Guide to Charlotte: Hendrick Motorsports

You can't talk about NASCAR without mentioning Hendrick Motorsports. For 25 years the team has been one of the top in the sport. While you won't find Jenn or I singing the praises of any of the current drivers in the Hendrick stable, (though we do have a fondness for Mark Martin) we still believe Hendrick is worth visiting during our trips to Charlotte.

All pics taken during 2008 trip to Charlotte

Here are some tips for visiting Hendrick:
  • If you aren't familiar with Charlotte or are afraid of venturing too far from the track, Hendrick will be perfect for you. It's within minutes of Lowe's Motor Speedway and it's impossible to get lost. Directions and a map can be found here.
  • The Hendrick facility is broken into several sections. The museum and gift shop are located on the right side of the street as you pull into the complex. The race shops are located to the left and are in two separate buildings. It's a short hike from the museum to the race shops.
  • Plenty of parking is available across the street from the museum and in front of the race shops, though you might have to park in the grass if you visit during the week before the Coke 600.
Hendrick Museum and Gift Shop:
  • The Hendrick Motorsports Museum and gift shop offer free admission for fans.
  • The museum is full of current cars including those driven by Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. In addition you will find multiple cars driven by past drivers including Geoff Bodine and Terry Labonte. They also have cars used in the filming of Days of Thunder. Who doesn't like Cole Trickle?

Cole Trickle car from Days of Thunder
  • The walls of the Hendrick Museum are lined with pieces of NASCAR history. From fire suits to helmets to trophies there are thousands of things to check out.
  • The open floor plan makes it easy to go back and forth between the exhibits and the gift shop which is located on the opposite side of the building. You can pick up anything and everything to show your support for your favorite Hendrick driver.
Hendrick Race Shops:
  • Across the street from the museum are the race shops. These two buildings are home to Hendrick's Sprint Cup teams.
  • The entrance closest to the road and the museum is home to Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. If you want to see all their trophies from the past you will definitely want to check out this race shop. They even have Gordon's Winston Cup and Johnson's Nextel/Sprint Cup trophies on display.

Gordon/Johnson Cup Trophies (Minus Jimmie's 2008 Sprint Cup)
  • The viewing area for the Gordon/Johnson race shop is small given the huge size of the complex. Make sure your camera has a long zoom if you are hoping to get pictures and even then you might not get a decent picture because the work area is so far away from the viewing area.
  • The second entrance into the Hendrick race shop will take you into the shop shared by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin (when we were there in 2008 Casey Mears was the 4th driver). This shop has several cars on display in the entrance and you have to walk by a few others to get to the viewing area. Compared to the viewing area in the Johnson/Gordon section this one is much better. You can actually see the crews working on the cars.

Working on Dale Jr. cars

The history of Hendrick and the caliber of drivers who have called Hendrick home over the last quarter century make a visit to Hendrick a must, even for those who might not be fans of the current drivers.

Here are a few more pics from the trip. Click to see the full sized versions.

Have you been to Hendrick? Share your thoughts with us.

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