The class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
    As was the case for the first two classes of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the results of this year's voting were competitive. Yarborough led with 85 percent of the vote, followed by Waltrip (82%), Inman (78%), Evans (50%) and Wood (44%).
    Also receiving votes were Jerry Cook, Cotton Owens, Raymond Parks and Herb Thomas.
    The fans' five picks, in alphabetical order, were Richard Childress, Benny Parsons, Fireball Roberts, Waltrip and Yarborough.
    The five inductees came from a group of 25 nominees for induction into the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame class that included:
    Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, H. Clay Earles, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Bobby Isaac, Dale Inman, Fred Lorenzen, Cotton Owens, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Les Richter, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood, Leonard Wood and Cale Yarborough.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened on May 11, 2010 in Uptown Charlotte, N.C. The 150,000 square foot entertainment complex honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of the sport. In its first year of operation, the NASCAR Hall of Fame entertained more than 270,000 customers, making it the second most-visited sports hall of fame in North America.
    More info about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the list of 25 who were finalists for induction on my NASCAR Hall of Fame page or nascarhall.com.(6-14-2011)

    Class of 2012 Inductees:

    Cale Yarborough
    William Caleb Yarborough was the first driver to win three consecutive NASCAR premier series championships, from 1976-78. During his three-year dominance, Yarborough won 28 races - nine in 1976, nine in '77 and 10 in '78. His final championship points margin in those three years was never fewer than 195 points and was as much as 474 in 1978. Yarborough totaled 83 victories in his 31-year career, which ranks sixth all-time. His 69 poles rank fourth all-time. He also won the Daytona 500 four times (1968, '77, '83-84), a mark that ranks second only to Richard Petty's seven. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Darrell Waltrip
    A three-time NASCAR premier series champion (1981-82, '85), Waltrip won all three with legendary driver/owner Junior Johnson. Waltrip is tied with Bobby Allison and Jeff Gordon for third all-time in series victories with 84. His 59 poles rank fifth all-time in NASCAR premier series history. He competed from 1972-2000, which included a 1989 Daytona 500 victory in a Rick Hendrick-owned Chevrolet. He currently is a commentator on FOX's NASCAR broadcasts. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Dale Inman
    Dale Inman, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty's crew chief at Petty Enterprises for nearly three decades, set records for most wins (193) and championships (eight) by a crew chief. Inman won seven of those championships with Petty (1964, '67, '71, '72, '74, '75 and '79), and a final one in 1984 with Terry Labonte.

    Richie Evans
    The recognized "king" of Modified racing, Evans captured nine NASCAR Modified titles in a 13-year span, including eight in a row from 1978-85. In the first year of the current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour format in 1985, Evans won 12 races, including a sweep of all four events at Thompson, Conn. Evans ranked No. 1 in the 2003 voting of the NASCAR All-Time Modified Top 10 Drivers, and he was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Glen Wood
    Glen Wood laid the foundation for the famed Wood Brothers racing team as a driver in NASCAR's premier series. Competing on a semi-regular basis, mostly at tracks close to his southern Virginia home, Wood won four times - all at Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. Wood, of course, is best known for his collaboration with brothers Leonard and Delano in Wood Brothers Racing. The Stuart, Va.-based team, which dates to 1950 and remains active, has amassed 98 victories.

  • 3rd NASCAR Hall of Fame Class to be announced: Voting Day is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14th at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the next Class of Inductees. Five inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be chosen from a list of twenty-five. SPEED will air a live preview show of the announcement of the third class of five inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame at 3:00pm/et, followed by live coverage of the announcement at 4:00pm/et.(6-13-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame attendance for May: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell 30% in May 2011 compared with the same month a year earlier - the first year-over-year comparison for the city-owned attraction. Such a decline isn't a surprise, and similar attractions report attendance declines once the initial excitement wears off. But the hall's budget for the upcoming fiscal year projects the opposite. Instead of revenue declining from ticket sales, the hall projects a nearly 20% increase. A year ago, the hall attracted 35,090 people for the 21 days it was open in May. In May 2010, the hall attracted 25,014 people, according to estimates released Wednesday. The hall projects admissions revenue will be $4.9 million for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. It projects admissions revenue to be $4.2 million for the current fiscal year.
    That $700,000 increase helped the hall show only a $1.1 million operating deficit for the upcoming year. That deficit will be covered by a subsidy from the city of Charlotte, according to the CRVA. The subsidy will come from a 2 percent tax on hotel and motel room occupancy that's dedicated towards the hall. Hall spokesperson Kimberly Meesters said the optimistic ticket revenue projections are a "stretch goal" designed to push staff members to keep improving. If the numbers don't pan out, the hall can adjust its budget, she said.
    Despite struggles in its first year, CRVA board members and staff were upbeat about the hall. Executive director Winston Kelley said the hall has had a "direct spend" benefit of $40 million in its first year. That is based on surveys of how much people spent during their visits to the hall.(Charlotte Observer)(6-9-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame expects increased attendance: Next year's NASCAR Hall of Fame's draft budget predicts revenue from admissions will increase nearly 20 percent, an optimistic projection that runs counter to the experience of many similar attractions. The Georgia Aquarium, for instance, saw attendance decline 25 percent for its second year, and 15 percent more from year two to year three after the initial excitement wore off. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland showed similar declines in its first three years of operation. Attendance at those venues - and many others - then stabilized. The city-owned NASCAR Hall of Fame projected 800,000 visitors for its first year. Instead, attendance was roughly 274,000, including 12,000 free visits during an open house in January. Before the hall opened last year, hall backers expected attendance to decline from the first year to the second year. The draft budget calls for $4.88 million in admission revenue next fiscal year, while this year's admissions revenue is expected to be $4.15 million. A memo from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which operates the hall, said the admissions projections are based on a "stretch" target.(Charlotte Observer)(6-3-2011)

  • Second NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Officially Enshrined: With each win, and each championship, a legend grew. And now, those legends have a permanent home. The second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame - champions all - captured over 350 victories and a dozen championships in NASCAR's premier series. The five inductees - Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore, David Pearson and Lee Petty - make up the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., which was officially inducted tonight, Monday, May 23. "This is fast becoming a night we all look forward to on the calendar," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, in his opening remarks during tonight's Induction Ceremony. "To the second class, thank you for the memories and moments you gave this great sport."
    The common thread each inductee shares: NASCAR premier series championships. Allison won his lone premier series title in 1983, but his NASCAR Hall of Fame credentials may lie elsewhere. He won 84 times - tied for third on the all-time list - and three were in NASCAR's most prominent race, the Daytona 500 (1978, '82 and '88). Not to be overshadowed, a proud piece of the Allison legacy: His two NASCAR Modified Series championships, in 1964-65.
    "I went through a lot of things," Allison said in his acceptance speech. "I got involved with a lot of people along the way. I won some races. Struggled, got better, did poorly, got better and everything. But the bottom line, it was just an incredible career. And this involved so many people."
    Two-careers-in-one landed Jarrett in the Hall. His first, that as a prolific driver, made him a NASCAR legend. His second, as an everyman broadcaster, made him a household name. Jarrett won 50 races, two NASCAR premier series championships (1961 and '65) and two NASCAR Sportsman Division titles (1957-58), and later worked as an analyst for several networks, including MRN, CBS and ESPN.
    "When it was announced several years ago there would be a NASCAR Hall of Fame, and when my name was among the original 25 nominees, my prayer from then on was to live long enough to be elected," said Jarrett. "I've had to work hard on my health to be able to be here and enjoy this tremendous honor ... I am very humbled by this huge honor, and I don't take it lightly."
    Moore's life is a storyteller's dream. A World War II veteran who won five Purple Hearts, Moore went on to become one of the top owners and crew chiefs in NASCAR history. Credited with having a hand in shaping the beginnings of NASCAR, Moore won 63 premier series races as an owner, and three championships - as a crew chief for Buck Baker in 1957 and an owner for Joe Weatherly in 1962-63.
    "My daughter-in-law, Carol, recently asked me how I wanted to be remembered," said Moore during his induction speech. "The answer is simple: As one who made many contributions to the building of the sport, one whose handshake was as good as any contract, who always gave a straight answer and would never sugar coat it either. But most of all, to be remembered as a man who loved his family, his country and the sport of racing."
    Pearson's 105 NASCAR premier series victories, which ranks second all-time, and three championships place him firmly on the short-list of "best NASCAR drivers ever." Pearson never competed in every race in a season, yet tallied his astonishing wins total and still won multiple championships. In his acceptance speech, Pearson gave a nod to his prime competition in the "greatest ever" argument. "I want to thank Richard Petty, too," Pearson said. "He's probably the one that made me win as many as I did. I run hard because he'd make me run hard. Sometimes he would make a mistake and I'd pass him. Of course, I didn't ever make mistakes. ... I've had more fun running with him than anybody I ever run with 'cause I knew if I ever went to a racetrack and he was there, if I could beat him, I'd win the race."
    The patriarch of one of the most successful families in the sport's history, Lee Petty joins his son, Richard, in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Petty won 54 NASCAR premier series races, and was the first to win three NASCAR premier series championships. He also founded Petty Enterprise, the juggernaut that amassed 10 driver championships under his watch. Petty, the only deceased member of the second class, was inducted into the Hall by grandsons Kyle, Mark, Ritchie and Tim Petty. Sons Richard and Maurice accepted the induction on Lee's behalf.
    "[Lee Petty] lived in his world and he didn't want anybody to tell him how to live in his world," said Richard. "His big deal was to take care of his own. If you got in the way, didn't make a whole lot of difference to him, he got you out of the way. ... Hopefully he's up there somewhere saying, 'Okay, I know I'd get there, might have to push somebody out of the way to get there.'"
    The inductors for the other four inductees: MRN broadcaster Barney Hall for Bud Moore; children Dale and Glenn Jarrett and Patti Makar for Ned Jarrett; brother Donnie Allison for Bobby Allison; and former public relations director for Darlington Raceway Russell Branham and Wood Brothers co-owner Leonard Wood for David Pearson.
    Special congratulatory videos opened each inductee's segment, with a number of high-profiled names starring in each. Those involved: University of Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban for Bobby Allison; former NASCAR broadcaster Ken Squier for Ned Jarrett; broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw for Bud Moore; NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty for David Pearson; and former President of the United States George H.W. Bush for Lee Petty. The five inductee exhibits officially open tomorrow (Tuesday) at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. For info on the NASCAR Hall of Fame, visit nascarhall.com.(NASCAR)(5-24-2011)

  • Hall of Fame Induction on SPEED: Mike Joy hosts the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony coverage with backstage hosting assistance from Krista Voda as Lee Petty, Bud Moore, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson and Bobby Allison are enshrined in the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame at 8:00pm/et on SPEED. NASCAR Race Hub sets the stage for the Induction Ceremony with live interviews and pre-event ceremonies from the Hall of Fame at 7:00pm/et, and the network wraps up the special night with a 30-minute post-ceremony show. SPEED will air encore one-hour biography specials on the five inductees Monday beginning at 2:00 pm/et with the Petty special, followed by the specials on Moore, Jarrett, Pearson and Allison.(SPEED), see bios and info on my NASCAR Hall of Fame Class #2 page.(5-23-2011)

  • Former president welcomes Petty to Hall of Fame: President George H.W. Bush is no stranger to successful family dynasties, and the 41st President of the United States will share some of his perspective as he welcomes Petty family patriarch Lee Petty into the NASCAR Hall of Fame via video on May 23. "President Bush welcoming my grandfather into the NASCAR Hall of Fame is huge because when he raced, I don't think there was a president in the White House who knew what stock car racing was," said Kyle Petty, Lee Petty's grandson and SPEED analyst. "It's kind of like when President Reagan was there for The King's 200th win. That was a big deal for The King but it also was a big deal for our family and our sport. I don't think my grandfather would ever have expected anything like this because the president recognizing a NASCAR driver's accomplishments was so far outside of the realm of what he thought possible back then."
    "The participation by President Bush amplifies the significance of the roles these inductees played as part of the fabric of our country," said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. "SPEED is honored to be sharing an event of this magnitude with passionate race fans everywhere."
    Tom Brokaw, longtime anchor of NBC Nightly News and the author of The Greatest Generation, the best-selling book about the men and women who lived through the Great Depression and fought in World War II, will welcome Moore into the Hall. Moore, a veteran of WW II and successful NASCAR team owner, was among the soldiers who stormed the beach at Normandy on D-Day.
    The University of Alabama's national championship-winning coach Nick Saban pays tribute to Allison, a founding member of racing's famed Alabama Gang, which included Allison, his brother Donnie, Red Farmer, Bobby's son, Davey, Neil and David Bonnett and Hut Stricklin.
    Richard Petty, a member of the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the undisputed "King" of NASCAR racing welcomes arch-rival David Pearson into the Hall, as the pair combined for an amazing 63 first/second place finishes. Legendary race broadcaster Ken Squier welcomes two-time NASCAR champion and broadcasting pioneer Ned Jarrett.(SPEED)(5-22-2011)

  • NASCAR hall marks a year: The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which celebrated its first anniversary Wednesday, said it has attracted 274,000 visitors since opening - second only nationwide to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority stressed the positives about the city-owned hall at its monthly meeting, and said the hall has been a boost to the city's hospitality industry. But the hall is still losing money. The hall lost $184,672 in March, on attendance of 15,881, according to the CRVA. That brings the hall's loss in the first nine months of the fiscal year to $1.33 million. Before the hall opened, the CRVA projected a nearly $800,000 surplus. But with attendance lower than projected, the CRVA has slashed more than $4 million in expenses. The CRVA projects the hall will finish the year with a deficit of $1.29 million. That means the hall is projected to break even for the months of April, May and June. The authority plans to use its $3.4 million reserve fund to cover the deficit. If losses continue, the CRVA would likely have to ask the Charlotte City Council for money from its tourism tax reserves. The CRVA and the city have said that general fund tax dollars won't be used. Winston Kelley, the hall's executive director, said the baseball hall's annual attendance is 281,000. He said the hall's unaudited attendance for its first year shows 274,000 visitors, though that number includes roughly 12,000 people who visited in January during a free open weeklong open house. "Our staff remains bullish," Kelley said during the CRVA meeting. Derick Close, CRVA board chair, was also optimistic. He said the hall's first-year attendance projection of 800,000 is "behind us," and he said he expected the hall to do well in upcoming years. CRVA board members said the hall has put the city on the map, and helped fill hotel rooms and attract conventions. They said CRVA staff should start comparing the hall's attendance with other sports halls nationwide.(Charlotte Observer)(5-14-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Celebrates First Birthday: The NASCAR Hall of Fame celebrated its first birthday today with a special celebration attended by nearly 300 students from neighboring Metro School. In its first 12 months, the NASCAR Hall of Fame entertained more than 270,000 customers making it the second-most visited sports hall of fame in North America. In addition to the morning ceremony, guests visiting on May 11 were treated to a special one-day admission price of $5.11 with a $1 donation per ticket going to the American Red Cross for tornado victims (NASCAR Hall of Fame Facebook)(5-12-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Celebrates First Birthday: On Wednesday, May 11, 2011, the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C., will celebrate its first birthday. A year ago, the venue captured national attention during its grand opening. This year's celebration will focus on the local and regional community. Highlights include a visit from Metro School students, special one-day admission price of $5.11 and donations to the Red Cross for tornado victims. "It is appropriate that we take a moment to show our appreciation for the community that has embraced us," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "We have had challenges in this economy, the same challenges that many start-up businesses have. However, we also have many stories that should make Charlotteans and the NASCAR community very proud." As a special treat, various executives and board members will serve birthday cake to students from neighboring Metro School shortly after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11 in the Great Hall. In addition, all customers that day will be treated to a discounted admission of $5.11 in honor of the landmark date, and $1 from every admission will go directly to the Red Cross to fund tornado relief efforts. In its first 12 months, the NASCAR Hall of Fame entertained more than 270,000 customers making it the second-most visited sports hall of fame in North America. In 2010, the National Baseball Hall of Fame led the way with 281,000 visitors, while the Pro Football Hall of Fame had 191,943 visitors. More info at the NASCAR Hall of Fame site.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-9-2011)

  • MRN to broadcast Hall of Fame Induction: The Motor Racing Network will provide live coverage of the 2011 induction ceremony for the NASCAR Hall of Fame later this month as the cornerstone of its May schedule. The Hall of Fame induction will air live at 7 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, May 23, capping a busy four-day stretch of broadcasts by the network that will include the Camping World Truck Series race May 20 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 - both originating from Charlotte Motor Speedway.(MRN)(5-6-2011)

  • Nominees announced for 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class: NASCAR announced the list of 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's third induction class to be enshrined in January 2012. From that list, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM.
    Of the 25 nominees, 20 return from last year's group. Five are first-timers: H. Clay Earles, Bobby Isaac, Cotton Owens, Les Richter and Leonard Wood.
    This round of nominees, which again includes many of the sport's legendary names, were selected by a 21-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks. The committee's votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.
    The NHOF's inductees will be determined by the Voting Panel, which has 54 members - the entire Nominating Committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel's 55th and final ballot. Fan voting on NASCAR.COM opens on April 28 and closes June 12.
    Following are the 25 nominees, listed alphabetically:
    * Buck Baker,first driver to win consecutive NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series championships (1956-57)
    * Red Byron, first NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, in 1949
    * Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    * Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
    * H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
    * Richie Evans,nine-time NASCAR Modified champion
    * Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    * Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    * Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion
    * Dale Inman, eight-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series championship crew chief
    * Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    * Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
    * Cotton Owens, driver-owner, won 1966 owner championship with David Pearson
    * Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    * Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    * Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway
    * Fireball Roberts, won 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series races, including the 1962 Daytona 500
    * T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Senior VP
    * Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, 1951, '53
    * Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    * Darrell Waltrip, 84 wins and three NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series championships
    * Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
    * Glen Wood, as driver, laid foundation for Wood Brothers' future team success
    * Leonard Wood, part-owner and former crew chief for Wood Brothers, revolutionized pit stops
    * Cale Yarborough, three consecutive NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series titles, 1976-78
    The Class of 2012 will be announced live on SPEED on June 14 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C and inducted next January. The 2011 class, which includes David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Lee Petty, and Bud Moore will be enshrined at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Monday, May 23. The 21-person Nominating Committee, as well as the additional 34 members who make up the Voting Panel, are as follows...
    NOMINATING COMMITTEE
    NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.
    NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Senior Vice President Paul Brooks; President Mike Helton; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Vice President Ken Clapp.
    Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway owner Doc Mattioli; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Toyota Speedway at Irwindale operator Jim Williams; Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery.
    VOTING PANEL
    The Voting Panel consists of the above 21-member Nominating Committee and the following 34 representatives.
    National Motorsports Press Association: Rea White, NMPA President; Kenny Bruce, SceneDaily.com; Dustin Long, Landmark Newspapers; Nate Ryan, USA Today; Jenna Fryer, Associated Press; Jim Pedley, RacinToday.com; NASCAR.COM representative TBD.
    Eastern Motorsports Press Association: Ernie Saxton, EMPA President.
    American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association: Dusty Brandel, AARWBA President.
    Broadcasters: Mike Joy, FOX; Jerry Punch, ESPN; Kyle Petty, TNT; Barney Hall, MRN; Doug Rice, PRN; Rick Allen, SPEED; Dave Moody, Sirius NASCAR Radio.
    Manufacturers: Chevrolet - Jim Campbell, former General Manager; Ford - Edsel B. Ford II, Board of Directors; Toyota - Lee White, President/General Manager, Toyota Racing Development USA.
    Retired Drivers: Harry Gant; Ned Jarrett; Richard Petty; Ricky Rudd.
    Retired Car Owners: Bud Moore; Cotton Owens; Junior Johnson.
    Retired Crew Chiefs: Barry Dodson; Waddell Wilson; Buddy Parrott.
    Industry leaders:Former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler; retired Associated Press writer Mike Harris; former motor sports journalist Tom Higgins; former broadcaster Ken Squier.
    Fan Vote.(NASCAR)(4-19-2011)

  • 2012 Hall of Fame nominees to be named Tuesday: The 25 nominees for the 2012 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be announced Tuesday, April 19 on NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED. Host Steve Byrnes will reveal the list of those chosen for consideration to the third class beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Voting for the five inductees to the 2012 class will be held in October, and the inductees will be enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in January 2012 on SPEED. The network also will carry the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring Lee Petty, Bud Moore, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson and Bobby Allison, May 23, 2011, at 8 p.m. ET, preceded by live pre-event coverage on NASCAR Race Hub at 7 p.m. ET.(SPEED)(4-15-2011)

  • NASCAR hall's losses reach $1 million: The NASCAR Hall of Fame lost $187,983 in January, pushing its cumulative loss for the fiscal year to $1.03 million. The hall's total attendance for the month was 23,177, which includes nearly 12,000 people who visited for free during a one-week open house. Before the hall opened in May, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority projected the hall would have a surplus of roughly $700,000 for its first year. But that budget has since been revised, and the CRVA now forecasts a loss of $1.29 million for fiscal year 2011. The good news for the CRVA is that the hall's financial performance is now matching the revised budget. In its revised budget, the CRVA had projected a loss of $1.07 million through January. That means the hall is slightly ahead of its new budget. The hall probably will have two more lean months in February and March before crowds grow again in April, May and June.(Charlotte Observer)(3-10-2011)

  • Hall of Fame inductions moved to January starting in 2012: NASCAR announced that the annual Induction Ceremony for the NASCAR Hall of Fame will move to January. The prestigious annual ceremony, which features presentations about each inductee from prominent members of the NASCAR community, will move from May to January starting in 2012. The exact Induction Ceremony date will be announced at a later time. "After holding the inaugural Induction Ceremony in May of 2010, we quickly decided a move to January would give this event a life of its own and would ensure the inductees garner the appropriate amount of attention from the fans, the media and the local community," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "In addition to this being the right move for the inductees, we also feel like making this a standalone event will greatly benefit NASCAR fans across the country that are itching for news in the early parts of the year." The 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony remains unchanged and will take place on Monday, May 23 at 7 p.m. ET in the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C. The Voting Panel for the third NASCAR Hall of Fame class will see some new faces with the addition of NASCAR's Senior Vice President of Racing Operations, Steve O'Donnell, and Marcus Smith, president and chief operating officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc. NMPA President Rea White, Associated Press motorsports reporter Jenna Fryer and Sirius NASCAR Radio host Dave Moody also were added to the panel. As a result of the schedule change, voting for the 2012 class will take place on June 14 inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Fans who purchase a ticket that day can attend this special event.(NASCAR)(3-2-2011)

