Charlotte Racing Fans' Bucket List
Charlotte is the ultimate destination for NASCAR fans. Immerse yourself in a mix of racing-related shops, tracks and attractions.
For race fans, Charlotte is the ultimate destination with its outstanding mix of racing-related shops, tracks and attractions. Get in on the fast-paced action at some of the greatest NASCAR and stock car racing venues in the nation. Here’s a quick guide to help you plot your course.
The NASCAR Experience
NASCAR Hall of Fame
A tribute to the history of NASCAR and the drivers, crew members and team owners who popularized the fast-paced sport, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is part museum and part interactive racing experience. One of the most popular exhibits is “Glory Road,” a banked ramp leading to the second floor that highlights racetracks around the U.S. and showcases historic racecars.
Charlotte Motor Speedway
With the nickname “The Beast of the Southeast,” the Charlotte Motor Speedway is the pulse of racing action in Charlotte. The 1.5-mile oval track hosts two major races every season – the Coca-Cola 600 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. On non-race days, fans can take a guided tour of the facility that includes stops at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, pit road and Victory Circle. The tour includes a ride along the 24-degree banked track via a Feel the Thrill Speedway Tour. Fans can also enroll in one of the driving experience classes offered in schools by racing greats like Dale Jarrett or Richard Petty (check track schedules for official times and details).
Part of Charlotte Motor Speedway, the state-of-the-art drag strip is one of the best in the world. Fans fill the stands of zMAX Dragway to watch NHRA Drag Racing and the Summer Drag and Brag street racing series. The quarter-mile track also hosts pro stock motorcycle and car races.
Richard Petty Driving Experience
NASCAR isn’t just a spectator sport at Richard Petty Driving Experience. Fans can get in on the high-speed action at a professional racing school where the options range from riding shotgun in a stock car at speeds up to 165 mph to getting behind the wheel for racing lessons before speeding off around the track. It’s the only place in Charlotte where drivers are encouraged to put the pedal to the metal.
Richard Petty Museum
The Petty Museum preserves the heritage of Petty Engineering and Petty Enterprises, a family business having a fundamental formative influence on American motorsports and on automotive design, construction, and safety. The Richard Petty Museum is located in Randleman, N.C.
Victory Lane Karting
The 1/3-mile indoor road course at Victory Lane Indoor Karting is reported to be the fastest in the Carolinas and one of the fastest in the nation. Sodi Honda top-of-the-line racing karts challenge any driver with top speeds of 45 mph at 2” off of the ground.
The outdoor .7-mile, 11-turn GoPro Motorplex karting facility is where NASCAR drivers go to take it slow on their day off. The sprint karting track is based on the famous and historic Kartdromo Parma circuit in Italy and the fleet of Rental Karts reach speeds up to 55 mph.
Drive The Dale Trail
This self-guided tour of all-things Dale takes you through the Intimidator’s childhood neighborhood, the streets he roamed and the bronze statue erected in his honor in his hometown of Kannapolis. Every visitor receives a collectible brochure and map containing information about the stops on The Dale Trail at the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Visitor Center.
Racing Insiders Tour
This exclusive day-long motorcoach tour offers an all-access, in-depth look at Charlotte’s race shops and racing community. The Racing Insiders Tour starts at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and continues to a variety of race shops and other motorsports attractions in the area, where you get a behind-the-scenes look at what makes a NASCAR race happen. Whether you choose the I-77 or I-85 itinerary, you won’t be disappointed.
Darrell Waltrip Motorsports
Take a visit to Darrell Waltrip Motorsports for a look at NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip's personal collection of cars and racing memorabilia. Located at 6900 Hudspeth Road in Harrisburg, NC.
Hendrick Motorsports is located in Concord, North Carolina, one mile from Charlotte Motor Speedway.The campus features state-of-the-art facilities and technology, which the organization’s four NASCAR Cup Series teams employ in preparation for race day. Hendrick Motorsports welcomes visitors at no charge.
Roush Fenway Racing Shop
The Roush Fenway Racing Shop has a viewing area located in the lobby and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm EST. Please note, the shop is closed daily from 12:00 pm until 1:00 pm for lunch. There is also a self-guided tour available in the Roush Fenway Museum, which is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.
The 5,000 sq. ft. Penske Racing retail store is located at the race shop in Mooresville, NC. It showcases an amazing collection of trophies and historical memorabilia along with NASCAR and IndyCar driver and team merchandise. Fans can view the NASCAR race shop through the viewing windows and then move upstairs to the 330-foot fan walk to view the race shop including the NASCAR truck bay, set up plates and work stations as employees prepare the race cars.
Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. Based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 200,000-square-foot facility with nearly 370 employees.
JR Motorsports is Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 66,000-square-foot race shop, located in Mooresville, which includes JR Nation, the first-ever retail store exclusive to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his JR Motorsports brand, the Dale Jr. Fan Experience plus a life-size wax figure of the team owner sculpted by Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. There is also a viewing window into the shop.
Joe Gibbs Racing
While Joe Gibbs Racing doesn't offer tours, there is a great viewing area and gift shop for all your fan needs. Attend the annual JGR Fan Fest to meet your favorite drivers and get autographs.
Richard Childress Racing Museum and Team Store
The Richard Childress Racing Museum, located front and center on the 52-acre RCR campus in Welcome, North Carolina, offers visitors a walk through time and traces how an independent one-car team evolved into one of NASCAR’s most successful organizations.
Kyle Busch Motorsports
It’s typically called a “shop,” but in the case of Kyle Busch Motorsports, the shop is a 77,000-square-foot state-of-the-art corporate headquarters, equipped to handle race preparation for our fleet of Toyota Tundras as well as executive meetings and gatherings for our array of partners. The public is welcome to visit to view the many Kyle Busch and Kyle Busch Motorsports trophies and race vehicles on site.
Dale Earnhardt, Inc (DEI)
Racing legend Dale Earnhardt left DEI as his legacy. Fans call the facility the “Garage-Mahal” for its sheer size and decadence. The showroom is a memorial to Earnhardt and is filled to the brim with his trophies, photos and memorabilia, including the Coca-Cola race suit he wore in 1998, the first time he raced against his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dining Pit Stops
The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway
The best view of the race is from the Speedway Club restaurant on the sixth floor of Smith tower at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It overlooks the 1.5-mile superspeedway and is open year round for lunch and dinner. The menu features locally sourced dishes ranging from upscale to down home. There’s even a kid’s menu.
The Dale Earnhardt Jr. concept restaurant has two locations – in Center City’s EpiCentre and at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Both Whisky River locations offer the restaurant’s most well-known signatures including the daredevil mechanical bull, a DJ spinning classic rock ‘n’ roll and a special race menu with “start your engine” appetizers, “speedway” wraps, burgers and BBQ.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup series champion Jimmie Johnson is one of the co-owners of this taco and tequila spot. SouthBound's vibe is relaxed and the menu is simple featuring authentic, made-from-scratch Mexican street food with a Southern California twist. If you're feeling adventurous, pick up the phone hidden behind the red curtain in the back of SouthBound to gain access to Backstage Lounge, one of Charlotte's newest speakeasies.