NASCAR Hall of Fame entrance
|Location||400 E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Charlotte, North Carolina
|Owner||City of Charlotte|
|Operator||Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority|
|Broke ground||January 2007|
|Opened||May 11, 2010|
|Construction cost||US $160 million|
|Architect||Pei Cobb Freed & Partners|
The NASCAR Hall of Fame honors drivers who have shown exceptional skill at NASCAR driving, all-time great crew chiefs and owners, and other major contributors to competition within the sanctioning body.
NASCAR committed to building a Hall of Fame and on March 6, 2006, the City of Charlotte was selected as the location. Ground was broken for the $160 million facility on January 26, 2007, and it officially opened on May 11, 2010, with the inaugural class inducted the day following the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race XXVI. The new Hall of Fame brings hundreds of jobs and an increase in tourism to Charlotte. In addition to the Hall of Fame, the NASCAR Plaza, a 20-story office building, opened in May 2009. The 390,000-square-foot (36,000 m2) structure serves as the home of Hall of Fame-related offices, NASCAR Digital Media, NASCAR's licensing division, as well as NASCAR video game licensee Dusenberry Martin Racing. Other tenants include the Charlotte Regional Partnership and Lauth Property Group. Richard Petty and Dale Inman helped unveil the first artifact at the Hall of Fame -- the Plymouth Belvedere that Petty drove to 27 wins in 1967.
The City of Charlotte was responsible for the construction of the building and is the owner of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. However, it is operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. Winston Kelley is the NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director. Internationally renowned Pei Cobb Freed & Partners led the design effort, and Leslie E. Robertson Associates were the structural engineers. Little Diversified Architectural Consulting based in Charlotte is the local architectural firm overseeing many aspects of design and construction of the project. LS3P Associates, Ltd. was the associate architect for the office tower. Tobin Starr + Partners served as site architect, providing full-time representation for Pei Cobb Freed & Partners during construction. Engineering and fabrication of the stainless steel möbius that wraps around the structure was completed by Zahner, of Kansas City. Exhibition design is by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, and exhibition lighting by Technical Artistry. Tobin Starr + Partners is architect-of-record for exhibit and auditorium spaces. Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B) was the mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer. Site excavation and grading services commenced on May 21, 2007.
Because of stock car racing's roots in and wealth of famous drivers from North Carolina, Charlotte was considered the favorite by many fans and commentators. There are many NASCAR offices in the area and many teams in the three major NASCAR series (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series) totaling over 73% of motorsports employees in the United States, in what the committee called "NASCAR Valley." The Hall of Fame is in Uptown Charlotte, about 25 minutes south of Charlotte Motor Speedway. The bid was led by NASCAR car owner Rick Hendrick, then Mayor Pat McCrory, and business leaders in Charlotte. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners were enlisted to design the complex, which is near the Charlotte Convention Center.
The building contains the following:
There is a gift shop, the Hall of Fame Café and a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant on site. An expansion, which includes a new ballroom, is part of the project.
While most information on the Charlotte bid has been released voluntarily, the Charlotte Observer has asked the state Attorney General for an opinion requiring full disclosure of the financial details.
The self-proclaimed slogan used by Charlotte for the Hall of Fame was "Racing Was Built Here. Racing Belongs Here."
The state of Alabama had been mentioned as a potential candidate location, and was no longer seen as a contender, possibly because Lincoln, Alabama is home to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, which is not affiliated with NASCAR. The only northern area that considered bidding was in the state of Michigan. Detroit prepared bids, but state officials decided not to submit the proposals. The cities of Richmond, Virginia and Kansas City, Kansas, were among the five finalists, but on January 5, 2006, NASCAR announced they had been eliminated from the running, leaving just Atlanta, Charlotte and Daytona Beach as the remaining cities.
Former drivers must have been active in NASCAR for at least 10 years and retired for at least three. Starting with the 2015 Hall of Fame nominations that were voted in the 2014 nomination process, the three-year rule is waived for drivers who compete in 30 or more years in NASCAR-sanctioned competition or turn 55 years of age. The rule applies to all NASCAR-sanctioned competitions; some drivers in the Hall of Fame did not participate in what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Non-drivers must have been involved in the industry at least ten years. Some candidates with shorter careers will be considered if there were special circumstances.
A 20-member nominating committee chooses nominees from those who are eligible. The committee consists of:
After the nomination committee selects the list of candidates, a total of 48 votes are cast by a voting committee consisting of the nominating committee and the following:
A total of 45 individuals have been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. 32 were inducted as drivers, 21 of whom were inducted solely as drivers. The other 11 were inducted for their accomplishments as drivers, owners and/or broadcasters. Among non-drivers, five were inducted for being owners, four as promoters, and three for being crew chiefs.