  • NASCAR hall posts largest monthly loss: The NASCAR Hall of Fame lost $327,041 in December, the largest monthly deficit since the hall opened in May. The losses were somewhat expected, as December was originally projected to be a slow month for the $200 million racing museum. In the original budget, the hall was expected to lose $118,171 for the month. Attendance for December was 14,636. For the first six months of the fiscal year, which began July 1, the hall has lost $836,745. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which operates the city-owned hall, has scrapped its original budget. It has slashed expenses and now projects the hall will lose $1.288 million for the fiscal year. The CRVA has said that it will cover the hall's loss this year from its own reserves. It's unclear how the CRVA would handle future losses, but it would likely ask the Charlotte City Council to use reserves from hospitality taxes to pay for any shortfall. The city and the CRVA have said that general fund tax dollars won't be used. From the hall's opening May 11 through the end of December - a period of just under eight months - total attendance has been 197,737. The first-year projection was for 800,000 people, but it appears the hall will attract between 250,000 and 275,000 people. Hall officials have said they need to attract 350,000 people to break even. In January, the hall held a free open house for one week, for two hours a day in the afternoon. The open house attracted nearly 12,000 visitors but it's unclear if the hall has been able to make money off the visitors from food or merchandise sales.(Charlotte Observer)(2-10-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Licensed Tour Allows Guests to Remember the Life of Dale Earnhardt: The NASCAR Hall of Fame and AIM Tours are offering a once in-a-lifetime experience to reflect on the career of Inaugural Inductee Dale Earnhardt. The Dale Tour, a special two-day motorcoach tour limited to 50 people, gives guests the opportunity to tour the NASCAR Hall of Fame, meet Martha Earnhardt, have lunch at the RCR Museum, join a candlelight visual at DEI and visit many other Earnhardt-specific attractions Thursday, Feb. 17 - Friday, Feb. 18. The Dale Tour is a special two-day version of NASCAR Hall of Fame's popular Ultimate Fan Experience tour and gives fans a look into the life of one of NASCAR's most beloved drivers. It recognizes many of Earnhardt's accomplishments on the racetrack as well as a behind-the-scenes look into his life off the track. Tickets are $179 per person and include two days of lunch, transportation and attraction admissions. The Dale Tour is offered through AIM Tours in conjunction with the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tickets are $179.00 per person. The Dale Tour is limited to 50 guests. To learn more call 704-938-7390 or visit www.NASCARHall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(2-4-2011)

  • Educators Invited to Explore NASCAR Hall of Fame Free Feb. 5: Teachers are invited to explore the NASCAR Hall of Fame free of charge 10 am - 6 pm Saturday, Feb. 5. Educators from K-12 public, private and charter schools can learn more about the valuable programming available that delves into a range of science, math and social studies concepts to engage young minds.
    Teachers can view three new social studies lesson packets and the six science and math lesson packets launched last year. Teachers also can view artifacts and exhibits that directly relate to curriculum standards. Members of the education department will be available to answer questions and share lesson plans. Advance reservations are not required, but educators must bring a photo ID and proof of employment at an accredited K-12 educational institution to the box office to receive free admission.
    Specialized lesson plans act as a starting point for teachers looking to integrate this experience into their own classrooms. Each less plan includes a pre-visit activity, on-site activity at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and a post-visit activity. All lesson plans match state and national learning standards and are available at www.NASCARHall.com. The NASCAR Hall of Fame staff also offers assistance to teachers who prefer individualized curriculum.
    Friends and family who accompany an educator are eligible for discounted admission from the box office on Saturday, Feb. 5. Discounted adult admission is $15.95 for adults, $9.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. seven days a week. Discounted parking is available in the NASCAR Hall of Fame parking garage on Brevard Street.(NHOF)(2-3-2011)

  • Trinity Capital group taking over at NASCAR Plaza tower: Charlotte-based Trinity Capital has teamed with a Philadelphia real estate investment firm to buy the NASCAR Plaza office tower, which had fallen into foreclosure after a loan default by its previous owner. Trinity and partner Rubenstein Partners have purchased the 19-story, 390,000-square-foot building at South Caldwell and East Stonewall streets.(Charlotte Business Journal)(1-13-2011)

  • Cuts help NASCAR hall trim loss: The NASCAR Hall of Fame narrowed its loss for November, with a deficit of $100,801 for the month thanks to aggressive cost-cutting. Attendance for the month was 18,585, which includes a large crowd of 2,000 for the day after Thanksgiving. That was the second-smallest monthly crowd since the city of Charlotte-owned hall opened in May, but the hall's new austerity measures appear to be in place. The hall had $602,550 in revenue compared with $703,351 in expenses for the month. In previous months, the hall had been spending between $800,000 and $850,000 in expenses. The hall's loss for the first five months of fiscal year is $509,703. The hall had budgeted a $1.1 million surplus by this point. In an effort to generate excitement, the hall is holding a free open house week this week. From 4 to 6 p.m., through Friday, visitors can see the hall for free. They can see all exhibits, though some electronic exhibits require a smart card, which requires a paid ticket. Hall spokesperson Kimberly Meesters said the response has been "fantastic," with more than 4,000 visitors in the first two days of the open house. The snow canceled the open house Monday and Tuesday. In a revised budget, the hall is now projecting a loss of $1.29 million for the fiscal year, which ends in June. The loss will be covered by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority's $3.4 million reserve fund, and city officials have said no general fund tax dollars will be used for the hall. The general fund pays for police, fire and other essential services.(Charlotte Observer)(1-13-2011)

  • NASCAR HoF closed Tuesday: Due to hazardous conditions around the entry of the facility, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be closed to the public Tuesday, Jan. 11. At this time the facility is scheduled to operate normal business hours 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12. However, all hours are subject to change based on weather and road conditions. The ticker on the center of the front page of NASCARHall.com is the best source for updates. NASCAR Hall of Fame corporate offices remain open.(NASCAR HoF)(1-11-2011)

  • Snow cancels NASCAR HoF open house Monday: Due to inclement weather and poor road conditions, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will close at 4:00 pm Monday, Jan. 10 and reopen at noon Tuesday, Jan. 11 (a two-hour delay Tuesday). The Open House is canceled for Monday but is still on schedule for the remainder of the week (4-6 p.m. Tuesday - Friday). All hours are subject to change based on weather and road conditions. The ticker on the center of the front page of NASCARHall.com is the best source for updates.(NASCAR HoF)(1-10-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame debuts new exhibit: With the new year beginning, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is set to unveil a new exhibition, "Short Careers, Lasting Legacy" on Saturday, Jan. 8. The debut also kicks off "Open House Week" where guests can visit the entertainment facility for free from Saturday, Jan. 8 - Friday, Jan. 14 between 4 - 6 p.m. "Short Careers, Lasting Legacy" is on exhibit through late June in the Great Hall. It showcases authentic artifacts that tell the story of some of NASCAR's most memorable personalities. The exhibition recognizes individuals who left the sport in their prime or before they reached their full potential. Highlighting the exhibition is Tim Richmond's #25 Folgers Monte Carlo (1987), Alan Kulwicki's #7 Hooters Thunderbird (1992) and Davey Allison's #28 Texaco Thunderbird. Additional artifacts on display commemorate NASCAR contributors Bondy Long, Carl Kiekhaefer, Adam Petty and Billy and Bobby Myers.(Hall of Fame PR)(1-7-2011)

  • Bank halts foreclosure of NASCAR Plaza: Wells Fargo & Co. has stopped foreclosing on the NASCAR Plaza office tower in uptown Charlotte. The lender started foreclosure proceedings in November after being sued by its co-lender, Regions Bank, which claimed Wells "failed and refused to take timely action to collect" on the loan after the tower's developers stopped paying on the loan in December 2009. A foreclosure hearing had been scheduled for Nov. 30 and then rescheduled for Jan. 5 so the parties could continue negotiations, according to court filings. The case was voluntary dismissed without prejudice by the lender Dec. 31. Wells declined to comment.(Charlotte Observer)(1-6-2011)

    2010 News

  • Sara Evans concert at NASCAR Hall of Fame: The NASCAR Hall of Fame is set to welcome country royalty. Presented by WKKT 96.9 The Kat, guests can enter to win tickets to a special holiday concert Thursday, Dec. 16, featuring award-winning singer Sara Evans, courtesy of RCA Records. Bring an unwrapped toy to the NASCAR Hall of Fame anytime before Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. to become eligible for tickets. The WKKT 96.9 The Kat's Schadt-a-Claus Wrap-up Concert will take place in the Belk High Octane Theater at the Hall Thursday, Dec. 16 at 4:30 p.m. Winners will be notified Dec. 15. More info at NASCARHall. com. The concert is a thank you event from WKKT-FM, Morning Personality Paul Schadt and his co-host Meg for helping the annual Schadt-a-Claus Toy Drive benefit the US Marine Corp and Toys for Tots. Evans will perform a 30-40 minute acoustic set for the winners in the Belk High Octane Theater, while Charlotte's Honorary Mayor of Country Music, Schadt, and his co-host Meg will be on hand to greet fans and listeners. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will be accepting toys for the drive in the main lobby through Tuesday, Dec.14.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(12-13-2010)

  • More losses expected at Hall of Fame: After losing $409,000 between July and October, the NASCAR Hall of Fame expects to lose a total of $1 million to $1.3 million by the end of the current fiscal year next summer. Those projections from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority were included in a detailed analysis of the hall of fame's operations included in the regular Friday memo sent to City Council members this week. Losses in that range assume attendance in the range of 250,000 to 275,000 people for the year, a sharp reduction from several previous projections made before and after the hall of fame opened last spring. Even with 300,000 people visiting this fiscal year - attendance totaled 101,000 through the first four months - the hall of fame would still lose $544,000 for the year, according to the projections provided to the city. A slight profit occurs when attendance reaches 330,000. Deficits are expected in the latest budget scenarios. Tim Newman, chief executive at the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, told the board he sees little chance of recouping the $409,000 lost during the first four months of the current fiscal year, but did not disclose the specific estimates released to the city later in the day. As those projections make clear, even with as much as $3 million in cuts expected next month, the hall of fame still anticipates more losses during the final eight months of fiscal 2011. This week, the visitors authority, which operates the publicly owned hall of fame, reported audited results for October. Despite a $40,000 profit for the month - a dramatic improvement compared with September - the hall of fame missed earlier forecasts by a wide margin. The visitors authority anticipated a profit of $1.1 million through the first four months; instead, it's running a deficit of $409,000 at the $195 million hall of fame.(Charlotte Business Journal)(12-12-2010)

  • Hall of Fame Ceremony set for May 23: NASCAR announced that the 2011 Induction Ceremony for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's second class will be held on Monday, May 23. Joining the inaugural class of Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Junior Johnson and Richard Petty will be Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore, David Pearson and Lee Petty. The Induction Ceremony is open to the public and will be held the evening of May 23, 2011 at the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom, which is connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and interested fans should visit NASCARHall.com for more details on next year's class, upcoming appearances, ceremony details and the Induction Dinner on May 18. The 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame class was determined in October by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel.(NASCAR)(12-6-2010)

  • NASCAR working with NASCAR Hall of Fame...but: NASCAR told the Charlotte City Council Monday that it's working to make racing's new hall of fame a success, and outlined how it has helped, much of it from donated media time to promote the $200 million museum. But when asked by the Observer whether it would help pay for annual operating losses that could exceed $1 million, the organization declined to comment. NASCAR only said that it won't make any money from the hall until it turns an operating profit. "The key point is we won't take any money from the project until it's successful," said Paul Brooks, a NASCAR senior vice president. Under NASCAR's contract with the city, Charlotte can withhold NASCAR's royalty payments from the hall if it loses money. NASCAR is allowed to take a cut of 10 percent of all hall revenues. NASCAR and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which operates the hall, gave council members an update on the hall's first seven months. The hall hasn't met attendance projections, and ran a $448,000 deficit for the first three months of the fiscal year that began in July (full story at Charlotte Observer). UPDATE: Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx compared the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the deficit-riddled U.S. National Whitewater Center and said lessons need to be learned about earlier - and missed - projections for attendance at the publicly owned auto-racing museum. Deficits and disappointing attendance brought leaders of the $195 million publicly funded NASCAR Hall of Fame before City Council on Monday night. Executives from the hall of fame, its operator - the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority - and NASCAR itself offered a range of explanations and strategies for improving ticket sales and attendance in the months ahead. At the same time, they defended the uptown attraction as a valuable addition to the local tourism sector. The discussion followed several weeks of disappointing results for the hall of fame. Through the first three months of fiscal 2011, operating deficits were just under $450,000, well below the $850,000 surplus called for in the budget for the year.(Charlotte Business Journal)(11-23-2010)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fameloses money, but plans to improve: The NASCAR Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that it lost $258,522 in September, bringing its total loss for the first three months of the fiscal year to roughly $448,000. Despite the red ink, the hall is optimistic that it has a plan to improve financially. October attendance, boosted by the Bank of America 500, will likely be around 30,000 people, and the hall may turn a profit for the month. In addition, the hall has started an aggressive marketing effort to locals, including a number of promotions that reduce the price of tickets. "We definitely feel like we are on the right track," said hall spokesperson Kimberly Meesters. "We're not sitting still." The hall's original budget -- which will be revised later this year -- projected a $853,000 operating profit from July to September. It then projected a profit in October, and then six straight months of operating losses in the winter and spring. After that, there would be large surpluses in May and June to finish the fiscal year in the black. The hall's challenge is to cut expenses and attract more visitors to keep its loss from growing. There are some signs the hall is having success. Early this month, the racing shrine was boosted by the World of Outlaws races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Dirt Track. Enough fans came to the hall that there was a lengthy line for entrance. September attendance was 16,327, after August drew 23,534 fans. September revenue was $612,680, and was slightly higher than August revenue of $607,827. Despite drawing more than 6,000 fewer fans, the hall was boosted by a large number of groups renting the hall after hours. Expenses for September were $871,202, and were $888,336 in August.(Charllotte Observer)(11-13-2010)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Research shows Patron Satisfaction and Economic Impact: With the half-year mark in the rearview mirror, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is collecting data that points to impressive customer service and satisfied patrons. Survey results were gathered from more than 3,200 visitors who have experienced the NASCAR Hall of Fame since its May 11 grand opening, and the new Charlotte attraction is earning high marks on features like quality of exhibits and artifacts and economic impact.
    Among many encouraging results, 84% of visitors to the venue are coming from at least 50 miles away, staying for approximately 2.1 days and traveling with a party size of 3.5 guests. Even more encouraging, 57% of respondents say they're making the trip primarily to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That's a significant visitation indicator since the economic impact of these visitors is approximately $191 per person per day - nearly double what Charlotte typically sees from leisure travelers.
    In patron satisfaction surveys, out of a possible five points, exhibits received an average of 4.78, friendliness of crew members 4.81, overall quality 4.83, likelihood to recommend 4.70 and likelihood to visit again 4.35. Feedback from initial visitors has been instrumental in measuring and maintaining customer satisfaction.
    Hundreds of comments collected from patrons about their overall experience demonstrate this further. "The interactive nature of the Hall of Fame was its strongest feature," wrote one visitor. "Our two children, ages 5 and 9, had a terrific time and are already asking when we are going to visit again." The most common theme among anecdotal feedback is that the NASCAR Hall of Fame offered much more than the guest expected.
    In the first six months, the NASCAR Hall of Fame has had more than 150,000 visitors and is on pace with similar attractions. According to recent media reports, last year the Pro Football Hall of Fame had 196,205 visitors, the Baseball Hall of Fame had 289,818 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drew 373,604.
    In addition to general admission tickets, the NASCAR Hall of Fame generates revenue through a variety of sources. Group sales and facility rentals have been particularly successful, with 773 groups totaling 34,642 individuals visiting the Hall to date and 92 facility rentals for special events of all sizes. Also, approximately 100 on-site special events and promotions activities have occurred at the NASCAR Hall of Fame since it first opened its doors less than 200 days ago. For more information, including a copy of all guest comments and the complete survey results, visit www.NASCARHall.com.(11-13-2010)

  • Wells Fargo foreclosing on NASCAR Plaza tower: After being sued by its co-lender, Wells Fargo & Co. has started foreclosure proceedings against the NASCAR Plaza office tower. According to court filings, property owner Corporate Plaza Partners defaulted a year ago, when a $95 million loan Wells and Regions Financial Corp. made in 2007 came due; the outstanding balance was more than $70 million. Corporate Plaza Partners is an affiliate of Indianapolis-based Lauth Group Inc., which developed the tower next to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.(Charlotte Business Journal)(11-13-2010)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Offers Weeklong Discount In Honor of Veterans Day: In honor of Veterans Day, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is offering a weeklong military discount. Retired and active military members can enjoy a special discount of 50% off admission to the facility for a Veterans Week Celebration Monday, Nov. 8 - Sunday, Nov. 14, a savings of nearly $9 per person. As an added bonus, active-duty service members will receive a free international 60-minute calling card from Cell Phones for Soldiers. Military members should bring a military ID to receive their discount. The discounted ticket can be purchased at the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office only. In addition to this special one-week offer, the NASCAR Hall of Fame also offers a year round $2 discount for military personnel. More info at the NASCAR Hall of Fame site.(11-8-2010)

  • Kids in costume receive FREE admission this weekend at NASCAR Hall of Fame: Parents and their little "boils and ghouls" can find a frightfully fun time this weekend at the NASCAR Hall of Fame as the entertainment attraction introduces HALLoween at the Hall Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 30-31. Plus, whether dressed as a ghost, witch or mini-NASCAR driver, children 12 and younger in costume will receive free admission to the NASCAR Hall of Fame (a $12.95 value). During the Race Day Experience, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Pit Stop Café also will get into the spirit of the howliday offering a terror-ific menu of Halloween-themed treats such as Witches Warts (apple fritter donuts), Zombie Mud Slide (hot chocolate), Werewolf Moonshine (hot apple cider), Jack-o-latern cookies and more. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. More info at www.NASCARHall.com.(10-28-2010)

  • 2nd Hall of Fame class announced:
    NASCAR announced today the second class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That class consists of: David Pearson - 94%; Bobby Allison - 62%; Lee Petty - 62%; Ned Jarrett - 58%; Bud Moore - 45%.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 31 others representing all facets of the NASCAR industry, met in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2011. The announcement was made in the Great Hall inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    The class was determined by 53 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
    The Class of 2011 will be officially inducted in a ceremony in May 2011 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
    The results of the voting for the five chosen in this class proved quite competitive. Also receiving votes were Dale Inman, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip.
    As part of the inclusive voting process, hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans submitted votes online at NASCAR.COM. That remarkable feedback once again demonstrated fans' passion and knowledge of the sport and its heritage. The fans' top five: Bobby Allison, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough.
    Here were the 25 nominees for induction into the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame class:
    Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Dale Inman, Ned Jarrett, Fred Lorenzen, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame broke ground in Charlotte on Jan. 25, 2007 and opened to the public on May 11, 2010. The facility honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of the sport.(10-13-2010)

    Highlighting the Class of 2011:

    Bobby Allison
    Allison, winner of the 1983 NASCAR premier series championship, ended his career with 84 victories, tied for third on the all-time list. In 1972, he won 10 races, had 12 second-place finishes and was the NASCAR premier series runner-up (to Richard Petty). Allison captured the NASCAR Modified Special Division championship in 1962 and '63 and then went on to win the Modified Division the following two years. In 1998, Allison was named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers."

    Ned Jarrett
    Jarrett was a two-time NASCAR champion (1961 and 1965) and two-time Sportsman Division champion (1957 and '58). Through his career he totaled 50 premier series wins, tied for 11th all-time. In 1998 he was named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers." After retiring in 1966, Jarrett helped grow the sport through his second career as a broadcaster.

    Bud Moore
    A decorated World War II infantryman, Bud Moore became a successful NASCAR Sprint Cup owner almost immediately upon fielding a team in 1961. Moore won back-to-back championships in 1962-63 with Joe Weatherly. Earlier, in 1957, Moore - who referred to himself as "a country mechanic" - was crew chief for champion Buck Baker.

    David Pearson
    Pearson is a three-time NASCAR champion whose career total of 105 victories is second on the all-time list. Pearson won his titles in 1966, '68 and '69. He also won the sport's biggest event, the Daytona 500 in 1976. In 1998 he was named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers."

    Lee Petty
    Petty became the sports first three-time series champion after winning titles in 1954, '58 and '59. He was also the winner of the first Daytona 500 in 1959. His 54 career victories stands ninth on the all-time list and he never finished lower than fourth in points from 1949-1959. In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers." Petty is the founder of Petty Enterprises and as an owner had more than 2,000 starts and 268 wins.

  • 2nd Hall of Fame class announced:
    NASCAR announced today the second class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That class consists of: David Pearson - 94%; Bobby Allison - 62%; Lee Petty - 62%; Ned Jarrett - 58%; Bud Moore - 45%.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 31 others representing all facets of the NASCAR industry, met in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2011. The announcement was made in the Great Hall inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    The class was determined by 53 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
    The Class of 2011 will be officially inducted in a ceremony in May 2011 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
    The results of the voting for the five chosen in this class proved quite competitive. Also receiving votes were Dale Inman, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip.
    As part of the inclusive voting process, hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans submitted votes online at NASCAR.COM. That remarkable feedback once again demonstrated fans' passion and knowledge of the sport and its heritage. The fans' top five: Bobby Allison, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough.
    Here were the 25 nominees for induction into the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame class:
    Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Dale Inman, Ned Jarrett, Fred Lorenzen, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame broke ground in Charlotte on Jan. 25, 2007 and opened to the public on May 11, 2010. The facility honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of the sport.(10-13-2010)

    Highlighting the Class of 2011:

    Bobby Allison
    Allison, winner of the 1983 NASCAR premier series championship, ended his career with 84 victories, tied for third on the all-time list. In 1972, he won 10 races, had 12 second-place finishes and was the NASCAR premier series runner-up (to Richard Petty). Allison captured the NASCAR Modified Special Division championship in 1962 and '63 and then went on to win the Modified Division the following two years. In 1998, Allison was named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers."

    Ned Jarrett
    Jarrett was a two-time NASCAR champion (1961 and 1965) and two-time Sportsman Division champion (1957 and '58). Through his career he totaled 50 premier series wins, tied for 11th all-time. In 1998 he was named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers." After retiring in 1966, Jarrett helped grow the sport through his second career as a broadcaster.

    Bud Moore
    A decorated World War II infantryman, Bud Moore became a successful NASCAR Sprint Cup owner almost immediately upon fielding a team in 1961. Moore won back-to-back championships in 1962-63 with Joe Weatherly. Earlier, in 1957, Moore - who referred to himself as "a country mechanic" - was crew chief for champion Buck Baker.

    David Pearson
    Pearson is a three-time NASCAR champion whose career total of 105 victories is second on the all-time list. Pearson won his titles in 1966, '68 and '69. He also won the sport's biggest event, the Daytona 500 in 1976. In 1998 he was named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers."

    Lee Petty
    Petty became the sports first three-time series champion after winning titles in 1954, '58 and '59. He was also the winner of the first Daytona 500 in 1959. His 54 career victories stands ninth on the all-time list and he never finished lower than fourth in points from 1949-1959. In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers." Petty is the founder of Petty Enterprises and as an owner had more than 2,000 starts and 268 wins.

