Hall of Fame offers something for every fan

I have to say that the grand opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte was a great day for our sport. It was incredible to see all the NASCAR owners, drivers and crew chiefs that were there. The other incredible thing was realizing the thousands of wins and numerous NASCAR championships that were represented.

The really cool thing is that NASCAR is stressing that the hall incorporates and honors all of NASCAR, not just the Sprint Cup Series. That's why you saw Truck series and Nationwide Series champions past and present there, too. You also saw champions in what used to be called the Late Model Sportsman Division like Jack Ingram and Chuck Bown there.

Terry Labonte made the statement that it was really hard to believe that we didn't have something like this in place. Well, now we do and it's like no other Hall of Fame you will ever visit. We have been keeping stride, and in most cases passing, in popularity all stick-and-ball sports. The one missing piece of our sport has always been our own Hall of Fame. Darrell Waltrip made a great statement that when he saw all the NASCAR folks past and present turn out, it was probably the biggest NASCAR family reunion there has ever been.

A lot of great cities reached out and tried to land the Hall. Sure, more than 60 years ago, Bill France Sr. started NASCAR in Daytona Beach. But when you considered where 90 percent of the teams are located now and where most of these folks in our sport are from, it was clear that Charlotte, N.C., was where the Hall belonged. Now it does. It's right where it needs to be.

Folks migrate to Charlotte year round, not just during the three race weeks there every year. It's a lot of our fans' vacation destination. They come to tour the Charlotte Motor Speedway and all the race shops and racing museums. Now in addition to all that, it gives them a place to come and see where our sport came from.

When they walk in that Hall, they literally can see the car Red Byron drove to victory in the very first NASCAR race in 1949. It's there on display. Our new Hall is very fan accessible and very fan-friendly. There are a lot of interactive and hands-on displays. You can change a tire. You can work a jack. You can sit in a race car and drive a simulator. You can put on a headset and call a race like Mike Joy, DW and I do every Sunday.

That's the NASCAR way of doing things. I just know that Bill France Sr. is looking down on that Hall and is smiling from ear to ear. The place is just that incredible. I honestly can't wait to go there with my family and go through the place from top to bottom. This is the history of our sport. This is what our sport is all about.

Our new NASCAR Hall of Fame is just what you would expect NASCAR to build. It is state-of-the-art. It is first class all the way. Folks, trust me, it is second to no other Hall of Fame in existence, and I am talking worldwide.