I’m catching a later flight today to do some actual exploring. Unfortunately pretty much all of the race shops are closed on the weekend.
I took an Uber to the airport and picked up a rental car to use for the day.
JR motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Moorseville, NC had their merchandise shop open and it had a viewing window to see the shop. I stopped by shortly after they opened at 10 AM. They had a #3 car that Jr. used to win in Daytona a few years ago. The car was covered in dirt (not washed since before the race) and had a sign in the car “Do not touch or wash me”.
Picture through the viewing window in JR Motorsports
Picture of the outside of JR Motorsports
On the way to Hendrick Motorsports I stopped at Wendy’s for a quick lunch.
The Hendrick motorsports shops are normally closed on Saturday and Sunday, but they were also going to be closed on Monday for the 4th of July (which is really on Tuesday). However their museum is open on Saturdays from 10 AM to 3 PM. The complex is massive, however only the museum and race shop is open to the public. I arrived around noon and spent about 2 hours there. They had a large selection of cars, including an old Tim Richmond car, the Tide car Darrell Waltrip won the 1989 Daytona 500, a car from the movie Days of Thunder, a wrecked Budweiser Kenny Schrader car, Jeff Gordon’s Dupont car that won the inaugural Brickyard 400, a few of the Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson cars. In addition to the cars they also had the Winston Cup Championship trophies (Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Jimmie Johnson).
Pictures below are from inside the Hendrick Motorsports mueum (Folgers car = Tim Richmond, 17 car = Darrell Waltrip)
I stopped by the souvenir shop at the Charlotte Motor Speedway after the museum briefly since it was only 1 mile away.
I then went to the aviation museum of the Carolinas. They had some interesting planes there, including a Hercules C-130, Harrier jump jet and the actual Airbus that landed in the Hudson River. They even had the turbofan engines there. Amazingly the fan blades looked in good condition for ingesting birds – however the smaller, more delicate parts inside the turbine were apparently significantly damaged by the birds.
After the museum I got some fuel for the rental car and got one last pulled pork sandwich at the airport. Unfortunately I forgot to bootleg some Yuengling back to Texas.