  • Reminder - 2nd Hall of Fame class to be announced this afternoon: Voting Day for the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be today, Wednesday, Oct. 13 at the hall, in Charlotte, N.C. NASCAR broadcast partner SPEED will carry the announcement of the second class live at 4:00 pm/et. The public is invited to attend, with purchase of a NASCAR Hall of Fame general admission ticket.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee, will meet in a closed session to deliberate and vote on the 25 candidates eligible for this second class. The vote will be followed by a press conference announcing the five new inductees that will join the inaugural class of 2010, which consisted of NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson and Richard Petty, as well as NASCAR pioneers Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr.
    The class will be chosen from the 53 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote - which ended Sept. 26. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young will preside over the tabulation of the votes.
    The second class will consist of five members and is scheduled to be enshrined in May 2011.
    The nominees, which include many of the sport's legendary names and were announced in July, include: Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Dale Inman, Ned Jarrett, Fred Lorenzen, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough. More info at nascarhall.com or Jayski's NASCAR Hall of Fame page and last years NASCAR Hall of Fame Class #1 2010 page.
    TV: Darrell Waltrip, a nominee, is part of the SPEED broadcast team for the network's exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 4:00 pm/et. Waltrip is joined on-air by NASCAR on FOX booth partner Mike Joy, as well as Ken Squier and Kyle Petty - three voting members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame selection committee. SPEED's coverage of NASCAR Hall of Fame Vote Day begins at 3:00 pm/et with a special preview show, followed at 4:00 pm/et [re-air at 8:00pm/et and 10:00pm/et] with live coverage of the announcement of the five new members of the Hall, scheduled to be enshrined in May 2011.
    Radio: Sirius Satellite Radio Ch.128 at 4:00 pm/et
    The 53 People Who Will Vote on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Today
    NASCAR OFFICIALS (8) Brian France, Jim France, Mike Helton, Paul Brooks, Robin Pemberton, Jim Hunter, Jerry Cook, Ken Clapp
    HALL OF FAME STAFF* (2) Winston Kelley, Buz McKim
    NASCAR-SANCTIONED TRACK OPERATORS* (11) Lesa France Kennedy, Bruton Smith, Clay Campbell, Ed Clark, Tony George, Denis McGlynn, Doc Mattioli, Dale Pinilis, Jim and Barbara Cromarty (one vote), Jim Williams, Jody Deery
    MEDIA (13) Kenny Bruce, Dustin Long, Nate Ryan, Jim Pedley, Duane Cross, Ernie Saxton, Dusty Brandel, Ken Squier, Mike Joy, Jerry Punch, Barney Hall, Doug Rice, Rick Allen
    MANUFACTURERS (3) Jim Campbell, Edsel B. Ford II, Lee White
    RETIRED DRIVERS (5) Harry Gant, Ned Jarrett, Kyle Petty, Richard Petty, Ricky Rudd
    RETIRED CAR OWNERS (3) Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, Junior Johnson
    RETIRED CREW CHIEFS (3) Barry Dodson, Waddell Wilson, Buddy Parrott
    INDUSTRY LEADERS (4) Humpy Wheeler, Chris Economacki, Mike Harris, Tom Higgins
    FANS (1)(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-13-2010)

  • Race week activities at the NASCAR Hall of Fame include:
    Wednesday, Oct. 13: 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Voting Day -The NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel meets to determine and announce the second five inductees. The announcement, scheduled for 4 p.m., is open to the public.
    Thursday, Oct. 14: Richard Petty Book Signing - Inaugural Inductee Richard Petty will be signing copies of his audio scrapbook at noon.
    Saturday, Oct. 16: Meet the 2011 Inductees - The new class of inductees or their representatives make their first public appearance as a group at 10:15 a.m. in the Great Hall.
    Sunday, Oct. 17: Kasey Kahne Appearance - The Kasey Kahne Foundation 5K Charity Run and Kids' Dash will begin at 8 a.m. at the Bank of America Stadium and finishes at the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a special question-and-answer period at approximately 9:30 a.m. with Kahne in Ceremonial Plaza.
    For tickets deals, prices and more details, visit www.NASCARHall.com. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is open seven days a week, 362 days a year.(NHOF)(10-12-2010

  • Insiders Hall of Fame Class #2 choices: The official announcemengt is not due out until Wed. Oct 13th, then the 2nd class of five are chosen for the NASCAR Hall of Fame but...........According to an extensive survey of motorsports industry insiders conducted by Stock Car History Online, five legendary drivers could be considered favorites for the second class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The competitors are David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Lee Petty. Actual voting for the second class will be conducted and announced next week.
    The Stock Car History Online survey was conducted over the last month, and included a panel of 51 industry insiders. Among those who responded were Allison; 2004 Cup champion Kurt Busch; Talladega Superspeedway track president Grant Lynch; Michigan International Speedway president Roger Curtis; Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning; Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage; famed NASCAR artist Sam Bass; and journalists spanning the print, radio, television and Internet media spectrum. See the full story at stockcarhistoryonline.com.(10-6-2010)

  • Second NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class to be announced October 13: NASCAR has announced that "Voting Day" for the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be Wednesday, Oct. 13 at the hall, in Charlotte, N.C. NASCAR broadcast partner SPEED will carry the announcement of the second class live at 4 p.m. ET. The public is invited to attend, with purchase of a NASCAR Hall of Fame general admission ticket. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee, will meet in a closed session to deliberate and vote on the 25 candidates eligible for this second class. The vote will be followed by a press conference announcing the five new inductees that will join the inaugural class of 2010, which consisted of NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson and Richard Petty, as well as NASCAR pioneers Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr. The second class will consist of five members and is scheduled to be enshrined in May 2011. The nominees, which include many of the sport's legendary names and were announced in July, include: Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Dale Inman, Ned Jarrett, Fred Lorenzen, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough.(NASCAR)(9-22-2010)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame to Offer Back-to-School Savings: Students can enjoy a week of back-to-school special programming, activities and discounted admission at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Students who donate a pack of pencils to the Classroom Central School Tools drive at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 14 - Sunday, Aug. 22 receive 50% off general admission to the 150,000 square-foot interactive, entertainment attraction. Classroom Central equips students to effectively learn by collecting and distributing free school supplies. College and K-12 students can support the drive by donating school supplies (packs of pencils preferred) at the entrance of the NASCAR Hall of Fame to receive 50% off admission. During their visit, guests also will be treated to a variety of special activities including caricatures, storytelling with the NASCAR Hall of Fame historian, student-only pit crew challenges and mascot appearances. Guests can visit www.NASCARHall.com for daily programming and updates.
    After enjoying their pencil pack donation savings, guests can pack in the high-octane fun with more than 50 interactive stations, iRacing simulators, authentic NASCAR artifacts, historic stock car exhibits and more. Also, on exhibit for a limited time, guests can get a close-up look at the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet Impala that Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove to victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race July 2, 2010 at Daytona International Speedway. For more details, visit www.NASCARHall.com.(NHOF)(8-16-2010)

  • Hall of Fame attendance short of estimates: Three months after it opened, the NASCAR Hall of Fame said Monday its total attendance passed 100,000 last week. The hall's daily attendance has averaged 1,140 people over the first 90 days of operation. If that attendance level holds up for the year, the hall would have about 410,000 visitors for its first year. The hall projected it would have 800,000 visitors in its first 13 1/2 months of operation, and then 400,000 people annually after that. The hall also said 70 percent of its customers are from 100 miles or beyond, and 26 percent of its customers have come from 500 miles or farther. The average distance driven to visit the hall in its first 10 weeks of operation was 368 miles.(Charlotte Observer)(8-10-2010)

  • Dale Jr.'s Daytona winning #3 to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: The NASCAR Hall of Fame now is the temporary home of one of the most talked about race cars of 2010. Beginning July 14, included with the price of admission, guests can get a close-up look at the #3 Wrangler Chevy that Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove to victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race July 2, 2010 at Daytona International Speedway. The car carries the same design of the race cars Earnhardt Jr.'s father, Inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Dale Earnhardt, made famous in the 1980s. This #3 Wrangler Chevy was built and prepared by JR Motorsports and entered in the Daytona race by legendary owner Richard Childress. The combination of Earnhardt Jr., Dale Earnhardt Inc. and RCR has a very brief yet shining history on the track. In only two races together, Earnhardt drove the #3 Chevy to victory on both occasions (February 2002 and July 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Daytona International Speedway). On loan from JR Motorsports, the race car is on exhibit in the Great Hall of the NASCAR Hall of Fame until Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. More info on the NASCAR Hall of Fame on my NASCAR Hall of Fame News and Links page.(7-15-2010)

  • NASCAR announces 2011 Hall of Fame nominees: NASCAR announced the list of 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's second induction class. From that list, five inductees will be chosen. The 2011 inductee class will be announced in October and honored next year at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. This year's inaugural induction class consisted of Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, Bill France Jr., Bill France Sr. and Richard Petty. The second round of nominees, which again includes many of the sport's legendary names, were selected by a 21-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks. The committee's votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young. Joining the 21-person committee this year is Jody Deery, owner of acclaimed quarter-mile short track Rockford (Ill.) Speedway. She replaces Tom Blackwell, former owner of Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway, who passed away in April. The HOF's inductees will be determined by the Voting Panel, which has 53 members - the entire Nominating Committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel's 53rd and final ballot. Four new members will join the Voting Panel this year: Richard Petty, Kyle Petty of TNT, legendary media member Chris Economaki, and Jim Campbell of Chevrolet. Following are the 25 nominees:
    * Bobby Allison, 1983 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and winner of 84 races:
    * Buck Baker, first driver to win consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships:
    * Red Byron, first NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, in 1949:
    * Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series:
    * Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion:
    * Richie Evans, nine-time NASCAR Modified champion:
    * Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
    * Rick Hendrick, 12-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    * Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion
    * Dale Inman, eight-time NASCAR Sprint Cup championship crew chief
    * Ned Jarrett, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
    * Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
    * Bud Moore, 63 wins and two NASCAR Sprint Cup titles as a car owner
    * Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    * Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
    * David Pearson, 105 victories and three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
    * Lee Petty, winner of first Daytona 500 and first three-time series champion
    * Fireball Roberts, won 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 1962 Daytona 500
    * T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Senior VP
    * Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, 1951 and '53
    * Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
    * Darrell Waltrip, winner of 84 races and three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
    * Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
    * Glen Wood, as driver, laid foundation for Wood Brothers' future team success
    * Cale Yarborough, winner of three consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, 1976-78
    (NASCAR)(7-1-2010)

  • 25 Nominee's for Hall of Fame to be announced: UPDATES SPEED will deliver a special edition of NASCAR Race Hub on Thursday, July 1 at 8:00pm/et, with live and exclusive coverage from Daytona Beach and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, as NASCAR unveils its 25 nominees for the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame.(6-28-2010)
    UPDATE: On Thursday, the 2010 nominees for the NASACAR Hall of Fame will be announced. As with last year's inaugural list, there again will be 25 names. Twenty will be repeat nominees. Ladies and gentlemen, start your debates. And today, do we ever have a debate for you, in the process giving you a "sneak peek" at the nominees. One guy is a repeat nominee - Richie Evans. The other guy is a first-time nominee - Jerry Cook. These two are, arguably, the greatest NASCAR modified drivers of all-time. Many would say there's no argument, in making that assessment. Perhaps the best way to frame this debate is by reminding you that when these gentlemen competed, they hated each other like poison. Evans died in 1985, or else the bad feelings would probably still linger. Remember, they were from the same town , Rome, N.Y. And they always were chasing the same thing: championships. Evans won a record nine NASCAR modified championships, by the way, including eight consecutively from 1978-85. Cook won six. Evans was a hard-partying, hard-charger. Cook was more conservative, on and off the track. Perhaps that led to Evans' fans labeling Cook as a "stroker," race-speak for a points racer - one of the ultimate insults to hurl at a driver.(NASCAR)(6-29-2010)
    UPDATE 2: In the days of NASCAR pre-Petty, there already were some superstars on the scene. We're talking big-time personalities who help lay the foundation for NASCAR's current fan base. We're talking about Fireball Roberts - some call him NASCAR's first superstar - and Fred Lorenzen, who was so popular he had several nicknames. Both are among this year's list of nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, with Roberts being a repeat nominee, as he was one of last year's inaugural nominees. Lorenzen is one of five first-timers, who will be part of the overall 25-nominee announcement on Thursday night.(NASCAR)(6-30-2010)

  • See Coke 400 at NASCAR Hall of Fame: Members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame are offered a special pre-sale tickets to an upcoming event. On Saturday July 3rd, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will show the Daytona Coke Zero 400 live in the Belk High Octane Theater. Tickets for the event are $5 and include a free simulator ride, plus each attendee will be given a scanner to listen to drivers and their teams along with the NASCAR Official Channel play by play. Below are the details of the event:
    Location: Belk High Octane Theater located inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame
    Time: Doors open at 6:30pm race starts at 7:30pm.
    Cost: $5 for adults and children. Children 2 and under are free.
    Date: Saturday, July 3rd
    Event: Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway
    Extra's: Each attendee will be given a free simulator ride plus a scanner to listen to drivers and their teams along with the NASCAR Official Channel play by play.
    Entrance: Please use the Caldwell St Entrance.
    Food: Concessions will be open for an additional cost.(NHOF)(6-24-2010)

  • Charlotte wins dispute with NASCAR Hall of Fame parking deck: The city of Charlotte stands to collect $5.2 million after an arbitrator ruled in its favor on construction costs and overruns at the NASCAR Hall of Fame parking deck. The dispute began when costs for the parking deck exceeded the original budget, causing the city and Corporate Plaza Partners to disagree over which party was responsible for paying the difference. The city filed and then withdrew default claims in June 2009 against Corporate Plaza Partners, a limited liability company formed by Lauth Property Group, developer of a 20-story, $90 million office tower that is also part of the hall of fame complex. Originally estimated to cost $22 million, the parking deck was finished at a price of $26 million. The city's contribution to the deck was capped at $10.8 million. Binding arbitration led to the ruling this month in favor of the city. It encompasses $5 million owed for parts of the parking-deck and loading-dock work, as well as $156,147 in interest accrued at an 8% rate. The arbitrator denied city claims of interest after June 4, 2009, citing the withdrawn default claim and a partial settlement that allowed work to continue on the project. Last week the city sent a request to Corporate Plaza Partners' banks, Wells Fargo and Regions Bank, to claim $2.2 million from accounts established for debt related to the project. The remaining $2.8 million, plus the interest, would be paid by Corporate Plaza Partners.(Charlotte Business Journal)(5-30-2010)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Concludes First Week; Attention Turns to Induction: Approximately 10,000 guests visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame in its first seven days of business and operators are now turning focus to the Inaugural Induction Week Thursday, May 20 - Sunday, May 23. Induction activities begin Thursday, May 20 in the Ceremonial Garden outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame where Inductees will unveil their signatures in granite tiles. The media event begins at 5:00pm, and the public is invited to view the unveiling from the Ceremonial Plaza. Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, Teresa Earnhardt, Brian France, Jim France and Lesa France Kennedy are expected to participate. Also, Thursday, May 20, Inductees will participate in the Inaugural Induction Dinner at the Crown Ballroom in the Charlotte Convention Center connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The dinner begins at 6:00 pm and will feature various NASCAR dignitaries sharing memorable stories about the Inaugural Class of Inductees. The highlight of the week is the Inaugural Induction Ceremony on Sunday, May 23. NASCAR Hall of Fame customers that day will be treated to added perks including prime viewing of the red carpet and the first to see the Hall of Honor exhibits. Guests who purchased a NASCAR Hall of Fame general admission ticket for the morning of May 23 will be invited to view the celebrity-filled, red-carpet entry from the Great Hall. The hour-and-a-half procession begins at 11:30 am outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame and continues up Glory Road and into the Crown Ballroom. In addition to seeing Inductees and NASCAR drivers walk the red carpet, guests that day will be the first to view the Hall of Honor exhibits. The Hall of Honor features extensive exhibits highlighting the life and career of each inductee. The exhibits will be unveiled at approx. 5:00 pm on May 23. Tickets to enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame are separate from Induction Ceremony tickets and can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at www.NASCARHall.com. NASCAR Hall of Fame tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Charter memberships also are available starting at $25 for children and $50 for adults.
    . A limited number of tickets remain for the Inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The event is scheduled for 1:00 pm May 23 in the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C. The prestigious ceremony will feature presentations about each inductee from prominent members of the NASCAR community. The highlight of the event will be the official induction of the Inaugural Class of 2010: Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Jr., Bill France Sr., Johnson and Petty. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. SPEED is the exclusive television home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and will offer a full slate of programming leading up to live coverage of the induction ceremony.(5-18-2010)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame and Cultural Organizations Partner for Grand Opening: Area arts, science and history organizations in Charlotte are partnering with the NASCAR Hall of Fame to celebrate its grand opening on May 11, 2010. The organizations are providing discounted or free admission at their facilities to Hall of Fame ticket holders. The participating organizations are (offers valid only May 11, unless specified):
    Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
    420 South Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202
    Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card and receive $2 off individual admission.
    Charlotte Museum of History
    3500 Shamrock Road, Charlotte, NC 28215
    Offer: Buy-one-get-one-free coupons available for their Beneath the Badge exhibit.
    Discovery Place
    301 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card and receive $2 off admission. Offer valid through Sun., May 16.
    Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
    551 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card and receive $2 off individual admission.
    Levine Museum of the New South
    200 East 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card, get $1 off individual admission or $2 off family/household admission, AND receive a free Richard Petty historic mini-poster! Posters available while supplies last.
    North Carolina Dance Theatre
    Blumenthal Box Office - Belk Theater
    Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card at the Blumenthal Box Office and receive a 20% discount on tickets to Director's Choice performances at 7:30pm May 13 - 15, 2010.
    Mint Museum of Art
    2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28207
    Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card and receive buy-one-get-one-free admission.
    The following organizations have free admission:
    McColl Center for Visual Art
    721 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 2802
    The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film
    345 N. College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Cultural event celebrating NASCAR culture
    Actor's Theatre of Charlotte
    650 East Stonewall Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Presents HEAVEN ON WHEELS -- a stock car racing tribute musical running May 6-29.
    Opening ceremonies begin at 9:00am.et with all the pomp and circumstance expected of a national tourist attraction. The one-hour ceremony will culminate with NASCAR celebrities, elected officials and other dignitaries officially opening the 150,000-square-foot venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by free outdoor activities from 10 a.m. through the late evening. Activities will include NASCAR celebrities, question-and-answer sessions, strolling entertainment, food vendors, musical entertainment and more. The star of the show that day will be the NASCAR Hall of Fame itself. Tickets to enter the high-tech, interactive attraction are on sale now and can be purchased at www.NASCARHall.com or by calling 877-231-2010. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12, and free for children younger than 5. Memberships provide unlimited entry for one year and start at $25 for children and $50 for adults. Group discounts, facility rentals and sponsorships also are available by calling 704-654-4400.

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame opens Tuesday: The NASCAR Hall of Fame opens Tuesday, and the 150,000-square-foot facility should have no problem attracting people during the first year. With a theater on the bottom floor featuring a 12-minute movie about NASCAR and then three floors of interactive exhibits, the Hall of Fame has set a single-day adult ticket price of $19.95. It is selling annual memberships with the hope that people will visit the facility in downtown Charlotte more than once. And that's the challenge-to make people want to come back. The Hall of Fame will hold its grand opening on Tuesday and its first induction ceremony on May 23, when NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., former NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. and drivers Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Junior Johnson will be inducted. Even with four floors, not everything the Hall of Fame has acquired will be on display when the doors open Tuesday. The number of interactive displays is enough to keep fans occupied for the full eight hours the facility is open (10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday). Among things visitors can do: watch videos about 20 of the greatest finishes in NASCAR history; rev an engine dyno; ride in a racing simulator (for an extra $5); and play trivia games. Customers can use a card that collects information from activities during their visit to track their progress throughout their visit. There is a separate room just for kids and an area that goes through the entire mechanics of a car and how it is built. Another area describes how technical inspection is done (including video screens where patrons can decide which pieces are legal and illegal). On one floor, artifacts of the sport are arranged by decade and another area that highlights families and other historical moments. The exhibits in the induction area won't be open until the induction ceremony May 23. It includes cars raced by Petty, Johnson and Earnhardt. Each inductee will have a spire in the center of the room with their likeness and a video describing their accomplishments. At the bottom will be another likeness of the person where kids create an image to take home with them. The spires of the current class will be in the center, while the rest will line the outside of the room, which is shaped in an oval.(Sporting News), SPEED will have coverage from the NASCAR Hall of Fame grand opening on Tuesday from 9:00am - 12:00pm/et.(5-11-2010)

  • Hall of Fame looking for more sponsorship: When customers enter the $200 million NASCAR Hall of Fame for the first time this week, they'll find the sparkling showplace surprisingly free of sponsor clutter. That's not by design. The three-story, 150,000-square-foot facility, which opens Tuesday in downtown Charlotte, has finalized four sponsorships with Lowe's, Mars (M&M's), Food Lion and the NASCAR Performance Group. NASCAR will be showcasing many of its aftermarket partners, including 3M, Goodyear, Mobil 1, O'Reilly Auto Parts and others. Those companies will be on display when the Hall of Fame opens, and their deals range from $200,000 to $700,000 annually and go from three to five years in length. NASCAR receives a 10 percent cut on sponsorship sales and between 7.5 percent and 10 percent on other revenue from admissions, retail sales and tours. Five other sponsorship deals are in the works and are expected to close soon, although the identity of the new sponsors has not been disclosed by the Hall and those companies are not yet on display. The nine deals in total represent $4 million in sponsorship revenue, which will be used to pay back $20 million in loans from its banking partners in Charlotte, Bank of America and Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia), over the next 10 years. Interest will accrue over time. Overall construction costs are covered by an arrangement with the city that includes loans from the banks, hotel/motel taxes and private funds. The facility's inventory, which includes Heritage Speedway, High Octane Theater, Glory Road, the Great Hall and the iRacing simulator, sure to be one of the most visited attractions within the facility, has been on the market for more than two years. The recession has hampered sales efforts, said Zak Brown, CEO of Just Marketing International, the Indianapolis-based sales agent for the Hall. Hall officials are standing by their projections of 800,000 visitors in its first year. Ticket prices range from $12.95 to $19.95.(Scene Daily)(5-11-2010)

  • Johnson Adds Personal Touch to NASCAR Hall of Fame: the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced four prominent historic items to be on display at the 150,000-square-foot interactive, entertainment attraction - Jimmie Johnson's four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Trophies. The reigning four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion has loaned his four personal trophies to the venue for six months. "The NASCAR Hall of Fame is going to have so many cool things, showing the history of our sport. I was definitely humbled that they asked for something of mine to display," said Johnson. "It's an honor for me and the whole 48 Lowe's team. I hope fans appreciate seeing the trophies up close. I know how special they are to me, and I've certainly enjoyed seeing them the past four years."
    While the NASCAR Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR, a current item such as Johnson's trophies recognizes the importance of history in the making. Eight years ago today, Johnson captured his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win on April 28, 2002 at California Speedway, and since then, he has earned a spot in the record books as the only driver to win four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championships (2006-2009).
    "To showcase all four of Jimmie's personal trophies emphasizes the importance of the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the veterans of the sport and the history-makers of today," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "These trophies represent his back-to-back championships and are iconic to this new era of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing. We are honored to show these to the public. We initially requested Jimmie's 2009 championship trophy to display, and Jimmie graciously offered to loan us all four. Of course we were thrilled. His offer really illustrates how supportive the sport has been of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. We sincerely appreciate Jimmie and all the other members of the NASCAR community for their generosity and support."
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame opens to the public May 11 at 10:00am/et. The opening ceremony for the high-tech, interactive attraction begins at 9:00am/et. The one-hour ceremony will culminate with NASCAR celebrities, elected officials and other dignitaries officially opening the venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by free outdoor activities from 10:00am/et through the late evening. Activities will include NASCAR celebrities, question-and-answer sessions, strolling entertainment, food vendors, and free concerts by country music artists Lee Brice, Bomshel and Love And Theft. For schedule of events for the grand opening, ticket info and more, see nascarhall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-4-2010)

  • Generations of NASCAR Luminaries to Attend Grand Opening: NASCAR Hall of Fame officials released the names of NASCAR drivers, owners and executives planning to participate in the Tuesday, May 11 grand opening of the 150,000-square-foot facility in uptown Charlotte, N.C. As part of the historic day, 15 lucky customers will get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a NASCAR celebrity. Fifteen winners will be randomly selected from the names of everyone who has purchased an annual membership or ticket to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11. Tickets must be purchased before 11:59pm/et on May 4. The first five names drawn will get the unique honor of being the first to walk into the new NASCAR Hall of Fame at 10 a.m. Those five lucky fans will be accompanied by Inaugural Inductees Richard Petty and Junior Johnson, three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Darrell Waltrip, 5-time NASCAR Grand National Champion Jack Ingram and reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday. The remaining 10 names drawn will get to enter the venue with a well-known NASCAR competitor at their respective entry time. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is a timed-entry facility, meaning customers enter by appointment at the top of every hour. The 10 lucky fans will enter with NASCAR superstars Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and others.
    NASCAR Champions and special guests confirmed to participate in grand opening activities throughout the day include Bobby Allison, Johnny Benson, Greg Biffle, Todd Bodine, Chuck Bown, Busch, Richard Childress, Brian France, Steve Grissom, Harvick, Mike Helton, Rick Hendrick, Hornaday, Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Ned Jarrett, Johnson, Kahne, Travis Kvapil, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Bud Moore, Joe Nemechek, Petty, Mike Skinner, Martin Truex Jr., Rusty Wallace, Waltrip and Rex White. More names may be announced at a later date.
    The one-hour Opening Ceremony will begin promptly at 9:00am/et and culminate with Petty, Johnson, Waltrip, Ingram, Hornaday and five lucky fans officially opening the interactive venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by a free community celebration outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame 10:00am-8:00pm/et. In addition to Bomshel, Lee Brice and Love and Theft concerts, other free outdoor activities will include driver appearances, question-and-answer sessions, autograph sessions, strolling entertainment and food vendors.
    The star of the show that day will be the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tickets to enter the high-tech, interactive attraction are on sale now and can be purchased at www.NASCARHall.com or by calling 877-231-2010. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Memberships provide unlimited entry for one year and start at $25 for children and $50 for adults. Group discounts, facility rentals and sponsorships also are available by calling 704-654-4400. For schedule of events for the grand opening, see nascarhall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-3-2010)

  • Inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Tickets on Sale: Tickets for the Inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony go on sale at 10 a.m. EDT April 24 through Ticketmaster. The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT May 23 in the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C. The prestigious ceremony will feature presentations about each inductee from prominent members of the NASCAR community. The highlight of the event will be the official induction of the Inaugural Class of 2010: Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Jr., Bill France Sr., Junior Johnson and Richard Petty. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
    "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it is our pleasure to invite race fans to Charlotte to share in the special day," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "This is like being at the first Induction Ceremony of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 when legends like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb were officially inducted. Only 3,100 people will have the chance to say they witnessed the first NASCAR Hall of Fame induction in person."
    The five inaugural inductees were selected by a voting panel consisting of 50 members representing NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major racetrack ownership groups, retired drivers, owners and crew chiefs along with motorsports media representatives. The group met in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 14, 2009 to vote on the induction class of 2010. The class was determined by the 51 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com. More than 670,000 votes were submitted online at NASCAR.com as part of the fan voting process.
    Guests should enter the event through the Caldwell Street entrance to the Charlotte Convention Center. The doors to the Crown Ballroom open at 11:30 a.m., and all guests must be seated by 12:45 p.m. Guests are encouraged to use the Charlotte Area Transit System. Limited parking will be available in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Parking Deck off Brevard Street. Exhibits highlighting the life and career of each inductee will be unveiled following the ceremony in the Hall of Honor inside the new NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tickets to enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which opens May 11, are separate from Induction Ceremony tickets and can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at www.NASCARHall.com. NASCAR Hall of Fame tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Charter memberships also are available starting at $25 for children and $50 for adults.
    SPEED is the exclusive television home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and will offer a full slate of programming leading up to live coverage of the induction ceremony.
    About NASCAR Hall of Fame Opening May 11, 2010 in uptown Charlotte, N.C., the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, includes artifacts, interactive exhibits, 275-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Media Group-operated broadcast studio. The five-acre site also includes a privately developed 19-story office tower and 102,000-square-foot expansion to the Charlotte Convention Center, highlighted by a 40,000 square-foot ballroom. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.(4-23-2010)

  • Schedule Begins to Take Shape for NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening: NASCAR Hall of Fame officials announced a second free concert planned for the May 11 grand opening of the 150,000-square-foot entertainment attraction in uptown Charlotte, N.C. Country music singer songwriter Lee Brice, a native of South Carolina, will perform a free concert at 2 p.m. May 11 on the Ceremonial Plaza of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. EDT. The one-hour ceremony will culminate with NASCAR celebrities, elected officials and other dignitaries officially opening the interactive venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by a free community celebration outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame 10 a.m.-8 p.m. In addition to Lee Brice and Love And Theft, other activities will include NASCAR celebrities, question-and-answer sessions, strolling entertainment and food vendors. The star of the show that day will be the NASCAR Hall of Fame itself. Tickets to enter the high-tech, interactive attraction are on sale now and can be purchased at www.NASCARHall.com or by calling 877-231-2010.
    Schedule of Events
    10 a.m.-8 p.m. Facility Hours - NASCAR Hall of Fame - Ticket Required
    9-10 a.m. Opening Ceremony - Ceremonial Plaza - Free; No Ticket Required
    10 a.m.-8 p.m. Community Celebration - Ceremonial Plaza - Free; No Ticket Required
    2 p.m. Lee Brice Concert - Ceremonial Plaza - Free; No Ticket Required
    7 p.m. Love And Theft Concert -Ceremonial Plaza - Free; No Ticket Required
    All Ceremonial Plaza activities that day are free to the public. The Ceremonial Plaza faces Martin Luther King Boulevard between Caldwell and Brevard Streets. Guests are encouraged to use the Charlotte Area Transit System.
    (NASCAR Hall of Fame PR)(4-13-2010)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame 50-Day Countdown Recap - Week 2 : The NASCAR Hall of Fame opens May 11, 2010 in uptown Charlotte, N.C., and to celebrate the final 50 days until the opening, news is revealed each day at www.NASCARHall.com/50days.
    March 29 - 43 days until opening - Richard Petty's Medal of Freedom: In 1992, the year he retired from driving, Richard Petty was awarded The Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush in the East Room of the White House. Petty is the only figure from the world of auto racing to be awarded this honor. It is considered the nation's highest civilian award. Petty considers the award his most-prized possession. Guests can see inaugural inductee Richard Petty's Medal of Freedom and his complete inductee exhibit in the Hall of Honor beginning May 23 after the Inaugural Induction Ceremony.
    March 30 - 42 days until opening - The NASCAR Hall of Fame Legends Room: The NASCAR Hall of Fame Legends Room is a multi-purpose space perfect for a business meeting or birthday party. It holds a maximum of 117 people and can be figured in a number of ways from classroom to banquet style. Following with the state-of-the-art nature of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the room is fully equipped for standard audio and visual needs. In addition to offering space for special events, discounted tickets for the NASCAR Hall of Fame are available for groups of 15 or more.
    March 31 - 41 days until opening - NCDL/OSHA announce completion of Safety Partnership with NASCAR Hall of Fame: Turner/BE&K/Davis and the North Carolina Department of Labor/OSHA announced the completion of their Safety Partnership with the NASCAR Hall of Fame construction team. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry presented partnership completion certificates to Turner Construction Co., BE&K Building Group and Walter B. Davis Co. In addition, Commissioner Berry presented the Labor Department's gold safety award to the Turner/BE&K/Davis Joint Venture Construction Team and the Turner/BE&K/Davis Management Team.
    April 1 - 40 days until opening - Evernham Motorsports' Wind Tunnel Car: A 40% scale model of a real car, the Wind Tunnel Car was developed in 2000 by Evernham Motorsports upon Dodge's return to NASCAR to test aerodynamic efficiency. Though it is 40% the size of a car, it features all the components of a full-size car. Guests will find the model car in Heritage Speedway where history buffs and NASCAR novices alike can explore authentic artifacts and educational films depicting the story of NASCAR's exciting six-decade history.
    April 2 - 39 days until opening - Smokey Yunick Wooden Templates: Built by Yunick himself, the wooden templates were used in his shop as the 1969 Ford was being built. The body of the car was checked from time to time during construction to insure that the car's shape would remain within NASCAR limits.
    April 3 - 38 days until opening - Ned Jarrett's 1993 CBS Announcer Blazer: Two-time Grand National champion Ned Jarrett was the first driver to make the transition from full-time driver to full-time broadcaster after his driving career drew to a close. Guests can see Ned Jarrett's 1993 CBS jacket which he was wearing when he called the finish of the 1993 Daytona 500, won by his son Dale Jarrett.
    April 4 - 37 days until opening - Richie Evans #61 Modified The familiar orange #61 modified which rests on Glory Road was built in 1984 and was the car in which Evans experienced his last victory. A year ago, the bare frame of this car sat in the woods. But the car was lovingly restored by Evans' former crew chief, Billy Nacewicz, as a tribute to a true NASCAR legend. The #61 Modified is one of 18 historic cars showcased on Glory Road. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.(4-6-2010)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Kicks off Final 50 Days: The checkered flag is in sight for the NASCAR Hall of Fame grand opening. To mark the final days before the 150,000-square-foot interactive entertainment attraction opens May 11, fans are invited to participate in a 50-day countdown on Twitter and watch www.NASCARHall.com for 50 days of news about the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Beginning Monday, March 22nd and running through May 11, a trivia question will be posted each morning on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Twitter page (@NASCARHall). The lucky fan who posts the first correct response to @NASCARHall will win a NASCAR Hall of Fame prize pack. In conjunction with the contest, the NASCAR Hall of Fame team will reveal one feature of the facility daily at www.NASCARHall.com/50days.
    The first item announced in the 50-day countdown was revealed Monday in a news conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip unveiled his championship-winning #11 Mountain Dew Buick. Waltrip drove the iconic, green-and-white stock car to back-to-back NASCAR Winston Cup championships in 1981 and 1982, the first two of three championships in his famed career. In 1981 and 1982 alone, Waltrip had 61 starts and earned 24 wins, 29 top-5 finishes and more than $1.6 million in winnings. The car denotes a significant occurrence in NASCAR history when the sanctioning body mandated a downsizing of cars to coincide with changes taking place in Detroit during that period. The car was built and owned by NASCAR Hall of Fame Inaugural Inductee Junior Johnson. Waltrip's two championships in this car marked Johnson's fourth and fifth titles as an owner. Waltrip and Johnson captured a third championship together in 1985.
    The #11 Mountain Dew Buick will be one of 18 stock cars featured on Glory Road inside the main entrance of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. A banked ramp simulating various racetracks, Glory Road also highlights 40 current and historic tracks and mimics various degrees of banking at racetracks including the impressive 33-degree incline found at Talladega Superspeedway. The car is on loan from Darrell Watlrip Motorsports to the NASCAR Hall of Fame for two years.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame opens to the public May 11, 2010 at 10:00am/et. The opening ceremony for the high-tech, interactive attraction begins at 9:00am/et. The one-hour ceremony will culminate with NASCAR celebrities, elected officials and other dignitaries officially opening the venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by free outdoor activities from 10:am/et through the late evening.(3-23-2010)

  • Junior Johnson's Moonshine Still headed to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: Inaugural Inductee Junior Johnson revealed a unique contribution to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the 150,000-square-foot interactive, entertainment attraction set to open May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, N.C. Johnson, almost as famous for running moonshine as his racing career, is providing the NASCAR Hall of Fame a full-size, authentic moonshine still to be displayed in the pre-NASCAR Theater of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The still, which was built by Johnson, is identical to the stills used by Johnson and his family in years past. Telling these stories has been a massive undertaking for the NASCAR Hall of Fame exhibit team. Historian Buz McKim is charged with uncovering hidden treasures of the sport for display in the facility, which houses more than 40,000 square feet of exhibits and has more than 50 interactive displays. Even as the exhibits are being prepared for display, more great stories are being created.
    Aside from cars and a transporter, the moonshine still is one of the largest historic items in the building. It is constructed of wood, metal and copper and features a cooker, two boilers, a dry barrel, a flake stand, condenser and strainer. The artifact will be on display in the Pre-NASCAR Theater, which tells the story of what led to the formation of NASCAR. It also highlights the history of the automobile prior to the 1948 inception of NASCAR. The Theater is on the fourth floor of the facility in Heritage Speedway, the artifact-rich area of the venue that focuses on the history of the sport.
    A North Carolina native, Johnson made his first moonshine run at the age of 14. After years in the family business, he was convicted in 1956 on a charge of producing illegal liquor. He served 11 months in federal prison and years later was pardoned by President Ronald Reagan. It was the decades of running moonshine that led to Johnson's career as a race-car driver, along with many other famous names in the sport.
    Despite the colorful upbringing, it was Johnson's illustrious racing career that earned him a place in history as one of NASCAR's five Inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductees. He won the second Daytona 500 in 1960 and was credited for the discovery of drafting on superspeedways. He won 50 races at NASCAR's premier level before becoming a car owner. His success continued as an owner where his drivers won 132 races and six championships. Johnson also was responsible for connecting R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company executives with Bill France Jr., which led to the 33-year partnership of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, predecessor to today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
    Beginning May 11, fans can see Johnson's moonshine still and learn more about NASCAR by visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tickets are on sale now at www.nascarhall.com or by calling 877-231-2010. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12, and free for children younger than 5. Memberships provide unlimited entry for one year and start at $25 for children and $50 for adults annually.(NHOF)(3-4-2010)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame adds staff: The NASCAR Hall of Fame recently added eight employees for the 150,000-square-foot interactive, entertainment attraction set to open May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, N.C. "We are less than 100 days away from our opening, and building the right team truly is one of the most important factors in ensuring an exceptional and meaningful guest experience," Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame said. "We are fortunate to have had an overwhelming number of talented people interested in working at this world-class venue. Each team member was selected from several hundred applications per position. The competitive nature has allowed us to assemble a talented team of professionals who bring extensive experience from all types of family entertainment." The additions to the external relations and education department are: Imani Clenance, intern; Joelle Lapsley, administrative assistant; and Natividad Lewis, external relations specialist. All report directly to external relations manager Kimberly Meesters. The additions to the operations department are: Cathy Buchhofer, assistant operations manager; Chris Manley, A/V technical supervisor; and Jonathan Mitchell, box office manager. All report directly to operations manager Steve Burrell. Also, Seth Denton joined the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority as the NASCAR Hall of Fame business manager. He works closely with the NASCAR Hall of Fame operations department and reports to Steve Bagwell, CPA, director of management reporting for the CRVA. The additions to the sales and marketing department are: Matt Aldrich, membership sales manager; and Angela Basso, group sales manager. Both report directly to sales and marketing manager Leslie Horne.(NASCAR Hall of Fame PR)(2-8-2010)

  • SPEED named exclusive TV home of NASCAR HoF: SPEED and NASCAR have reached a multiyear agreement naming SPEED as the official television home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. As part of the deal, SPEED will continue to offer live coverage of special events leading up to the annual induction ceremonies, including nomination and voting days for each Hall class. As part of the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame opening on May 11, which SPEED will televise live, the network also will offer a special "walking tour" broadcast from the striking new Charlotte, N.C., facility just before it opens to the public, as well as extensive pre-event programming. Beginning in April, SPEED also will produce and air one-hour documentaries on each incoming NASCAR Hall of Fame class member. For more information on NHOF events, please visit www.NASCARHall.com.(SPEED)(1-24-2010)

  • Some Hall of Fame artifacts unveiled: Tuesday night's media tour included a stop at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which is still under construction. Winston Kelley, executive director of the hall, and historian Buz McKim talked about some of the artifacts that will be included when the hall is opened May 11 for grand opening ceremonies and May 23 for the first class of inductees. The hall will have a "Greatest Finishes Theater" that will include Ricky Craven's #32 Tide Pontiac that won a thrilling duel with Kurt Busch in 2003 at Darlington Raceway. Kelley said it was the first artifact that was offered to the hall. "It was the last Pontiac to win in the sport, and it carries some history as the closest finish in the existence of the sport," Craven said.
    McKim said he went on a "scavenger hunt" for many other artifacts, including an information sheet Dale Earnhardt filled out in 1975. Drivers filled out information sheets at the beginning of each season, and McKim found the sheet Earnhardt filled out in February 1975 that included several interesting tidbits of information. For one, Earnhardt listed himself as a wrestler in high school and his favorite drivers as Richard Petty and Bobby Isaac. "There was a line there that said, 'Ambition other than racing,' and he wrote, 'None!'" McKim said.
    Another artifact that will be displayed in the hall comes from Richard Petty's "accumulation" of things over his many years in NASCAR. It's the 1967 Plymouth that Petty campaigned when he won 27 of 48 races that year, including 10 wins in a row - a record that still stands.
    McKim said about 98 percent of artifacts the hall wanted to get, he was able to obtain. But there is one artifact that McKim truly wants, an item he calls the "holy grail." "It's something I've only heard about and never seen," McKim said. It's a gold membership card given to pioneering mechanic Red Vogt from Bill France Sr. in 1954. Vogt was proclaimed NASCAR member No. 1, and all fees and dues Vogt had paid to NASCAR before that time were returned to him. (Sprint Media Tour Notes)(1-21-2010)

    2009 News

  • NASCAR Announces inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame: NASCAR announced the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame today [Wednesday, October 14, 2009] that includes: Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Junior Johnson and Richard Petty. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 29 others representing NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major race track ownership groups, retired drivers, owners and crew chiefs along with motorsports media representatives, met in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C. to vote on the induction class of 2010.
    The class was determined by the 51 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes. The Class of 2010 will be officially inducted in a ceremony on May 23, 2010 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. The results of the voting for the final five chosen in this inaugural class proved competitive. Also receiving votes were David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison.
    As part of the inclusive voting process, more than 670,000 NASCAR fans submitted votes online at NASCAR.COM as part of the fan voting process. This remarkable fan feedback once again demonstrates fans' passion and knowledge of the sport and its heritage. The fans voted Petty, Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison as their top five.
    The nominees included many of the sport's legendary names: Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Bill France Jr., Bill France Sr., Rick Hendrick, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame broke ground in Charlotte on Jan. 25, 2007 and will open May 11, 2010. The facility honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of NASCAR.
    Highlighting the Class of 2010:
    Dale Earnhardt
    Earnhardt co-holds the record for most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships (seven) with Richard Petty. In only his second full season, 1980, Earnhardt nabbed his first championship. He won consecutive titles on three separate occasions (1986-87, '90-91 and '93-94). Earnhardt's 76 victories rank seventh all-time. He is the all-time leader in race victories at Daytona International Speedway with 34, though the most prominent of them was a while in the making. In 1998, Earnhardt won his most coveted race - the Daytona 500. The scene was a memorable one, forever etched in the minds of race fans. As Earnhardt's black #3 rolled down pit road, a Daytona 500 winner at last, every crew member from every team lined up to congratulate one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history.
    Bill France Sr.
    Called "Big Bill," only partly because of his 6-foot-5 stature, France spearheaded NASCAR from its beginning and directed it to its present status as the world's largest stock-car racing organization. In 1936, he helped lay out the first beach/road course in Daytona Beach; in the first race on the course he finished fifth. Starting in 1938, he helped promote races on the sands of Daytona Beach. In 1947, France became the driving force behind the establishment of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. NASCAR, it was called, resulting from a famous meeting at the Streamline Hotel on State Road A1A in Daytona Beach - a structure that stands to this day, as a racing landmark. "Big Bill" France passed away in June 1992. He left behind a lasting legacy.
    Bill France Jr.
    William Clifton France is remembered - and revered - as the man who followed his visionary father at NASCAR's helm, in the process becoming a visionary himself, as he guided NASCAR to unprecedented levels of popularity. France became NASCAR's president in January 1972, replacing his father and becoming only the second president of the world's largest auto racing sanctioning body. His emergence coincided with the sport's emergence, and its eventual ascent to become America's No. 1 form of motorsports and the nation's second-most popular sport overall. France, often referred to as "Bill Jr.," remained president until November 2000. At that time, France announced the formation of a NASCAR Board of Directors on which he served as chairman and CEO until October 2003 when he was replaced by his son, Brian Z. France. After that, he continued to serve the sport for the remainder of his life as NASCAR Vice Chairman.
    Junior Johnson
    Robert Glenn "Junior" Johnson is unique in NASCAR history, with tremendous success both as a driver and a car owner. Johnson won the second annual Daytona 500 in 1960 and in the process, became credited with the discovery of "drafting" on the massive superspeedways. He won 50 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series then surprised many people by retiring from driving to become an owner. As an owner, Johnson never missed a beat; through the years, his drivers won 132 races. There also were six series championships produced with Cale Yarborough (1976-78) and Darrell Waltrip (1981-82, '85). Named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers" in 1998, Johnson resides in Wilkesboro, N.C., and remains one of the sport's most enduring - and endearing - personalities, at the age of 78.
    Richard Petty
    Known as "the King", Richard Petty's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series records are staggering: Most wins (200), most poles (123), tied for most championships (seven), most wins in a season (27), most Daytona 500 wins (seven), most consecutive wins (10) and most starts (1,185). Petty's success continued even after his retirement from driving in 1992. He would still hold the top spot in the family business - Petty Enterprises, and now, Richard Petty Motorsports. In all, Petty Enterprises totaled 268 victories.(NASCAR)(10-14-2009)

  • 2010 NASCAR Hall of Fame page: with bios and links:
    The 2010 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class page.

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame ticket and membership details:
    On sale Date: 9:00am/et Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009
    How to Purchase:
    By Phone: 877-231-2010
    Online: www.nascarhall.com
    On-site: Box office will open in the spring of 2010.
    Types of Tickets:
    General Admission: Adult, Senior, Military, Children
    Charter Memberships: Six levels detailed below
    Group packages: For groups of 15 or more; discounted rates available depending on type and size of groups.
    *The NASCAR Hall of Fame is a timed-entry facility; guests must select the date and time of their visit when purchasing a ticket.
    Parking Discounts:
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame Parking Deck (Brevard Street entrance) will offer a 25% parking discount with the purchase of a NASCAR Hall of Fame ticket. This offer is subject to parking availability.
    General Admission Prices:
    Adult $19.95
    Seniors (60 and up) $17.95
    Military $17.95
    Ages 5 - 12 $12.95
    Under 5 Free
    Tickets purchased online or via phone will be discounted $1 per ticket.
    Charter Memberships:
    Rookie Racer (ages 5 - 12) - $25
    Crew Chief (Individual Membership) - $50
    Pit Crew Family Pack (Family Membership) - $150
    Winner's Membership - $250
    Champion's Membership - $500
    Legend's Membership - $1,000
    More info at www.nascarhall.com.(10-8-2009)

  • Hall of Fame Inductees Announcement Wednesday: This Wednesday will be a day to remember in NASCAR history as the first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be announced. The voting panel will meet early that day and begin their deliberations of the 25 nominees. At 4:00pm/et, the votes will have been tabulated by an accounting firm and NASCAR Chairman Brian France will announce the five names live on SPEED TV. Then next May, NASCAR will hold its first-ever enshrinement.(Fox Sports)
    AND: ESPNEWS will have live coverage on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 4 p.m. ET as the first five inductees into the new NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., are announced. NASCAR Chairman Brian France will reveal the names of the first five in a news conference at the Charlotte Convention Center adjacent to the site of the under-construction Hall of Fame. NASCAR Now host Mike Massaro will host the telecast with ESPN NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty. Following the news conference, more reports and analysis of the announcement will air on NASCAR Now at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.(ESPN PR)
    For the complete list of nominees, see my NASCAR Hall of Fame page.(10-13-2009)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame releases opening details: NASCAR Hall of Fame officials announced many of the highly anticipated details regarding visits to the new 150,000-square foot interactive, entertainment attraction under construction in uptown Charlotte, N.C., including ticket information, charter memberships, a national sweepstakes, operating hours and the date for the inaugural Induction Ceremony. Tickets and charter memberships for May 11, 2010 and beyond go on sale at 9 a.m. EDT Oct. 14, coinciding with the historic voting day to determine the first class of inductees in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That illustrious first class will be formally inducted in a ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 23, 2010. Ticket prices are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for military and seniors (60+), $12.95 for children 5 - 12 and free for children under 5. The on-site box office is scheduled to open in the spring of 2010. In the meantime, tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 877-231-2010 or www.nascarhall.com. Customers who purchase through Ticketmaster will receive a $1 per ticket discount. In addition to individual tickets, six levels of charter memberships are available. Members will receive a host of benefits, and if their membership is purchased by May 10, 2011, they also will receive a charter designation and commemorative items to mark their unique status as a first-year member. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will operate on a timed-entry system; guests must select a specific day and time for their visit at the time of purchase. Beginning May 11, 2010, the venue will operate seven days a week with base hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. It will be closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours may be extended during summers, race weeks and prominent Uptown Charlotte events.(NASCAR Hall of Fame PR)(10-7-2009)

  • Inaugural NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class to be Announced October 14: NASCAR announced that "Voting Day" for the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be Oct. 14 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 29 others representing NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major race track ownership groups, retired drivers, owners and crew chiefs along with motorsports media representatives, will meet in a closed session to deliberate and vote on the 25 candidates eligible for this first class. The vote will be followed by a press conference announcing the inaugural class of 2010. The class will be chosen from the 51 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote - which ends Sept. 27 - conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young will preside over the tabulation of the votes. The hall's inaugural class will consist of five members and are scheduled to be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2010.(NASCAR), more infomation about the NASCAR Hall Of Fame on my NASCAR Hall of Fame page.(9-15-2009)

  • Nominees Announced For Inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction: NASCAR announced a history-rich list of 25 nominees for the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame induction class. From that list, five inductees will be chosen via a process that includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM; the inductees will be announced in October and honored next May at the new Hall of Fame facility in Charlotte, N.C. The nominees, which include many of the sport's legendary names, were selected by a 21-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks. The HOF's first inductees will be determined by the Voting Panel, which has 50 members -- the entire Nominating Committee, 14 media members, four manufacturer representatives and nine retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs -- three each) and two recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel's 51st and final ballot. Following are the 25 individuals who have been nominated:

    • Bobby Allison, 1983 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and winner of 84 races
    • Buck Baker, the first driver to win consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
    • Red Byron, first NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, in 1949
    • Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    • Dale Earnhardt, won record seven NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
    • Richie Evans, nine-time NASCAR Modified champion
    • Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
    • Bill France Jr., NASCAR president, chairman and CEO (1972-2003)
    • Bill France Sr., NASCAR founder and first president (1948-1972)
    • Rick Hendrick, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
    • Ned Jarrett, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
    • Junior Johnson, 50 wins as a driver, 132 wins and six championships as an owner
    • Bud Moore, 63 wins and two NASCAR Sprint Cup titles as a car owner
    • Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
    • Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
    • David Pearson, 105 victories and three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
    • Lee Petty, winner of the first Daytona 500 and first three-time series champion
    • Richard Petty, 200 wins and seven NASCAR Sprint Cup titles -- both records
    • Fireball Roberts, won 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 1962 Daytona 500
    • Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, 1951 and '53
    • Curtis Turner, first to win Daytona 500, Southern 500, Coca-Cola 600 in same year
    • Darrell Waltrip, winner of 84 races and three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
    • Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
    • Glen Wood, as driver, laid foundation for Wood Brothers' future team success
    • Cale Yarborough, winner of three consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, 1976-78
    (NASCAR PR)(7-2-2009)

  • NASCAR to Announce Inaugural Nominees For Hall Of Fame UPDATE: The NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural class will take a significant step towards realization Thursday night when the first 25 nominees will be revealed. The announcement will take place during an hour-long special on SPEED at 8:00pm/et that will be hosted by long-time NASCAR broadcaster Ken Squier. The Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a fan-vote element, will then choose the first class of inductees - five NASCAR greats who will be honored next May at the new NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The elite 25 names were determined by a 21-person Nominating Committee that consists of officials from both NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, plus owners/operators of major speedways and historic short tracks. The list represents many who helped build the sport, including drivers, owners and promoters.(NASCAR)(6-29-2009)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Says, a blog of NASCAR.com, blogs this week that will provide some "sneak peeks" at the inaugural list of nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The first two sneak peaked are lengendary drivers Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.(NASCAR Says)(6-30-2009)
    UPDATE 2: two more nominee's Glen Wood and Richard Childress. Both were drivers originally, who switched their concentration to team ownership. Both ended up having some of NASCAR's biggest stars drive their cars. On Thursday the entire 25-person list will be known.(NASCAR Says)(7-1-2009)
    UPDATE 3: Lee Petty and Cale Yarborough have made the list of nominees for the first NASCAR Hall of Fame induction class. Petty was the first driver to win three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Yarborough was the first driver to win the championship three consecutive years.(NASCAR Says)(7-2-2009)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame announces opening date: The NASCAR Hall of Fame announced May 11, 2010 as the official grand opening date for the state-of-the-art facility under construction in Charlotte, N.C. "This is a very exciting time in the development of the NASCAR Hall of Fame," said Winston Kelley, Executive Director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "We're less than a year away from opening the doors that will give visitors an unparalleled experience of the energy, excitement, technology and incredible history of NASCAR - a sport that is so closely tied to our city, our region and our rich heritage in racing." As part of the announcement, the NASCAR Hall of Fame unveiled three new artifacts that will be featured in the facility when it opens next year. Included among a host of interactive displays, exhibits and artifacts will be the blazer that Ned Jarrett wore while he commentated the 1993 Daytona 500 in which his son, Dale, staved off Dale Earnhardt to claim his first Daytona 500 win. The artifact represents the close family ties within NASCAR, a sport in which fathers, sons, brothers and cousins race with each other, for each other and against each other. To date, the NASCAR Hall of Fame has announced two major artifacts for display in the Hall - the Plymouth Belvedere that Richard Petty drove to 27 wins in 1967, and an epic collection of NASCAR awards and memorabilia donated by Raymond Parks, including the first NASCAR trophy ever awarded a team. Exhibits that will showcase artifacts such as these at the NASCAR Hall of Fame are currently under development. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will launch a comprehensive sales campaign this fall, including ticket and membership sales, and will feature the marketing tagline "Where the race lives on." The NASCAR Hall of Fame broke ground in Charlotte on January 25, 2007 and will open May 11, 2010. The facility will honor the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of NASCAR. The Hall of Fame will comprise 150,000 square feet, including exhibit space, state-of-the-art theater, a Hall of Honor that will house the commemorations of Hall of Fame inductees, numerous interactive entertainment experiences, a themed restaurant, retail outlet, and a modern media center for the industry. The Hall will be owned by the City of Charlotte and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.(NASCAR HOF)(6-19-2009)

    THE VOTING PANEL

  • Prospective Members Of Nominating Committee, Voting Panel Announced For Inaugural NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France has sent letters of invitation to 50 people asking them to serve on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and/or Voting Panel. The hall's inaugural class, consisting of five members, is scheduled to be enshrined in May 2010. That class will be selected by the Voting Panel from a list of 25 candidates assembled by a 21-person Nominating Committee. The Voting Panel will consist of the members of the Nominating Committee and 29 others from throughout the NASCAR industry. There also will be one more ballot, decided by a nationwide fan vote, for a total of 51 Voting Panel ballots. Prospective members of the Nominating Committee represent NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major race track ownership groups and operators of historic short tracks. Those members are listed below.

    NOMINATING COMMITTEE

    NASCAR Hall of Fame: Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.

    NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Senior Vice President Paul Brooks; President Mike Helton; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Vice President of Communications Jim Hunter; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Vice President Ken Clapp.

    Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Speedway Motorsports Incorporated CEO Bruton Smith; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway owner Doc Mattioli; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Greenville-Pickens Speedway operator Tom Blackwell; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Toyota Speedway at Irwindale operator Jim Williams.

    The prospective 29 people slated to join the Nominating Committee members on the Voting Panel follow:

    VOTING PANEL
    National Motorsports Press Association: Kenny Bruce, NASCAR Scene; Dustin Long, Landmark Newspapers/NMPA President; Mike Harris, Associated Press; Nate Ryan, USA Today; Jim Pedley, RacinToday.com; Duane Cross, NASCAR.com.

    Eastern Motorsports Press Association: Ernie Saxton, EMPA President.

    American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association: Dusty Brandel, AARWBA President.

    Broadcasters: Mike Joy, FOX; Bill Weber, TNT; Jerry Punch, ESPN; Barney Hall, MRN; Doug Rice, PRN; Rick Allen, SPEED.

    Manufacturers: Chevrolet - Ed Peper, Vice President/General Manager North America; Ford - Edsel B. Ford II, Board of Directors; Dodge - Mike Accavitti, Director of Dodge Brand Global Marketing, Motorsports; Toyota - Lee White, President/General Manager, Toyota Racing Development USA.

    Retired Drivers: Ricky Rudd; Harry Gant; Ned Jarrett.

    Retired Car Owners: Bud Moore; Cotton Owens; Junior Johnson.

    Retired Crew Chiefs: Barry Dodson; Waddell Wilson; Buddy Parrott.

    Industry leaders: Former Lowe's Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler, former motorsports journalist Tom Higgins.
    NASCAR Managing Director of Corporate Communications, Ramsey Poston coordinated many of the details for the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction process. Poston sought the advice and guidance of the late David Poole of the Charlotte Observer and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

    Voting, to include a fan vote, will be completed by October 2009 with the results announced soon after.(NASCAR PR)(4-30-2009)

  • The NASCAR Hall of Fame will honor NASCAR icons and events, and create an enduring tribute to the drivers, crew members, team owners and others that have impacted the sport in the past, present and future. Now, NASCAR fans have the opportunity to personally honor the history of NASCAR and its legends by purchasing a Commemorative Brick at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Buy a Brick - click here

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame gets approval for companies to produce exhibits: Charlotte City Council unanimously approved $17.7 million worth of contracts Monday night for four companies to produce exhibits for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The city owns the hall of fame under a licensing agreement with NASCAR, and all contracts must be approved by the council. The total exhibit budget is $31 million. Kubik Maltbie will be the primary fabricator and installer of all exhibits. Its contract, including $1 million in contingency fees, is $9,991,527. Kubik Maltbie's original asking price was just over $11 million before negotiations with the city. The firm's past work includes projects at the Smithsonian Institution and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Electrosonic Inc. will do all of the audio-visual components and provide an on-site technician for one year for $6,652,859, including contingency fees of $500,000. Electrosonic's original bid was about $6 million but did not include $1 million for a video screen and sound on the building's exterior. Electrosonic, which has collaborated with Kubik Maltbie on numerous projects, has a long list of clients, including The Weather Channel sets, the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center and the World of Coca-Cola. Two much smaller contracts also were approved.(Scene Daily)(4-15-2009)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame hires operations manager: The NASCAR Hall of Fame has named Steve Burrell as operations manager. In this role, Burrell will be responsible for all daily operating functions for the Hall of Fame, including developing policies, procedures and a work environment that ensures exceptional customer service. He will plan, direct and supervise daily operations including guest services, event management, volunteer coordination, emergency procedures and security. Burrell has more than 14 years experience in the entertainment and tourism industry with Carowinds where he served as the loss prevention manager, paladium and campground manager in addition to operations manager. He also sat on the North Carolina Amusement Advisory Committee as well as the Education Committee for the American Industry for Maintenance and Safety. Burrell also has experience as the corporate safety and chief ethics officer for a government contractor with sites throughout the United States.(NASCAR PR)(3-11-2009)

  • NASCAR Legend Donates Memorabilia: Raymond Parks was racing before NASCAR existed. A Georgia native, Parks was the car owner of the first NASCAR race winner. He is a two-time NASCAR champion and swept every race run on Daytona Beach. To say he was instrumental in building the foundation of NASCAR racing is probably a vast understatement. And Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Parks and his wife Violet announced that he would be donating has vast collection of trophies and race memorabilia to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which is expected to open in 2010 in Charlotte, NC. "I think I was 11 years old when we run our first Cup race in '49, and Mr. Parks had already been there a couple of years," seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Richard Petty said. "He was the class of the field; he kind of set the standard. When racing first started, it was pretty rough. Mr. Parks brought class. It took people like Mr. Parks to lay the foundation we're still working off of." Now 94 years old, Parks did not speak during the 20-minute press conference, but he and his wife posed for photos with the commemorative brick they were presented by Hall of Fame executive director Winston Kelley. The brick will be placed outside the new Hall of Fame in tribute to Parks' many contributions to racing."Raymond doesn't have any living children, so to preserve this collection, we needed to put it somewhere it was going to be taken care of," Violet Parks said Saturday. "It's important to have it in the museum. This memorabilia has always been very important to Raymond." In fact, the collection survived a fire on the couple's property in 2002. It includes 29 trophies from the earliest days of NASCAR racing.(AMS Pit Notes)(3-8-2009)

  • NASCAR HoF 60% Complete: Work on the $195 million NASCAR Hall of Fame is 60% complete and on schedule for a spring 2010 opening, the city's project manager said Tuesday during a tour of the construction site. Eric Bilsky, project manager on the hall of fame for the city of Charlotte, says contractor Turner BE&K Davis remains on budget. In September, costs increased by 20%, or $32 million, as the hall of fame's operator, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, requested and won City Council approval for money to upgrade planned exhibits and add architectural flourishes. Tuesday's tour came amid scaffolding, girders and 400 construction workers scrambling to maintain the construction pace. Most of the roof has been applied and, in the months ahead, substantive interior work will begin. By fall, exhibit installation should begin, Bilsky says. In May 2010, the hall of fame opens with the inaugural induction ceremony. "We're building this to help the economy," Mayor Pat McCrory said moments before raising the ceremonial beam as part of a topping out ceremony at the Second Ward construction site. "That was always the goal." McCrory expects the hall of fame to bolster the city's ailing tourism sector while cementing the region as the hub for NASCAR teams and related businesses. More than 60,000 people in the region work in the tourism sector, an industry crippled by reduced corporate and lesiure travel during the past year. Workers broke ground on the 130,000-square-foot hall of fame in January 2007. An adjoining, 40,000-square-foot convention center ballroom is also under construction on the same site. An adjacent tract houses the 20-story, $90 million NASCAR Plaza office tower. It opens in May.(Charlotte Business Journal)(2-18-2009)

  • How the NASCAR HOF business will be conducted: How the process is expected to work for nomination and election to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, scheduled to open in 2010 in Charlotte, N.C.:
    Eligibility
    In general, drivers as well as other candidates will be considered eligible after 10 years of competition or work in the industry. But careers of shorter duration can be considered under unusual circumstances. Individuals must be retired from the sport for at least three years.
    Nominating committee (20 members)
    Who: Seven top-ranking NASCAR officials (chairman of the board, president and five vice presidents); the NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director and its historian; two track owner representatives from International Speedway Corp. tracks, two from Speedway Motorsports tracks, one from Indianapolis, one from Dover and one from Pocono, and one representative from each of four historic short tracks - Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina, Riverhead in New York and Irwindale in California.
    How: Must nominate no more than 25 candidates by June each year.
    Voting committee (47 members plus a fan vote)
    Who: Members of the nominating committee plus 14 media representatives (three each from the National Motorsports Press Association, the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Eastern Motorsports Press Association and one each from Fox, Turner, ESPN, Motor Racing Network and Performance Racing Network); one representative from each manufacturer, and three retired drivers, three retired owners and three retired crew chiefs. Fans will vote between June and Sept. 1 and their selections will count as one vote in the process.
    When: Voting will be completed by Sept. 15.
    Election and induction
    The top five vote-getters each will be elected to the Hall of Fame. Ties will be broken by the Hall of Fame nominating committee. The class is scheduled to be announced in October with induction the following May.
    'Founding Members'
    NASCAR's board of directors will designate a special exhibit honoring those who helped build the sport from its roots to current-day accomplishments that will be part of the Hall of Fame when it opens in 2010. These members will be permanently recognized at the Hall and additional members can be added in the future. Those selected among the "founding members" can also be nominated for election to the Hall of Fame.(Charlotte Observer), see more about the NASCAR HOF on my NASCAR Hall of Fame News and Links page.(1-19-2009)

    2008 News

  • 12 Chase Drivers get their own NASCAR HOF bricks: The top 12 drivers in the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship helped pave the way for the new NASCAR Hall of Fame during the Championship Week in New York last week. The NASCAR Hall of Fame awarded the drivers with their personalized brick marking their final standing in the 2008 season. The unique bricks will be installed in the Ceremonial Plaza at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte when it opens in 2010. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Commemorative Bricks can be ordered online at www.NASCARHall.com/brick or at 888.NHF-BRKS (888.643.2757).(PR)(12-10-2008)

  • Who gets in the NASCAR HOF? survey says... The first inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame won't be enshrined until the week leading into Lowe's Motor Speedway's annual all-star race in May 2010, leaving time for more than a year and a half of debate. Who will be in that hallowed group? Rick Houston's Stockcarhistoryonline.com recently conducted a survey of nearly 30 well-known motorsports competitors, journalists and officials, groups that could have a say in the matter when it actually counts. They were asked very simply ... you've got five picks. Who gets in? See full story and who chose who at stockcarhistoryonline.com.(12-8-2008)

  • Latest News on the NASCAR Hall of Fame: The NASCAR Hall of Fame, scheduled to open in May 2010, includes a "ribbon" that wraps around part of the building in its design, invoking the speed of a race track. Eventually, lighting embedded in the stainless steel walls will appear to move along the curve. On a windy Friday, the skeleton of the museum and a ballroom were visible, as well as the beginnings of a bridge that will connect the Hall of Fame to the Convention Center next door. A private office building on the site is closer to completion. It is scheduled to open in the spring of 2009 and house NASCAR's media group as well as other tenants. The $209.8 million Hall of Fame construction project - which does not include the office building - includes $195 million from the city, paid for mostly through a hotel/motel tax. Lauth Properties, a private developer, is paying $14.8 million for the parking deck. Through September, about 28 percent of the total budget had been spent, according to a monthly construction update produced by the city.(Charlotte Observer), see a slideshow at the Observer - click here and past news about the NHOF on my NASCAR Hall of Fame page.(11-23-2008)

  • Two developers halt plans near NASCAR hall: In a sign of the faltering economy, two developers have pulled out of land deals that city officials hoped would help pay for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. City staff members say the broken contracts will not hurt the NASCAR hall, however, because of safeguards that ensure it has secure funding and is built on time. They also believe that when the real estate market gets better, the city will have no trouble selling the land. The land deals were on two parcels that will become available once a redesign of the Interstate 277 interchange at South Caldwell Street is complete next year. The city plans to sell a total of five such parcels - about 12 acres - and estimates it will pull in about $60 million from the sales. Some of the money will pay for the road construction, and $20 million is committed to the NASCAR hall.(Charlotte Observer)(11-9-2008)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Chooses First Petty Piece: NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director Winston Kelley announced that the Petty Blue 1967 Plymouth Belvedere from Petty Enterprises is "the first significant artifact" publicly presented by the hall. 'The King' Richard Petty drove the Plymouth to more wins than any other car in NASCAR history. During the 1967 season, Petty won 27 races, including a NASCAR-record 10 in a row. The car, however, was actually a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere that was updated through 1967. In all, the dominate machine tallied 36 wins from 1966-67. It will be on loan for two years from the Richard Petty Museum in Randleman, N.C. Kelley acknowledges that picking a Petty artifact as the first significant piece was one of the easiest choices he has made as executive director. More info about the NASCAR Hall of Fame at nascarhall.com.(MCG Sports/Petty Enterprises PR)(10-11-2008)

  • Charlotte City Council approves more money for NASCAR Hall: The Charlotte City Council agreed Monday to increase the NASCAR Hall of Fame budget by $32 million to boost exhibits and pay for unexpected building costs. The 9-2 decision came after council members chastised city staff and other hall planners for not telling them sooner about the price hike. Council members complained of early, "lowball" estimates of the exhibit costs. They asked how the extra money would help attendance. And they said they felt trapped. The vote brings the project's total cost to $195 million - all of it paid for by a mix of hospitality taxes and money from land sales. Most of the project's funding comes from a hotel room tax that can not be used for anything else. (Charlotte Observer)(9-23-2008)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame costs to rise 20%: The $163 million NASCAR Hall of Fame project in Charlotte s revving up a revised, higher cost of construction. City staff is expected to tell council tonight that the budget has grown to $195 million, an increase of $32 million, or 20%. Leaders of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will present council a plan to pay for their updated wish list. The additions include upgraded exhibits, additional architectural flourishes and the installation of equipment designed to increase energy efficiency. Those elements are budgeted for $20 million, with the remaining $12 million targeted for the project's already depleted contingency fund. Tim Newman, chief executive of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, and NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director Winston Kelley plan to outline the changes and additions at the City Council meeting. Jim Schumacher, assistant city manager, serves as the city's lead liaision on the hall of fame. Public funding, including a new 2% hotel tax and dedicated hospitality taxes, provide much of the funding for the hall of fame. The price tag includes an adjacent convention center ballroom and a 1,000-space parking deck. All of the projects are in Second Ward near the Charlotte Convention Center at 501 S. College Street. Schumacher says the projects are on schedule to open in May 2010. He expects council to approve the request to alter the budget.(Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area)(9-9-2008)

    2007 News

  • Charlotte to spend $2.5M more for NASCAR hall: A basement for the new NASCAR Hall of Fame will cost an additional $2.5 million, an unexpected expense that was approved by the Charlotte City Council. The basement for the $154.5 million project was approved this week after officials said adding it now would be cheaper than waiting. Two of the 11 council members opposed the plan. Assistant City Manager Jim Schumacher said the extra space would be used for more exhibits or other operations. The hall is scheduled to open near the Charlotte Convention Center in 2010. The hall is being financed mostly with proceeds of a hotel and motel tax.(Associated Press/Sports Illustrated)(9-1-2007)

  • Just Marketing to handle sponsorships for Hall of Fame: Motorsports agency Just Marketing International, Indianapolis, has been selected to handle sponsorship sales for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The hall, which is expected to open in Charlotte, N.C., by the spring 2010, received initial proposals from 17 agencies. Seven were selected as finalists. Just Marketing will sell sponsorships, but other agencies could be involved in other aspects of marketing the hall. [The hall's executive director, Winston] Kelley has said he hopes to find ways to work with many of the agencies that were finalists, which included the Radiate Group, Sports & Properties Inc., Sullivan Worldwide Marketing, Velocity Sports & Entertainment, Victory Management Group and Wasserman Media Group.(SceneDaily.com)(7-19-2007)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame to unveil logo: The NASCAR Hall of Fame will unveil its logo next week at Charlotte Bobcats Arena before the annual race team pit-crew competition. To date, little more than renderings for the publicly funded, $154.5 million project have been available. Last summer, Winston Kelley signed on to lead the hall of fame. And, in recent weeks, site work has accelerated in preparation for construction.(Charlotte Business Journal)(5-12-2007)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame and NASCAR Plaza Groundbreaking to Take Place Jan. 25 UPDATE 2: Plans are finalized for an exciting first event for the one and only NASCAR Hall of Fame and NASCAR Plaza Office Tower. The groundbreaking will be the 'grand finale' of the annual Nextel Cup Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 3:00pm/et at the site of the new NASCAR Hall of Fame and NASCAR Plaza bordered by Brevard, Caldwell, Stonewall and Second streets in Charlotte, NC.(NASCAR PR)(1-11-2007)
    UPDATE: The city of Charlotte, NASCAR, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority and the hall's main developer will host a 3:00pm/et groundbreaking at the site, bordered by Stonewall, Caldwell and Brevard streets and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The public is invited. For that matter, the public is actively courted. Organizers, while releasing few details, said they plan an event to accompany the usual officials-with-shovels photo opportunity that will honor NASCAR's storied past. Such notables as Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison and NASCAR President Mike Helton are expected, along with N.C. Gov. Mike Easley and Mayor Pat McCrory. Current stars Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were invited, but are preparing for this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona race, said CRVA spokeswoman Molly Hedrick.(Charlotte Observer)
    UPDATE 2: The NASCAR Hall of Fame took one step closer to opening its doors to the public as fans, VIPs and racing legends from NASCAR's past and present gathered on the Hall's site today to officially break ground and begin construction of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory and NASCAR President Mike Helton headlined the celebratory event that also included NASCAR legends from the last fifty plus years of racing such as Buddy Baker, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Raymond Parks, Richard Petty, Rex White and many others. The 100,000 square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame, which will be located on a five-acre site in Charlotte's Center City, will be a special place that brings NASCAR's rich history to life. Scheduled to open in the spring of 2010, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be designed by Pei, Cobb & Freed, a firm known for its expertise with public buildings including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the expansion of The Louvre in Paris and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
    As shovels were put into the ground, engines roared from historic stock cars driven by seven-time Nextel Cup champions Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.. Fans cheered loudly for the 30-plus NASCAR legends in attendance while Rick Hendrick joined the groundbreaking team not only as a championship car owner in all three of NASCAR's top touring series, but as the Honorary Grand Marshal of the bid to bring the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the Charlotte region.
    The Hall of Fame, which is expected to total approximately $155 million and be financed by a hotel occupancy tax, will give NASCAR fans the ultimate destination spot to learn about or relive NASCAR's history. Ralph Appelbaum and Associates (RAA), which has design experience that includes the National Constitution Center and the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, will design the Hall's exhibits. BE&K Building Group is the construction management firm, with Turner Thompson Davis chosen as the construction contractor. With the estimated completion date being the first quarter of 2010, this state-of-the-art facility will honor NASCAR icons and create an enduring tribute to the drivers, crew members, team owners and others who have impacted the sport in the past, present and yet-to-come. The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which will be owned by the City of Charlotte and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, will include approximately 40,000 square-feet of the most interactive and historical NASCAR exhibit space in the world.(NASCAR PR)(1-25-2007)

    2006 News

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame moving forward: A few financing points aside, NASCAR says it's ready to move forward with the construction of a 19-story office tower to occupy one corner of its planned NASCAR Hall of Fame property. The tower plans now surpass what the sport had pitched earlier this year, with 400,000 rentable square feet instead of 300,000 in a glass-and-concrete tower at Stonewall and Caldwell streets. The building also would hold a new, 40,000-square-foot ballroom for the adjacent Charlotte Convention Center. But NASCAR, which secured an option to build the tower on city land this spring, asked for its third extension of the option, which originally was supposed to expire in September. NASCAR and city officials said they need another 15 to 30 days to settle unresolved issues:
    " Deciding how much NASCAR's tower developer, Lauth Property Group of Charlotte, will pay to help construct an 830- to 840-space parking deck and truck dock.
    " The amount of contingency funds for construction.
    " How much the city would realize from any future sale or refinancing of the tower.
    " What the city's responsibility would be to Lauth "in the very unlikely event," as a city document put it Monday, that the hall of fame is not built.
    "We're close" to an agreement on the lease option, Kimble said, "but we're not there yet." The City Council voted Monday to extend the option to Dec. 12, although Kimble said NASCAR probably will exercise the option Nov. 28. NASCAR is committed to seeing the tower portion through, said Mark Dyer, NASCAR's vice president of licensing. Dyer apologized to council members for the delays and said he has already spoken to several potential tower tenants. "The impact, I think, will be significant," he said. The hall is scheduled to open in the fall of 2009.(Charlotte Observer also see an article at SceneDaily.com)(11-8-2006)

  • Winston Kelley to run NASCAR HOF: A Duke Power vice president and long-time racing broadcaster will be named executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame today. Winston Kelley, whose family has close ties to racing, was part of the team of city boosters that won the hall of fame over Atlanta, Kansas City and NASCAR's home city of Daytona Beach, among other cities. Kelley's connections to both the local community and the racing world are invaluable, said people involved with the hall effort. Kelley is a pit reporter for the Motor Racing Network, lending his voice and racing expertise to radio broadcasts. He's been involved in broadcasting races since the 1980s. Kelley also served as emcee for several events related to wooing the hall of fame in Charlotte, including the announcement by NASCAR Chairman Brian France in March that Charlotte had won the right to build the hall. The project will cost $155 million, the bulk of which will be paid for with a hike in Mecklenburg County's hotel tax. Kelley and an exhibit designer will be the first employees hired for the hall, which is expected to begin construction next spring.(Charlotte Observer)(7-6-2006)

  • Hotel tax hike OK'd to help NASCAR hall: In an 8-1 vote, Mecklenburg commissioners agreed to raise the county's hotel tax by 2 percentage points, from 6 to 8 percent. The money to be raised by the increase was a financial cornerstone of Charlotte's bid to host the motorsports shrine. Commissioners held a public hearing on the increase, the public's only chance to weigh in since the deal was announced. But no one came to object. Instead, half a dozen speakers -- sporting buttons from the campaign to win the hall -- stood up to praise it, saying the Hall of Fame will draw hundreds of thousands of tourists, and solidify the region's status as home to the booming racing industry and the accompanying jobs. Mohammed Jenatian, president of the Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance, said the tourism industry was involved in the decision to increase the tax, and believes the project is worth it.(Charlotte Observer)(3-22-2006)

  • NASCAR HOF name won't be for sale: Buried deep in the 63rd page of a contract between NASCAR and the city of Charlotte is the phrase: "Neither party shall sell any naming rights or presenting sponsorship for the HOF without the other party's prior approval." OK, we know. That doesn't exactly eliminate the possibility. NASCAR doesn't want a bunch of corporate names getting in the way of the clearly stated "NASCAR Hall of Fame."
    "We think that would probably go beyond the bounds of good taste," said Mark Dyer, NASCAR's vice president of licensing. "We didn't want to have a particular corporate name on it, because we wanted the purity of the NASCAR name," said Tim Newman, who heads the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which will own and operate the Hall of Fame.(Kansas City Star)(3-14-2006)

  • It's Official - NASCAR HOF in Charlotte: NASCAR today announced that it has selected Charlotte, N.C., to be the home of its Hall of Fame. The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which will be a state of the art facility capturing the spirit of the sport, will honor the NASCAR icons and create an enduring tribute to the drivers, crew members, team owners and others that have impacted the sport in the past, present and yet to come. "To NASCAR fans everywhere, it is my distinct honor to announce that NASCAR has selected Charlotte, N.C., to be the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "The winners in this process are the 75 million NASCAR fans nationwide, who will have a Hall of Fame to call their own. The City of Charlotte will welcome fans from around the country and even the world to the NASCAR Hall of Fame," said France.
    Charlotte's proposal best achieves NASCAR's overriding goal to have one of the premier hall of fames in the world of sports and entertainment. The region's rich racing history and heritage along with the strength of the city's overall financial structure for the Hall, represents the best fit for NASCAR, the industry and the fan-base. The Hall is expected to include exhibit space, a Great Hall, a Hall of Honor, interactive entertainment restaurants, retail outlets, and a state-of-the-art media center for the industry. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will be a special place that brings NASCAR's history to life and preserves that history in the appropriate environments. The new facility will allow longtime fans to have the opportunity to relive NASCAR's greatest moments and for new fans to learn about them.
    "Our goal has been - and continues to be - to create one of the "crown jewels" of Charlotte and the very best Hall of Fame-themed entertainment experience in the world," said Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. "This Hall of Fame will expand the dynamic and growing sport of NASCAR racing in a dynamic and growing city. It's a victory not only for the entire region, but for NASCAR fans across the country and internationally. We look forward to welcoming all fans for a unique and entertaining experience."
    Mayor McCrory credits the regional effort and broad-based support from the business community, elected officials, the hospitality and tourism industry and NASCAR fans who supported this effort. Mayor McCrory specifically cited the strong leadership from his fellow "Crew Chiefs," including Cathy Bessant of Bank of America; Luther Cochrane of BEK Building Group, as well as John Tate of Wachovia and Tim Newman of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
    The Hall of Fame, which will be located in Charlotte's Center City will be developed, designed, and operated by the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. The total cost of the Hall of Fame is estimated at $107.5 million. This will primarily be funded by a new two percent hotel/motel tax and contributions from the State of North Carolina and the private sector. The Hall of Fame, which will be open no later than spring of 2010, has been designed and concept by world renowned architecture firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. The firm has designed iconic buildings in cities worldwide, including the Javits Convention Center in New York City, the expanded Louvre in Paris, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
    Charlotte is the hub of the NASCAR industry. Currently 82% of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams, 72 percent of NASCAR Busch Series teams and 55 percent of NASCAR Craftsman Truck teams are based in the Charlotte region. The industry's current annual statewide economic impact is estimated to be $5 billion.(NASCAR PR)(3-6-2006)

  • NASCAR HOF in Charlotte...NC Gov. to atttend? Monday at 4pm/et: New details emerged Friday about next week's expected announcement that Charlotte has landed NASCAR's Hall of Fame. An official announcement has been tentatively scheduled for 4:00pm/et [Speed Channel Live] Monday at the Charlotte Convention Center, a NASCAR source said. Luminaries such as Gov. Mike Easley, Mayor Pat McCrory, NASCAR Chairman Brian France and Hendrick Motorsports Owner Rick Hendrick are expected to attend, said the source, who asked not to be identified because of the confidentially of the bid process. The Speed Channel is tentatively scheduled to broadcast the event live [4:00pm/et], the source said.(Charlotte Observer). Speed Channel will carry the announcement live at 4:00pm/et [and supposedly have taped coverage shown later] and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio will carry the announcement live.
    AND Being told the contruction of the building won't begin until sometime in 2007.(3-4/6-2006)

  • NASCAR Downplays HOF Report UPDATE Charlotte wins? announce Monday?....on Speed: NASCAR is downplaying a report in the Charlotte Observer that quotes sources as saying Charlotte has emerged as the clear leader in a three-city battle for the sport's hall of fame. NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer Brian France said before Sunday's race at California Speedway that Atlanta remained very much in the running for the hall, and NASCAR public relations spokesman Kerry Tharp said after Sunday's race that a decision on the hall had not been reached. "We are still in the decision-making process, and we're still collecting information from all the cities," Tharp said. "We still anticipate making an announcement in March." The Observer said a high-ranking NASCAR official and two Nextel Cup team owners, all speaking on the condition of anonymity, said NASCAR officials have indicated to them that Charlotte's selection is nearly certain. Charlotte, Atlanta and Daytona Beach, Fla., are the three finalists for the hall.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
    AND NASCAR officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Sunday night that Charlotte has emerged as the clear leading candidate to be the permanent home to NASCAR's $100 million Hall of Fame. The NASCAR officials said, however, that the sanctioning body is still negotiating with Daytona Beach, Fla., and Atlanta, the two other finalists in the running for the facility. "It's fair to say that Charlotte is the clear front-runner now and that our discussions with the city have intensified," said a senior NASCAR official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "We are still having discussions with the other two cities, though." No date for the announcement of a winner has been set yet, sources said, though it is expected in the next several weeks.(Speed Channel)(2-27-2006)
    UPDATE: NASCAR will announce the selection of Charlotte for its Hall of Fame at a press conference Monday, sources tell The Charlotte Observer.(SceneDaily.com)(3-1-2006)
    UPDATE 2 - Atlanta Trying...: [GA] State lawmakers trying to drive millions of new public dollars into Atlanta's NASCAR hall of fame bid have hit an unexpected speed bump. In an attempt to snatch the attraction from rival Charlotte, legislators hurried this week to hike the public portion of Atlanta's bid from nearly $32 million to about $80 million. That, with corporate support and bank loans, would push the total offer for the racing shrine from $92 million to more than $140 million. NASCAR plans to announce its choice on Monday in Charlotte, according to reports. Georgia lawmakers came up with two new ideas to try to lure the hall to Atlanta: One would steer $20 million from state sales taxes to the project. The other would divert about $22 million in surplus money from Atlanta's rental car tax to the project. But the latter notion hit an obstacle: Atlanta officials have already committed the money to help the city's homeless.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR will host a press conference Monday at 4:00pm/et at the Charlotte Convention Center to announce that Charlotte will be the home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, multiple sources confirmed to SPEEDTV.com today. SPEED will break into its regular programming to cover the Hall of Fame announcement, whenever it takes place.(Speed Channel)(3-2-2006)

  • Atlanta HOF bid looking for $$: Georgia lawmakers are trying to win NASCAR's hall of fame for downtown Atlanta with millions of new dollars from Dale Earnhardt license plates and airport rental cars. Leaders in Georgia's House will soon introduce legislation to shift additional money to the hall of fame project from Georgia's new NASCAR license plate and Atlanta's 10-year-old rental car tax. This would be on top of the $32 million in public incentives already on the table. The added money will help the local bid team seal a deal with NASCAR in a hall of fame race that could be Atlanta's to lose, said state Rep. Mark Burkhalter (R-Alpharetta), the No. 2 man in the House who's become the attraction's point man under the Gold Dome.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-16-2006)

  • NASCAR HOF announcement 30-60 days: NASCAR president Mike Helton said Thursday the announcement of the site for NASCAR's Hall of Fame would be made within 30 to 60 days. France said the decision would be made by NASCAR's board of directors, including chairman Brian France, vice chairman Bill France Jr., executive vice president Jim France, vice president Lesa France Kennedy and Helton. Finalist cities for the hall are Daytona Beach, Atlanta and Charlotte.(Flordia Today)(2-10-2006)

  • Aquarium may help Atlanta's chance of NASCAR HOF UPDATE: The Georgia Aquarium, with its overwhelming early foot traffic, is Atlanta's best case for luring the highly coveted racing shrine to Centennial Olympic Park, NASCAR's chief executive, Brian France, said Wednesday. But it's not all good news. France, the last word on the hall of fame decision, gave rival Charlotte two critical advantages in the hall of fame race: Lots of guaranteed money and superstar drivers and racing teams in its back yard. France walked through Atlanta's fish tank for the first time Wednesday after speaking at a business conference in Buckhead. Bernie Marcus, the aquarium benefactor and Home Depot co-founder, joined local business leaders to give him a private tour. North Carolina's legislature has already approved a hotel/motel tax and a $20 million land gift that will guarantee funding for nearly all of Charlotte's $137.5 million hall of fame. Georgia is only now putting together $32.4 million in public money for the hall, which organizers expect will cost about $92 million. Corporate support and bank loans will cover the balance, a fact that seemed to give France pause. "I think they'll get there," France said of Atlanta's financial effort. But, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charlotte's money is all wrapped up. What's more, France likes the fact that Charlotte is home base for nearly every driver and racing team in the sport.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-9-2006)
    UPDATE: Georgia lawmakers and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin are trying to show NASCAR more money. State and city officials moved Thursday to put more dollars behind Atlanta?s bid for a NASCAR hall of fame, including another $10 million in special tax breaks from the city of Atlanta, according to state Rep. Mark Burkhalter. Officials were reacting to comments made by Brian France, the racing?s chief executive, who suggested Wednesday that the money behind rival Charlotte?s bid was more secure - though Atlanta may have an advantage with the foot traffic generated by the Georgia Aquarium.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-10-2006)

  • NASCAR HOF, three cities left: NASCAR announced Thursday that three cities - Atlanta, Charlotte and Daytona Beach - are still under consideration for serving as the host site for the sport's first-ever officially-sanctioned Hall of Fame. Kansas City and Richmond were the two other cities that had submitted proposals to NASCAR and been involved in the process since the early part of 2005. "NASCAR is extremely appreciative of the time, effort and commitment put forth by the cities of Kansas City and Richmond," said Mark Dyer, NASCAR vice president for licensing. "Both of their proposals were outstanding and the passion and enthusiasm the people involved showed for the NASCAR Hall of Fame has made a lasting impression on all of us. We'd like to thank Gov. Sebelius of Kansas and Gov. Warner of Virginia, along with all of the other people who put so much work into this project. Both of these cities are extremely important to our sport and should be congratulated for their efforts. As we move forward in this process, we believe it is necessary to focus our attention on the three cities of Atlanta, Charlotte and Daytona Beach. Based upon the proposals that we have reviewed internally for the past several months, we believe these three cities provide us with the best opportunity to build and develop a world-class NASCAR Hall of Fame for our millions of loyal fans." NASCAR hopes to make a final decision on its Hall of Fame site sometime within the first quarter of 2006.(NASCAR), so much for the breaking news that Kansas was getting it....see next post.(1-5-2006)

  • Kansas to get the NASCAR Hall of Fame? UPDATE 2: 610 Sports racing show Inside Motorsports in Kansas City Saturday, December 3rd at 12:30pm/cst was the first nationally to break the story that Kansas City, Kansas would reportedly get the NASCAR hall of fame. Co-Hosts Mark Merrell and Ryck Sanders stated that a source had reportedly told them of a meeting in New York this week between NASCAR officials, International Speedway, and Speedway Motorsports Incorporated. Reportedly in that meeting, Brian France, relenting to pressure from SMI president Bruton Smith, reportedly told Smith that NASCAR would award the NASCAR Hall of Fame to Atlanta (an SMI owned track), but that the track would have to give up a race date, and that that race date (Nextel Cup) would go to Kansas Speedway (an ISC owned track) (creating two NEXTEL Cup races at Kansas). Smith at first reportedly agreed to the deal, but days latter reportedly re-approached NASCAR with the idea to take a NEXTEL CUP race date from the Texas Motor Speedway, and move it to Atlanta, leaving Texas Motorspeedway with one date, and Atlanta with the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and two NEXTEL Cup race dates, and Kansas Speedway with two NEXTEL Cup race dates. NASCAR officials, reportedly tired from Smith, pulled the deal, and reportedly will award Kansas Speedway with the NASCAR hall of fame, all according to an unnamed source. The story was related to race fans live on Inside Motorsports, a weekly comprehensive racing show hosted by Mark Merrell and Ryck Sanders Saturday, December 3rd at 12:30pm central. A subsequent story was posted on their web site, insidemotorsportskc.com [don't see it there], and also presented on KCPT, TV-19, a PBS station in Kansas City during a pledge break by Merrell while co-hosting show featuring the 25th anniversary of Motorweek latter that same day. The show aired live in Kansas City at 2:30pm/cst. The story is unconfirmed by NASCAR and ISC officials as of today's date. They also report that the Sprint Nextel Challenge date would go to Kansas Speedway now as well as the NASCAR Hall of Fame, as the Sprint Nextel All Star Challenge Hall of Fame race (previously the Nextel All Star Challenge at Lowes Motor Speedway) with induction ceremonies, etc as a May date.(Mark Merrell/Inside Motorsports/The Race Report/610 Sports KCSP)
    UPDATE: haven't heard from Kansas Speedway but have heard Kansas Speedway says the story is untrue, and are very upset. They (Kansas Speedway) hope this doesn't hurt their chances of getting the HOF.(12-5-2005)
    UPDATE 2: and a David Poole article refutes most of the above story: Smith says no such meeting happened. "I hope people who know both Brian and I know that we wouldn't talk about junk like that," Smith said Monday. "That's just idiotic reporting. Maybe they won the award for the week where facts do not interfere with a story." But just to make sure, calls were placed Monday to the principal figures involved in the Hall of Fame process. One NASCAR official called the story "nonsense." Another said it "has no validity." See the ull article/report at: Yep, they sure 'broke' that NASCAR Hall story.(12-6-2005)

  • FL License Tag Hall of Fame News: Florida lawmakers are moving forward with a plan aimed at creating a NASCAR license tag to help pay for a stock-car hall of fame in Daytona Beach. Rep. Pat Patterson, R-DeLand, and Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, filed bills Thursday to create the tag and will seek to take up the issue during a special legislative session next week. Supporters hope to use money from sales of the tag -- estimated at as much as $1.5 million a year -- to help finance the hall of fame and bolster Daytona Beach's effort to outbid four other cities for the tourism draw. Daytona Beach also proposed the sale of NASCAR license tags during this year's regular legislative session, but the proposal died after it became tangled in a broader dispute about whether the state should subsidize stadium projects for the Florida Marlins and Orlando Magic.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-4-2005)

  • Daytona Gets More Time: An unexpected move by NASCAR has given Daytona Beach more time to line up public money to attract the coveted stock-car-racing hall of fame. NASCAR executives announced during the weekend that they would hold off on selecting a site for the hall until early next year. That gives lawmakers time to revive a plan during a special session next month to sell a NASCAR-themed license plate and use the proceeds to help finance Daytona's bid for the attraction. Daytona -- which is competing with Charlotte, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Atlanta for the hall of fame -- has proposed spending at least $70 million to overhaul Daytona USA and merge it with a new museum.(Orlando Sentinel)(11-16-2005)

  • All Five Cities still in the race for the HOF: NASCAR Chairman Brian France scuttled rumors yesterday that the Hall of Fame search had entered a cutdown period and said a decision probably won't be made this year. France said negotiations to choose a winning city probably would begin "after the holidays," ruling out the possibility the selection would be announced during the season-ending awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria on Dec. 2.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-12-2005)

  • Daytona Hall and License Plates: Two of Florida's most-powerful lawmakers support creating a NASCAR license tag during a special legislative session in December, potentially boosting Daytona Beach's bid for a stock-car hall of fame. House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City, and House Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, back a plan to sell specialty tags to help finance the hall of fame. Daytona Beach is trying to outbid four other cities for the project, which economic-development officials say would be a boon to tourism. But it remained unclear whether Senate leaders also would back the idea. Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, said he will consider adding the issue to the special session, but said hall-of-fame supporters should have met legally mandated criteria to get the tag approved. Those criteria include paying a $60,000 fee and doing a survey to ensure enough motorists would buy the tag. Volusia County lawmakers tried to create the license tag during this spring's regular session, but it died along with other proposals to help finance sports facilities. The idea resurfaced, however, as it became apparent that lawmakers would hold a special session.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-9-2005)

  • Ruling says Atlanta NASCAR HOF bid can't be secret: A Fulton County [GA] Superior Court judge has ruled that Atlanta's bids for the NASCAR hall of fame and 2009 Super Bowl must be open to the public. Judge Michael Johnson's ruling was a setback for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Central Atlanta Progress. The two leading Atlanta business groups argued in court that they are private organizations, and that releasing the bids would hamper the metro area's ability to win big-ticket spectacles like Super Bowls and Final Fours - prizes that mean millions to the local economy. At an all-day hearing Thursday, court testimony revealed that Fulton County and Georgia's Department of Economic Development, among other public bodies, helped pay to compile the NASCAR hall of fame bid. The bid cost $500,000 to prepare, with $300,000 coming from public sources, the business groups' witnesses testified. A witness also described meetings where NASCAR bid documents were handed out and then confiscated to keep the information out of public hands. Monday's decision was the latest round in a months-long dispute between The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the business groups over the Super Bowl and NASCAR hall of fame bids. Atlanta lost its bid for the 2009 Super Bowl, but the city is still competing with four other communities - Richmond, Charlotte, Kansas City, Kan., and Daytona Beach, Fla. - for NASCAR's hall of fame. NASCAR officials are expected to pick a hall of fame site by the end of the year.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(11-8-2005)

  • Daytona HOF Bid tied in with License Plates: With motorists sporting dozens of different license tags, Florida lawmakers last year passed a law aimed at making it harder to get new tags approved. But now, that move to clamp down on the proliferation of license plates could turn into a roadblock for supporters of bringing a NASCAR hall of fame to Daytona Beach. Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, will meet next week with Daytona Beach area officials about the possibility of creating a NASCAR license tag to help finance the hall of fame -- an idea that supporters would like to see considered during a possible special session this fall. But Lee wants hall of fame supporters to go through the legally required process for getting a tag approved. That process, which includes doing a scientific survey to gauge demand from motorists, could cause a fatal delay in approving the tag. Kathy Mears, a Lee spokeswoman, said Tuesday that Lee is willing to listen to the NASCAR proposal but that he intends "to uphold the current law as it pertains to license plates." She said Lee is "not interested in short-cutting those requirements."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-12-2005)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame bid headlines Chamber Day at Kansas: Kansas Speedway and members from the Kansas City Area Development Council will discuss the NASCAR Hall of Fame bid proposal during Chamber Day festivities at Kansas Speedway on Friday. Chamber Day on Friday is a unique networking opportunity during O'Reilly Auto Parts Qualifying Day at Kansas Speedway, and promises to be one of the biggest mixers for business professionals in the city. Nearly 1,000 of the metro's brightest professional men and women from most of the area chambers of commerce are expected to attend this year's Chamber Day. Guests include Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, KCADC President and CEO Bob Marcusse and representatives from the THINK KC team that submitted a bid earlier this year to attract the NASCAR Hall of Fame to Kansas City, Kan.(PR)(10-6-2005)


    THE VISIT's AUGUST 2005

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame update: In August 2005, NASCAR visited the five Hall of Fame sites. Each site, Atlanta, Charlotte, Daytona, Kansas and Richmond got one day to show their proposals and local support.

    DAYTONA: August 9th:

    Daytona presented their non-profit proposal with 200 people showing up in support. Some points:
    Cost: $105 million; Size: 80,000-square-feet; Construction Jobs: 532; Permanent Jobs: 37; Projected Annual Visitors: 400,000; Local Spending: $50 million annually; would be built next to and in conjunction with Daytona USA. Construction would be financed with the sale of bonds issued by a nonprofit corporation formed to operate the hall of fame. The bonds would be repaid from admission prices, sales and corporate sponsors.

    Some articles about the Daytona visit:

  • Daytona Beach News Journal:
    Daytona shows hand on hall plans - The city envisions an Oscar-style ceremony at NASCAR hall of fame by Etan Horowitz

    Daytona Beach News Journal:
    Behind every empire is a mastermind by Godwin Kelly;
    Speedway official: Daytona USA only place for hall by John Bozzo

    Daytona Beach News Journal:
    Residents, officials make pitch for hall of fame by John Bonzo;
    Fame-ous Daytona? Officials believe they've set the bar for Hall cities by Ken Willis;
    Special NASCAR Hall of Fame Section

    Orlando Sentinel::
    Daytona shows its NASCAR hand - The city unveils a bid to lure hall of fame by Etan Horowitz


    ATLANTA: August 16th:

    Daytona presented their proposal with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin leading a NASCAR cheer for a sweltering rally of more than 100 people at Centennial Olympic Park. Shortly before the rally, state Sen. Vincent Fort, former City Councilman Derrick Boazman and about 15 others gathered near the park to protest spending public money on the NASCAR shrine. Some points:
    Atlanta's main selling point? "Sustainability," A.J. Robinson, head of Central Atlanta Progress, said. NASCAR wants the hall of fame to be open "for eons, for 50 years," he said. "We wanted to make the impression that it will thrive here and success will never be a question mark." Honorary Chair is Bill Elliott, NASCAR Champion, didn't see any mention of him at the rally or presentation.
    Atlanta's NASCAR Hall of Fame would be located in the Atlanta Downtown Entertainment District. The facility would face Centennial Olympic Park
    Cost: $92 million; Size: ?square-feet; Projected Annual Visitors: 1,000,000. Jobs: 1,200.

    Some articles about the Atlanta visit:

    LAWSUIT: Attorney General Thurbert Baker sued two of metro Atlanta's leading business organizations Thursday over their refusal to publicly disclose bids for the 2009 Super Bowl and NASCAR hall of fame. Baker filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court asking a judge to order the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Central Atlanta Progress to release both bids to public scrutiny under the state Open Records Act. See full story at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.(8-19-2005)

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
    Atlanta puts on its show - Corporate, political elite lead the effort by Walter Woods, Robin Roger;
    Speak up or step down: Perdue, Franklin should demand that group pushing NASCAR bid comply with state's Open Records Act

    Charlotte Business Journal:
    Atlanta unveils NASCAR Hall of Fame design


    CHARLOTTE: August 17th

    Charlotte presented their proposal with Nextel Cup team principals Rick Hendrick, Robert Yates, Ray Evernham and J.D. Gibbs in attendance. So were drivers Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Scott Riggs and crew chief Chad Knaus.
    Cost: $137.5 million built mostly with public money, would sit across Brevard Street from the Charlotte Convention Center.
    Size: 130,000 square-feet

    Some articles about the Charlotte visit:

    Charlotte Observer:
    Hall about business, not bids by David Poole;
    NASCAR sees `compelling case' and
    Test drive: NASCAR hits Charlotte today by Stan Choe and Richard Rubin;
    Bet on NASCAR's hall going to KC by David Poole

    ThatsRacin.com: NASCAR Hall of Fame section


    KANSAS: August 18th:



    On Thursday, the amalgamation of politicians, businesspeople and community groups that formed to pitch Kansas City met with a delegation of NASCAR officials and made their spiel. In Kansas, success would start with location, its backers say. The NASCAR delegation was also impressed with the site: a bluff overlooking the intersection of two interstate highways that is in the Village West commercial district that has sprouted up around the speedway.
    Cost: $100 million; Size: 100,000 square-feet

    Some articles about the Kansas City visit:

    Kansas City Business Journal:
    KC relies on cash, not flash by Mark Kind

    Kansas City Star:
    KC hopes to get checkered flag and
    No frills for a thrill - KC to play it straight in bid for NASCAR hall of fame by Jim Pedley

    Daytona Beach News Journal:
    Kansas City? Surely they must be joking by Ken Hornack

    Philadelphia Daily News:
    KC dark horse for NASCAR Hall of Fame? by Bill Fleishman


    RICHMOND: August 23rd:



    During NASCAR's site visit, Warner said Virginia's contribution to the proposed $103 million shrine likely would include cash and tax-increment financing, which involves using additional tax revenue generated by a new development to pay off its debt. But he declined to specify an amount before the project reaches the negotiation stage. Richmond's primary site is a 250-acre tract on the southeastern corner of the northern junction of Interstates 95 and 295 in Henrico County.
    Cost: $103 million; Size: 129,000square-feet; annual economic impact of $188 million.

    Richmond Times Dispatch:
    Warner, fans drive bid for NASCAR Hall of Fame by Nate Ryan;
    Public kept in dark on financing details of NASCAR Hall bid by John Markon


  • Daytona HOF bid reveals more: The Green Flag Committee has unveiled the second feature of its proposal for the NASCAR Hall of Fame -- the Tower of Champions Theater. "It is a high-tech and robotic 'Interactive Amphitheater' with the flexibility of presenting any number of highly entertaining NASCAR-themed productions," David Exline, the committee's creative director, said in a prepared statement. The staging facility will have a towering glass structure of two "magazine stacks" that house an ever-changing selection of vehicles from NASCAR races. The towering cars would be lit from inside and situated near the attraction's main entrance. The attraction is designed to allow frequent vehicle exchanges throughout the operating year. An automated conveyance system pulls each car from storage to a stage within the tower. Every movement is automated and can be seen from inside and outside the hall. The committee, the group working to get the Hall of Fame for Daytona Beach, previously revealed its Heritage Walk Gallery, an interactive center with a media montage presentation about NASCAR. The committee, which is competing against groups in Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Kansas City, Kan., and Richmond, Va., will formally present its bid for the hall to NASCAR officials on Aug. 9. There will be a public rally at 9:30 a.m. that day in front of DAYTONA USA.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-27-2005)

  • NASCAR Sets Hall of Fame Site Visit Schedule: NASCAR will begin the next phase of the process for selecting the location for its Hall of Fame when it makes visits to the five prospective cities next month that are vying to serve as the home for the sport's newest facility.
    On May 31, NASCAR received proposals to construct the Hall of Fame from Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Daytona Beach, Fla., Kansas City, Kan. and Richmond, Va.. Since that time, NASCAR has been reviewing and evaluating each city's proposal. The schedule for site visits has been established and will be as follows: August 9 - Daytona Beach; August 16 - Atlanta; August 17 - Charlotte; August 18 - Kansas City; August 23 - Richmond. At each visit, members of NASCAR will meet with local organizing officials, tour the prospective site location and engage in detailed discussions regarding each proposal. The visit will conclude with a mid-afternoon press availability.
    "There has been a tremendous amount of excitement and enthusiasm generated with the Hall of Fame project and NASCAR is looking forward to visiting each site," said Mark Dyer, NASCAR's vice president of licensing. "We have been impressed by the caliber of proposals we have received and are appreciative of all of the effort and commitment that each city has invested. As this process continues, we're even more conscious of the fact that the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be a world-class facility that will service our loyal fans for many, many years to come."(NASCAR PR)(7-14-2005)

  • NASCAR HOF Bid are IN - 5 cities going for it: Proposals to fund and construct a new NASCAR Hall of Fame were received Tuesday by NASCAR from five cities - Atlanta, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., Daytona Beach, Fla., Kansas City, Kans., and Richmond, Va. Over the next 60 days, these proposals will be reviewed by NASCAR, with site visits scheduled for later this summer. NASCAR says it would like to have a final decision by the end of the year on where to build the sport's first official Hall of Fame.
    "NASCAR is honored to receive proposals from these five cities that all play an important role in hosting NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events each year," said Mark Dyer, NASCAR Vice President of Licensing. "These five cities are all winners and are to be congratulated for their diligence and dedication to the Hall of Fame project. We now will get to work and study each of these proposals carefully and completely. Later this summer, we will schedule site visits to each of the five cities. We are excited about the prospect of partnering with one of these cities to produce a world-class facility that will enshrine the legends of NASCAR and give our millions of loyal fans a touchstone of the sport they love."\
    NASCAR has enlisted the services of OnSport as a consultant during the evaluation process. OnSport previously worked on the development of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame projects. NASCAR announced last January its plan to develop a new Hall of Fame. Request for proposals were then sent to groups in Atlanta, Birmingham/Talladega, Ala., Charlotte. Daytona Beach, Kansas City, Richmond, and the state of Michigan. Since that time, Birmingham/Talladega and the state of Michigan opted not to participate in the proposal process.(NASCAR PR)(6-1-2005)

  • N.C. Senate OK's higher hotel tax for NASCAR HOF: The state Senate gave its final approval today to a temporary 2% increase in the Charlotte hotel room tax to help fund construction of a proposed NASCAR hall of fame. The bill would give Charlotte the authority to raise the local occupancy tax from six percent to eight percent. The revenues would help finance the museum and a new ballroom for the Charlotte convention center, next to the proposed site.(NBC 6/WCNC)(5-24-2005)

  • Daytona NASCAR HOF bid gets some $$: Supporters of the NASCAR hall of fame got a $20,000 shot in the arm Monday from the Volusia Council of Governments. The council, made up of elected officials from across the county, gave nearly unanimous approval to help The Chamber, Daytona Beach/Halifax Area and other supporters win the hall of fame over contenders in Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Richmond, Va. Deltona Mayor John Masiarczyk issued the only dissenting vote, saying he didn't want the group to set a precedent of giving money for countywide fund-raisers. Chamber President George Mirabal told VCOG members the money would help pay for consultants and other costs, such as the formal proposal package that has been estimated to cost $250,000. The facility is expected to cost between $70 million to $100 million. Leaders are looking for private backing, but won't get a planned $30 million from the state. Lawmakers recently turned that proposal down, even though it included a plan to pay the money back with revenue from a state NASCAR license plate for cars.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-24-2005)

  • NASCAR HOF news: The buzz in the Nextel Cup garage says the search for a NASCAR Hall of Fame has boiled down to two scenarios. The first would have the hall located in Kansas City, where Lesa France Kennedy spearheaded construction of Kansas Speedway. Kennedy is president of International Speedway Corp., which is majority owned by her father, Bill France, Jr., and other family members, including her brother, NASCAR Chairman Brian France. Kennedy is seen as her brother's ultimate successor at NASCAR at some as-yet-undefined point in the future.
    The other scenario is that the battle will be between Atlanta, which first approached NASCAR about housing the hall last year, and Charlotte, whose metro area is home to most of the NASCAR Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series teams. Atlanta has a deep war chest with corporate support from Home Depot, Coca-Cola and UPS, among others, while Charlotte has strong grass-roots community support and is launching a massive marketing push. The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce has launched a website, www.belongshere.com , which prominently features the NASCAR bar logo, one of the most closely guarded trademarks in sports merchandising. NASCAR officials said although the Charlotte Chamber was not given formal permission to use the NASCAR logo and is not paying a licensing fee to display it, NASCAR has no objections to its use on the website or other hall of fame promotional material.(Speed Channel)(5-22-2005)

  • State comes thru for money for NASCAR HOF in Charlotte: State financing for Charlotte's NASCAR Hall of Fame bid cleared its first turn Wednesday, but tourism groups say they're prepared to put up a major roadblock if the city doesn't change the way it would handle the money. The N.C. Senate Finance Committee unanimously backed a funding bill that goes to the full Senate today. It would allow Charlotte to increase its tax on hotel rooms from 6 percent to 8 percent to help pay for the hall. That would give the city the highest room tax in the state. Charlotte is working to get a $137.5 million financing plan into NASCAR's hands by a May 31 deadline, and state backing is a key component. Charlotte is competing with four other cities for the hall, including Atlanta and Kansas City. The Florida Legislature's refusal this month to commit $30 million to Daytona Beach hurt that city's bid in many observers' eyes.(Charlotte Observer)(5-20-2005)

  • Richmond's NASCAR HOF plans: In a news conference at Richmond International Raceway before last night's Nextel Cup Series race, the proposed hall was revealed as a 129,000 square-foot building (including 68,000 square feet of exhibits) on about a 20-acre tract of land. Architectural firms with experience on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Baseball Hall of Fame and Smithsonian Museum of Natural History are designing the blueprint. An economic analysis predicted the hall would be attended by 700,000 visitors in the first year. The study said competing cities Kansas City, Kan., Daytona Beach, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta would draw hundreds of thousands fewer fans annually. An economic impact study projected a $6 million growth in tax revenue -- $4.7 million to the state and $1.3 million to Henrico County. The details need to be finalized by the May 31 deadline for submitting bids to NASCAR. NASCAR reportedly will announce the winning city at its Dec.2 awards banquet in New York.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-15-2005)

  • Michigan Drops off of NASCAR HOL Bidding: Michigan officials say they won't submit a pitch for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, narrowing the field to Daytona Beach and four competitors. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. was spearheading the effort to put the hall of fame in the Detroit area, but its vice president, Michael Shore, said Wednesday it has decided not to submit a proposal. "We really aren't pursuing it," he said. "The governor gave us the green light to explore it. But when we reviewed the financial commitment it would take to make one of these really work -- and given the state's economic situation -- we were talking a lot of money and a long-term commitment." Michigan's move leaves five cities in the race: Daytona Beach; Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Richmond, Va. Talladega, Ala. pulled out of the competition in March.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(5-12-2005)

  • Bill Elliott to take lead for NASCAR HOF Atlanta bid: #91-Bill Elliott will be the lead salesman for Atlanta's bid to be NASCAR's Cooperstown. Elliott will use his strong ties to corporate sponsors and NASCAR executives to help Atlanta win stock car racing's hall of fame. Elliott will officially be the honorary chairman of the city's NASCAR bid. Scott Wilfong, president of SunTrust Bank, Atlanta, and Mark Lazarus, president of Turner Entertainment group, are also leading the effort, among other city and state officials.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-7-2005)

  • Daytona NASCAR HOF bid almost dead? Miami's bid for a $60 million state subsidy to help build a new baseball stadium for the Florida Marlins is dead, Senate President Tom Lee said Thursday. Lee also said "it's not looking good" for other sports subsidies, including $30 million for a NASCAR hall of fame in Daytona Beach and facilities for the Orlando Magic and spring training facilities. The fate of the NASCAR subsidy likely will be decided today, the last day of the legislative session. Lee didn't anticipate even bringing the bill up for debate on Friday, the final day of the session. George Mirabal, president of The Chamber, Daytona Beach/Halifax Area, said the setback to the NASCAR hall proposal was a disappointment but by no means did it signal the end of the project.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-6-2005)
    UPDATE - not good: In a tumultuous end to the legislative session, Florida lawmakers passed a $63 billion budget Friday and approved overhauling the state's Medicaid system -- but refused to spend $30 million to help Daytona Beach attract a NASCAR hall of fame. The Senate never took up a bill that would have provided subsidies to Daytona Beach to try to outbid other areas of the country for the NASCAR hall of fame. Daytona Beach lobbyist Sam Bell said the issue was dead. A bill outlining a NASCAR hall of fame subsidy -- which House members passed last month, lumping the hall of fame with other proposals to subsidize stadium projects for the Florida Marlins and Orlando Magic -- never came up in the Senate. Bell said that, coupled with a lack of time to push through the proposal, played a key part in lawmakers scuttling the NASCAR subsidy. "It was just a salad of things that was not palatable," Bell said.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-7-2005)

  • NASCAR HOF News, Daytona and Charlotte:
    CHARLOTTE: The Charlotte City Council endorsed a hotel tax hike and the use of city-owned land for a NASCAR Hall of Fame on Monday. The unanimous vote marked the latest step in the city's fast-moving bid for the tourism prize. "After this vote we're at Turn 1," said Mayor Pat McCrory, a Republican. "We've still got a ways to go." The tax hike, which requires approval from the state legislature, would increase the rate from 6 percent to 8 percent. That is expected to yield $65 million of the $137.5 million construction cost, and the plan already has the crucial backing of the local hotel industry. Council members took turns praising the idea and the opportunity that the hall of fame could bring. In Raleigh on Monday, organizers of Charlotte's bid detailed their request for state money beyond the hotel tax hike. The state would contribute $10 million in cash over the next two years, plus $10 million over the next 20 years from extra tax money generated by tourists. Private companies would pay $15 million and commit as much as $5 million toward cost overruns.(Charlotte Observer)
    DAYTONA For weeks, Daytona Beach's bid to attract a NASCAR hall of fame ran into a one-man legislative roadblock. But when the Florida House met Tuesday, Daytona Beach found a way to maneuver around the roadblock and move forward with its proposal to get a $30 million state subsidy for the hall of fame. With House Finance and Taxation Chairman Fred Brummer, R-Apopka, refusing to take up the NASCAR project in his committee, lawmakers used a procedural move to sidestep him and add the proposal to another bill. That bill -- which also includes a tax break related to the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach -- could pass the House as soon as today and head to the Senate. Rep. Pat Patterson, a DeLand Republican who is sponsoring the NASCAR project, said lawmakers need to approve the proposal or risk losing the hall of fame to other areas that are trying to land it. Daytona Beach is seeking the $30 million over 25 years to help pay for building the hall of fame. It proposes creating a NASCAR-themed license tag and using sale proceeds to pay back the $30 million. Daytona Beach's proposal, however, has become tangled in a broader debate about whether Florida should spend tax dollars to help build sports facilities. The projects have moved slowly through Senate committees and stalled in the House Finance and Taxation Committee because of Brummer's opposition.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-27-2005)

  • Hotel Tax to help foot NASCAR HOF in Charlotte: Higher taxes on Charlotte hotel rooms would pay to build a NASCAR Hall of Fame, organizers announced Monday. The potential tax increase, from 6% to 8% countywide [Mecklenburg], has the crucial backing of leaders in the hotel-motel industry. It must be approved by the state legislature. The new tax would pay for $63.5 million of the estimated $137.5 million cost of putting the NASCAR Hall of Fame uptown, as well as building a new convention center ballroom. About $35 million would come from a combination of state funding and private contributions. The remaining $37.5 million would come from the existing convention center expansion budget, funded by the existing tax on restaurant meals. Monday's announcement marks the latest step in the city's fast-moving drive to land what organizers call a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Just last week, they announced the preferred site -- just east of the convention center -- and hired the well-known architectural firm headed by I.M. Pei. To meet NASCAR's May 31 deadline for proposals, Charlotte must keep moving quickly. Next Monday, the City Council will consider designating the city-owned site. Charlotte's bid would compete with bids from Atlanta, Daytona Beach, Fla., Kansas City, Kan., Richmond, Va., and the state of Michigan. Organizers expect NASCAR to pick a site by the end of 2005. But the NASCAR project would not be the only use of the higher hotel-motel tax. The proposal calls for half the increase to occur regardless of whether Charlotte gets the hall of fame. The money would be used by the city or the visitors' authority to lure conventions and sporting events, such as basketball tournaments. The city and county often use property tax money to pay for those items now.(Charlotte Observer)(4-20-2005)

  • NASCAR HOF would make money in Daytona: A proposed NASCAR hall of fame would be a money-maker in Daytona Beach, drawing more than 400,000 people a year -- but it would need state dollars and Speedway land to be feasible, according to an economic study. Local officials who commissioned the study hailed it as proof the project could thrive in Daytona Beach, which is competing with five other areas to be home to the hall of fame. Daytona Beach officials propose building an 80,000-square-foot facility that would cost $70 million., The overall cost of the project, with interest, would be $86 million. The study anticipates paying a $1 a year to lease a site for the building on Daytona International Speedway property.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-20-2005)

  • NASCAR HOF tops Charlotte's 'must-have' list: The proposed NASCAR Hall of Fame has zoomed to the top of Charlotte's must-have list, racing past the long-simmering push for new museums and theaters. Led by a self-described "checkered flag team" of elected officials and private-sector power brokers, the NASCAR building has attracted a near-unanimous consensus, big-name architects and, most important, urgency. "It has huge momentum, compared with anything else," said Charlotte City Council member John Tabor, a Republican. The arts package, he said, was already in limbo anyway. With public budgets tight again, and thus limited money available for uptown tourist attractions, where does that leave the arts projects? Will this be a tortoise-hare matchup where everyone reaches the finish line eventually? Or will the arts projects eat NASCAR's dust? The next few months should be telling, as the city, county and state governments set their budgets and priorities for 2005-06. In the race for public and private cash, the hall of fame took the lead this spring, thanks to a May 31 deadline imposed by NASCAR. Charlotte and five other regions are competing for the tourist magnet, which could cost more than $100 million. Earlier this week, organizers announced they had selected a preferred city-owned site near the Charlotte Convention Center and hired the architectural firm founded by I.M. Pei, which designed the pyramid at the Louvre in Paris and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. NASCAR also has several other advantages. Organizers estimate that the hall of fame would draw 400,000 visitors per year. At this point, neither arts leaders nor hall of fame organizers have proposed a complete financing plan, making it difficult to know whether they will compete directly against each other for public money. That overlap could be limited, though, because the NASCAR project may draw corporate support from outside the Charlotte region, from national companies that sponsor the sport. Construction executive Luther Cochrane has his hands in both projects. He chaired last summer's arts task force, and he's now one of the "crew chiefs" of the NASCAR project.(Charlotte Observer)(4-15-2005)

  • VA Governor backs HOF: During the second annual Motorsports Day at the Capitol, Gov. Mark Warner enthusiastically pledged his support for Henrico County's bid on a NASCAR Hall of Fame that reportedly could cost at least $60 million and attract hundreds of thousands of annual visitors. "You can't underestimate what it would mean to bring it here," Warner said, standing before a white Ford donated by team owner Junie Donlavey and stamped with a "Virginians Racing for the Hall of Fame" logo. "It'd probably be as big an economic stimulus to the region as anything we're looking at." Richmond is competing against Atlanta; Charlotte; Kansas City, Kan., Daytona Beach; and the state of Michigan for NASCAR's first officially sanctioned museum.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-7-2005)

  • Daytona HOF Bid Clears 1st step: Daytona Beach's bid to attract a NASCAR hall of fame got its first legislative victory Tuesday -- but the hard part is still coming. The House Tourism Committee approved a plan that would commit $30 million over 25 years to the city's effort to lure the hall of fame to a site near Daytona International Speedway. The vote came after weeks of lobbying and tinkering by local officials as they tried to ease concerns about using tax dollars to pay for the project. But the plan still faces major obstacles, including uncertainty about whether House and Senate leaders will go along with funneling tens of millions of dollars to the hall of fame and other sports-related projects. Also, three other House committees are slated to vote on the plan during the coming weeks -- including the House Finance and Taxation committee, which is expected to closely scrutinize the project.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-30-2005)

  • Council approves NASCAR incentives: In an effort to keep NASCAR's all-star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the Charlotte [NC] City Council voted Monday night to set aside thousands of incentive dollars. NASCAR is considering moving the big race, which contributes more than $94 million a year to the regional economy. So last week, the president of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority asked the City Council to approve more than $62,000 in incentives. The state has already put up $250,000 in incentives.(News Carolina 14)(3-29-2005)

  • Alabama Drops Out of HOF race: An Alabama group has dropped its campaign to be the home of a proposed NASCAR Hall of Fame, reducing Charlotte's competition for the project to five rival bidders. On Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that Neal Wade, director of the Alabama Development Office, called a halt to the campaign to put the hall of fame between Birmingham and Talladega. Bids are due May 31 for the facility, which will likely cost $75 million to $100 million. At the same time, plans for a bid by Daytona, Fla., are also shifting. Early talks centered on the state providing as much as $75 million in funding. Now, according to reports in The Orlando Sentinel, Daytona museum backers are aiming for $30 million to be raised by selling NASCAR license plates. Beyond Charlotte and Daytona, the bidders are Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; Richmond, Va.; and the state of Michigan.(Charlotte Business Journal/Daily Home)(3-24-2005)

  • Daytona's HOF Bid May be in Trouble: Political trouble has the city's drive to bring the NASCAR hall of fame to Daytona Beach sputtering like a car with engine trouble. City Manager Jim Chisholm told city commissioners in an e-mail Thursday he would suspend the city's campaign. And though he later backed off making that announcement, the city's caution flags have state lawmakers rethinking their commitment to the project. The trouble started Wednesday when commissioners voted 6-1 to support building the hall of fame but wouldn't discuss putting up $20,000 to help pay an estimated $200,000 cost to develop a proposal. Local lawmakers were seeking $75 million in state funding to build the hall of fame. They fear Wednesday's commission action will make it even harder to sell the project to the Legislature.
    With the Florida Marlins and Orlando Magic also looking for help with stadium projects, some lawmakers, including Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, have said they are reluctant to spend tax dollars on sports projects. To make the NASCAR project more palatable, King, Patterson and Daytona Beach lobbyist Sam Bell said Thursday they have revamped -- and scaled back -- their proposal for state funding. Initially, Daytona officials requested that the state commit $75 million over 25 years to help pay for building the hall of fame. Money would come from state sales taxes generated by the hall of fame. A revamped proposal seeks $30 million over 25 years. Also, it calls for creating a NASCAR-themed license tag, with proceeds from the sale of the tag going to the state to pay back the $30 million. Bell, a former Volusia County lawmaker, said the hall of fame initially was expected to cost about $75 million, but that estimate has been reduced to about $60 million. He said the state money would make up half of that amount, with the rest coming from sources such as sponsorships and land donations by the city and county. NASCAR set a May 31 deadline for proposals from areas including Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Kansas City, Kan., Richmond, Va., Talladega, Ala., and the state of Michigan.(in part from the Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-19-2005)

  • Charlotte try HOF gets a leader - Hendrick: Regional political and business leaders vowed Tuesday to produce a successful bid for a proposed NASCAR Hall of Fame, unveiling a powerful lineup of motorsports industry executives backing the campaign, including veteran team owner Rick Hendrick. NASCAR racing "was born here, it was built here and it belongs here," Hendrick said at a press conference held at the team race shop. "We're going to win this race." Hendrick will spearhead a group of local and regional leaders working on the project. Charlotte is competing with six other cities and regions for the hall of fame. The competitors are Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; Richmond, Va.; Talladega/Birmingham, Ala.; Daytona, Fla.; and an undisclosed location in Michigan. Joining Hendrick as honorary grand marshals are Gov. Mike Easley, U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Elizabeth Dole, N.C. House Speaker Jim Black, N.C. Senate President Pro-Tem Marc Basnight, Congressman Mel Watt and NASCAR team owner {#40, #41, #42] Felix Sabates. Others involved include Mayor Pat McCrory, Bank of America Corp. executive Cathy Bessant and Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority board Chairman Luther Cochrane. Bids are due May 31, with a decision expected by year end. NASCAR has intentionally left request for proposals vague, encouraging each community to be creative with its hall of fame ideas. The sanctioning body is not expected to pay for land and construction costs or ongoing operations costs. McCrory declined comment Tuesday on potential public funding sources. He said a range of scenarios are under consideration, though sources close to the talks anticipate a significant public funding component. General Assembly members have expressed support, though the state faces a $1.3 billion budget deficit this year. Similarly, local government funds could be hard to find. A $147 million cultural arts request from city and county government has been met with extensive questions and concerns, and both local governments also face tough budget decisions this year. Organizers decline comment on potential sites and other details. They anticipate releasing those plans later this spring.(Charlotte Business Journal)(3-16-2005)

  • VA Group Meets about HOF: Virginians Racing for the Hall of Fame, the nonprofit group formed to help Henrico County's Economic Development Authority in its bid for a proposed NASCAR Hall of Fame, held a public relations subcommittee meeting Wednesday at RIR that drew local leaders in tourism, business and marketing. An international consulting firm with hall of fame experience and two renowned construction firms specializing in museum design have been commissioned to help with the project. Richmond is competing against several cities for the hall. The NASCAR deadline for bids is May 31.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-11-2005)

  • Charlotte HOF team to be named: The community and business leaders who will head Charlotte's efforts to land NASCAR's planned hall of fame and museum are expected to be named next week, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. In a story on its Web site, the Business Journal also reports that NASCAR has told the seven bidders that it will soon outline additional aspects of its expectations for the project. Others bidding for the hall of fame and museum are Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; Richmond, Va.; Talladega/Birmingham, Ala.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; and unnamed sites in Michigan.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-10-2005)

  • Racing Greats Lobby NC for Hall of Fame: Racing greats Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson, and Benny Parsons lobbied the Legislature to lend support for a resolution to honor the memory of NASCAR aces and promote a racing museum in the state. Lawmakers in both chambers unanimously approved the resolution as part of their effort to protect a $1.5 billion racing industry that employs about 10,000 people in North Carolina. As the sport increases in popularity, so does the competition from other states to lure it away. But lawmakers and others say North Carolina is the best place for a museum. Stock car racing started here and a few hundred race teams -- NASCAR and otherwise -- are located around Charlotte. Putting a museum in the Charlotte area makes sense for tourists who also could also visit their favorite race teams, Parsons said. "You can see all the past and in 15 minutes see the future," Parsons said between legislative sessions. The children of Wendell Scott, who in 1963 became the first black NASCAR driver to win a race, also attended. Scott died of cancer in 1990. Sen. Charles Dannelly noted the importance of diversity in the sport. Scott, who raced from 1949-1973, made his name when "the ruler of the South was the KKK," he said. Gov. Mike Easley announced a 19-member North Carolina Motorsports Advisory Council designed to recommend methods to improve and expand the racing industry in the state. Members include racing great and car owner Richard Petty, Hendrick Motorsports chairman Rick Hendrick and Chad Knaus, Jimmy Johnson's crew chief. The council's first meeting will be later this year.(ESPN.com/AP)(3-2-2005)

  • VA Legislature Supports Hall of Fame efforts:. A House resolution filed by Delegate Sam Nixon, R-Chesterfield, asks NASCAR to locate the NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum in Virginia. The resolution was requested by Virginians Racing for The Hall of Fame, a consortium of public and private-sector organizations who have joined forces to bring the H.O.F. to Virginia. The groups notes that 50% of the United States population lives within 500 miles of Richmond, VA - the desired site for the facility. Virginia's racing facilities include NASCAR's two oldest tracks: Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway and host four NASCAR Nextel Cup races per year, the most of any state in the nation. Virginia also hosts NASCAR sanctioned races at Langley Speedway, Lonesome Pine Raceway, Motor Mile Speedway, Old Dominion Speedway, and South Boston Speedway.(HR 51 page at state.va.us)(2-25-2005)

  • Possible spots for NASCAR HOF in Atlanta: A lot owned by Ted Turner, the Philips Arena Jumbotron parking deck and Underground Atlanta are among the possible pit stops for what could be NASCAR's Cooperstown in Atlanta. Executives from some of Atlanta's corporate engines - Coke, Home Depot, BellSouth and UPS - are among local organizers negotiating with a handful of city deed holders about where to park a NASCAR hall of fame and museum. NASCAR last month asked for proposals from Atlanta, Daytona Beach, Fla., Charlotte and Kansas City to develop a national attraction celebrating stock car racing. Richmond and the state of Michigan also put themselves in the running. Bids are due May 31. NASCAR wants to pick a winning bidder in December, with an opening of the hall of fame by 2007 or 2008. All of the bid committee's possible locations, except Underground, curve around Centennial Olympic Park like a victory lap. Among the sites being considered are two parking decks across Centennial Olympic Park Drive from Phillips Arena (one featuring the arena's giant electronic display), Turner's Luckie Street corner next to the Tabernacle, a lot behind the Children's Museum of Atlanta and a site across Marietta Street from the Georgia Aquarium. One site not being considered is the surplus land Coca-Cola has next to its new World of Coca-Cola museum, Robinson said. The company has said it is not pursuing uses for that site.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-23-2005)

  • Daytona HOF may face some hurdles: Seeking $75 million from the state to try to attract a NASCAR hall of fame, Daytona Beach could become tangled in a political battle over whether Florida should subsidize professional sports franchises. Supporters of the hall of fame, the Florida Marlins baseball team and the Orlando Magic basketball team are asking state lawmakers this spring to commit more than $200 million over the next three decades to help build or renovate sports facilities. That is causing some lawmakers, including Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, to question whether the state should continue using tax dollars to subsidize projects for sports franchises that are typically worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Much of the controversy has centered on a proposal to commit $60 million to a stadium for the Marlins in Miami. But Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, said he fears the NASCAR hall of fame could get lumped together with the Marlins and Magic in a broader debate about using tax dollars for professional sports. King and other hall-of-fame backers say state subsidies are crucial to Daytona's effort to outbid six other cities for the project. But Sen. Mike Bennett, a Bradenton Republican who is an outspoken critic of giving sports subsidies, dismissed threats that the hall of fame or professional teams could go elsewhere if they don't receive state money. Daytona Beach is lobbying to receive $3 million a year for 25 years to help finance construction of the hall of fame. The proposal, which is similar to an incentives package that brought a golf hall of fame to St. Johns County in the 1990s, calls for the state to provide the money if the stock-car attraction can show it would generate at least $3 million annually in sales taxes.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-17-2005)

  • Up to 7 Locations going for the NASCAR Hall of Fame: NASCAR announced the final list of locations in the running to host the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Groups in Atlanta, Birmingham/Talladega, Charlotte/Concord, Daytona Beach, Kansas City, Richmond and the State of Michigan have received requests from NASCAR for proposals and have agreed to submit bids for this new project. The city selected will partner with NASCAR to build a state-of-the-art facility aimed at displaying - and preserving - the sport's rich history and tradition. "NASCAR's overriding goal is to have a world class Hall of Fame," said NASCAR Chairman/CEO Brian France. "We want it to be a special place that brings NASCAR's history to life. Our hope is for longtime fans to have the opportunity to relive NASCAR's greatest moments and for new fans to learn about them." There are a number of independent racing "halls" in existence in the United States, but none are officially affiliated with NASCAR. In support of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, it is likely that an annual induction ceremony would take place in conjunction with an existing NASCAR-sanctioned race weekend. This would attract a significant number of visitors to the site and provide a major economic lift for the Hall of Fame and surrounding areas. The enshrinement ceremony and other ancillary events would also make for compelling television content on a national basis. "NASCAR wants a Hall of Fame that will remain fresh and will entice visitors to return time and time again," said NASCAR VP of Licensing and Consumer Products Mark Dyer. The NASCAR RFP (Request for Proposal) sent to the seven groups bidding is intentionally vague. There are no specific requirements for size, shape or cost. It is NASCAR's hope that each community will view this as an opportunity to be creative in design, development and timing. The deadline to submit proposals is May 31. "NASCAR seeks a strong partner that shares our vision and belief that the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be a great success for their community and all our fans," Dyer said. "This is critical to the project and will be something we'll look at when the proposals are submitted." NASCAR will begin the process of review once the proposals are received. At that time a schedule will be announced for site visits and presentations by each city.(NASCAR PR)(2-15-2005)

  • Kansas meets with NASCAR about HOF: An influential contingent from Kansas headed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius made a quick pit stop here Monday looking to take the lead in the race to land NASCAR's proposed Hall of Fame. The group that met with NASCAR executives for more than an hour included Sebelius; Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Carol Marinovich; and Bob Marcusse, president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Developmental Council. Daytona Beach, Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., and Richmond, Va., are the other cities competing for what proponents argue will be a tourism magnet, given the growing popularity of the sport nationwide. Sebelius said Kansas would offer NASCAR a centralized geographical base, "a lot more robust than the Southeast," as racing looks to branch out to all parts of the country. NASCAR's proposal for a hall, made public last month, stipulated it wanted suitors to foot the bill, which is expected to be tens of millions of dollars. NASCAR officials invited four cities to make proposals, with Richmond later joining the race. Daytona Beach is lobbying the Florida Legislature to kick in as much as $75 million so the Hall of Fame can be built here, where NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. are headquartered.
    Daytona Beach is lobbying the Florida Legislature to kick in as much as $75 million so the Hall of Fame can be built here, where NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. are headquartered. Meanwhile, Daytona Beach city and business leaders have settled on a slogan to rally around that capitalizes on the area's racing roots. It reads: "NASCAR's Past. NASCAR's Future. All roads lead to Daytona." Daytona Beach also plans to hire John Sabour, executive director of the Central Florida Sports Commission, to develop its hall of fame proposal for NASCAR. The sports commission -- a nonprofit, private organization established to attract international, national and regional events and sports-related business activities -- worked with Daytona Beach to land the Florida Tennis Center. The Chamber of Commerce has formed a committee to help Sabour in various tasks, including fund raising. Capitalizing on the city's home court advantage, Daytona Beach officials are planning a rally today at 6:00pm/et at Daytona USA, looking to build local support for bringing the NASCAR hall of fame to Daytona Beach.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-15-2005)

  • Richmond goes for Hall of Fame: The Richmond area has entered the race to become the site of a NASCAR Hall of Fame that could generate an unprecedented amount of fan foot traffic for an athletic shrine. Joining Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; and Kansas City, Kan., in the bidding, the Henrico County Economic Development Authority is spearheading a proposal to be submitted by May 31. The organization will have support from the state, the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Merchants Association of Greater Richmond, Greater Richmond Partnership and Richmond International Raceway, which will hold a news conference this afternoon to discuss the project. NASCAR, which announced intentions last month to start its first sanctioned Hall of Fame, could choose a location by the end of the year. RIR President Doug Fritz has offered his track as a location for the Hall. Fritz said the Richmond area would qualify as a prime contender because of its location -- within 500 miles of 50 percent of the U.S. population -- and stock-car history. RIR has been playing host to NASCAR's premier circuit at the Fairgrounds since 1953, making it the second-oldest stop on the Nextel Cup Series.(Richmond Times-Dispatch and a story at the Daily Press)(2-2-2005)

  • Humpy: Hall of fame belongs here: NASCAR has asked four cities to submit their proposals for a hall of fame. Charlotte is an early favorite to land the facility, but it has competition in Atlanta; Daytona Beach, Fla.; and Kansas City, Mo. "Atlanta's going to be the formidable competition, but this is where it started," said Humpy Wheeler, the president of Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord. "This is where the peach basket was put up in 1949, right out on Little Rock Road near the airport." The proposals are due in May, and NASCAR is expected to make a decision by the end of the year. Humpy Wheeler, the president of Lowe's Motor Speedway, wants to see the NASCAR hall of fame in Charlotte. "NASCAR was born here, it was built here, and its hall of fame belongs here," said Mike Crum, the chief operating officer of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. "However, we're not taking anything for granted. We're willing to put together what will be a very competitive proposal to bring the facility to our city." An organizing committee, led by Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, will draft the proposal. Wheeler thinks the building belongs in the Center City. "Outside of Joe Gibbs, we really don't have another race shop in Charlotte, I don't think," he said Tuesday. "And (the fans) are not getting downtown except for when we have Speed Street. So there needs to be something to pull them in." NASCAR's headquarters is located in Daytona Beach, so many think it has a strong chance of landing the facility, too. Kansas City is considered a long shot, though.(News 14 Carolina)(1-26-2005)

  • Charlotte Interested in a NASCAR Museum UPDATE: Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory's arts task force is nearing the finish line, and he's waving the checkered flag -- literally -- as he calls for adding a NASCAR museum to the list of possible new projects. In early 2005, when the Charlotte City Council starts talking about public money for new museums and theaters, it should discuss the NASCAR idea, too, McCrory said. Since late summer, NASCAR reportedly has been shopping the proposal around to several cities, including Atlanta and Daytona Beach, Fla. McCrory said an uptown NASCAR museum could be the hub of what he's been calling NASCAR Valley, racing's version of the California wine country. "You come to Charlotte, spend a couple days, go to the NASCAR museum and other cultural facilities and from there, go visit the incredible racing team exhibits throughout the museum," McCrory said. NASCAR will tell cities more about the project in early 2005, said Tim Newman, president of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. That includes details about its size, cost and location. "Whatever process they design, we'll make it a highest priority to respond and make the case for why Charlotte ought to be the home of an officially sanctioned NASCAR hall of fame," Newman said. NASCAR officials could not be reached for comment.(ThatsRacin)(12-29-2004)
    UPDATE: NASCAR wants to build a hall of fame in one of four cities, and Charlotte leaders want to land it to cement the city's claim as the center of the stock-car racing world. Charlotte, Atlanta, Kansas City and Daytona Beach, Fla. will get letters from NASCAR this week asking them to pursue the chance to host it, NASCAR vice president of licensing Mark Dyer said. They will have five months to respond. NASCAR, the private corporation that owns and operates the most popular U.S. auto-racing league, could select a site by the end of the year. "We want to feel good about it 10 years from now, rather than just have a big flashy opening and make headlines for a short time," said Dyer, who is based in NASCAR's Charlotte office. NASCAR's proposal will not include requirements about size and funding sources, Dyer said. But NASCAR wants something as large and as attractive as the baseball, basketball and football halls of fame, all in smaller Northern cities. The motor sports sanctioning body will probably want the cities or local groups to build and operate the facility, Dyer said. Auto racing already has several halls of fame adjacent to NASCAR tracks, including one in Talladega, Ala., and another in Darlington, S.C. The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville, about 20 miles north of Charlotte, draws 250,000 visitors per year. Many race teams have their headquarters near Charlotte, and their shops attract thousands of visitors. One racing team, Hendrick Motorsports, has 150,000 visitors a year Since last spring, arts leaders have been lobbying the city for at least $88 million worth of downtown cultural projects, including a new art museum. Later this month, a mayoral task force on cultural facilities is scheduled to suggest revenue sources, including a higher rental car tax, a targeted uptown property tax hike and a parking surcharge.(Wilmington Star-News/AP)(1-5-2005)


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