Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum

Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum

Most visitors to the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum aren’t quite sure what to expect. Old cars, or modern ones? A history lesson, or a fresh look at a most contemporary and constantly evolving sport?

The answer: The museum offers all this, and a lot more.

Originally, the facility was called the Joe Weatherly Stock Car Museum; the name was changed following a major renovation and expansion project in 2003.

“Little Joe” Weatherly had a reputation as one of racing’s most colorful characters back in the sport’s early days, even earning the nickname “The Clown Prince of Stock Car Racing.” He was known for his zest for life, his no-holds-barred driving style, and his seemingly endless creativity in the field of practical jokes.

But Weatherly was much more than a prankster. He was a serious competitor on the track, with two wins at notoriously tough Darlington Raceway, in 1960 and 1963.

Joe Weatherly was killed while driving at Riverside in 1964, but he left a legacy at Darlington that went beyond a couple of entries in the win column. The driver who like so many others began his career racing on dirt had a real disdain for the fancy Indy cars so popular at the time, describing them as looking like “cucumbers with hayraker wheels.”

Just as Darlington Raceway had originally been constructed in 1950 to give stock car racing a platform to rival that of the Indianapolis 500, the Museum was intended to do the same for the history of the still-fledgling sport.

After a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, Weatherly suggested to his good friend Bob Colvin, then president of Darlington Raceway, that he consider building a stock car museum in South Carolina. Colvin not only liked the idea but followed through with it; following his friend’s death, Colvin brought plans for the Joe Weatherly Stock Car Museum before the Raceway’s Board of Directors, where they were unanimously approved. The facility was officially dedicated on May 2, 1965, and still stands as a testament to the greatness of the sport of stock car racing and those who compete in it.

A walk through the Museum is not only a trip through the history of Darlington Raceway but of the entire sport. On the end of a line of classic cars, looking like a prop from a 1940s film sits the 1950 Plymouth Johnny Mantz drove to Victory Lane in the very first Mountain Dew Southern 500. Mantz was the slowest qualifier for the race which he eventually won by 15 laps over second-place finisher Fireball Roberts.

Did you know that the winningest car in the history of stock car racing is a convertible? The 1956 Ford convertible which sits in the Weatherly Museum won 22 races in a single year racing in the convertible series, plus three more races that same year with the top welded on – including the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington.

Sitting quietly in the middle of a row, sporting its trademark blue and the number 43, is the 1967 Plymouth of Richard Petty, a car that won 10 races that year. Occupying a prominent spot in the back is Darrell Waltrip’s 1991 Chevy Lumina, which rolled eight times in the ’91 Pepsi 400 in one of the most fearsome crashes in stock car history. Waltrip walked away from the incident, and the car stands as an impressive witness to stock car safety.

In the rear of the building, visitors can find the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame, filled with photos, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits showcasing the sport of NASCAR racing and the personalities who have inhabited it over the years. Alan Kulwicki; David Pearson; Junior Johnson. Lee and Richard Petty. Neil Bonnett.

Ever wondered what a restrictor place looks like? How about the famous “Hemi” engine? Both are on display in the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum, along with other bits and pieces of racing trivia such as Fonty Flock’s Bermuda shorts and Joe Weatherly’s very own racing shoes.

The Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA Hall of Fame offer those who are interested in the history of stock car racing an in-depth look at the roots of the sport and have a lot to pique the interest of newer fans as well. All in all, both facilities provide a unique stroll down NASCAR’s memory lane.

1301 Harry Byrd Hwy.
Darlington, SC 29532
P:
843-395-8821
Email: nadcock@darlingtonraceway.com

Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum Admission:

Adults $8
Military $5
Children under 12 free

Plan: 1hr

Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum Hours:

Monday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm

darlingtonraceway.com

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Penrose Heritage Museum

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Penrose Heritage Museum

Penrose Heritage Museum exhibits 30 carriages, personal artifacts of Spencer and Julie Penrose, and 15 race cars that competed in the infamous Race to the Clouds, one of the oldest motorsport events in the U.S., second only to the Indianapolis 500.

The Penrose legacy includes the construction of the Pikes Peak Auto Highway (1916), Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (1916), The Broadmoor (1918), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (1926), Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (1936), Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun (1937) and Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo (1937) – just to name a few of Colorado Springs’ most iconic attractions!

Whether you are interested in the Penrose legacy, regional history, transportation, or motorsports, Penrose Heritage Museum is a cultural institution you will not want to miss when visiting Colorado Springs.

11 Lake Cir,
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
P:
719-577-7065
Email: museum@elpomar.org

Penrose Heritage Museum Admission:

Free
Plan: 1hr

Penrose Heritage Museum Hours:

Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 12 pm & 1 pm – 4 pm

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Hajek Motorsports Museum

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Hajek Motorsports Museum

The Hajek Motorsports Museum in Ames features the largest collection of vintage dragsters, including two Earnhardt cars, a Rusty Wallace car and one Bill Elliott car. All are championship vehicles in restored, track-ready condition just as of the day they were retired. Other racing memorabilia and uniforms are on display. Note: The museum is open by appointment only.

105 E Corporate Dr,
Ames, OK 73718
P: 
580-753-4611
Email: rhonda@hajekmotorsports.com

Hajek Motorsports Museum Admission:

Donation
Plan: 1hr

Hajek Motorsports Museum Hours:

By Appointment

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Hendrick Motorsports Museum

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Hendrick Motorsports Museum

Hendrick Motorsports Museum welcomes visitors at no charge, and fans are encouraged to view our race shops during normal hours of operation. Also open to the public is the Hendrick Motorsports Museum & Team Store, showcasing the many years of Hendrick Motorsports’ history.

4425-4471 Papa Joe Hendrick Blvd
Concord, NC 28027
P: 
877-467-4890
E: sales@hendrickperformance.com

Hendrick Motorsports Museum Admission:

Free
Plan: 1hr

Hendrick Motorsports Museum Hours:

Monday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 3 pm

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Unser Racing Museum

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Unser Racing Museum

The Unser Racing Museum is a multi-dimensional museum experience utilizing modern technologies to educate and immerse the visitor in the exciting world of racing. Take a guided tour and learn about the Unser family history, then explore on your own, seeing and interacting with racing history as it happened.

The museum spans the early days of racing from Pikes Peak and Indianapolis to the latest technology, including a racing simulator that puts you in the driver’s seat, and interactive kiosks for young and old to learn more about racing in a fun, educational environment.

UNser Racing Museum is Moving to Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed!

May 29, 2023 is the last day to be able to see the Unser Racing Museum’s collection in Albuquerue, New Mexico. The museum has merged with the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed. This move will allow the Unser Racing collecting to viewed by over 100,000 visitors a year as opposed to 20,000.

1776 Montaño Rd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
P: 
505-341-1776
Email: susan@unserracingmuseum.com

Unser Racing Museum Admission:

Adults $10
Seniors & Military $6
Under 16 Free

Plan: 2-3hr

Unser Racing Museum Hours:

Friday – Monday 10am – 4pm
* Last Day May 29, 2023

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Winston Cup Museum

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Winston Cup Museum

Located in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, the museum is just a few blocks away from 6th Street and the Trade Street Arts District. Winston-Salem has a rich racing history and is the home of Bowman Gray Stadium, the longest continuously operated NASCAR-sanctioned track in the country. In fact, at one time, Winston-Salem had a couple of other tracks in addition to Bowman Gray Stadium: Peacehaven Speedway and Dixie Classic Fairgrounds Track.

The Winston Cup Museum is the only place where you can experience the fabulous Winston Cup Series era of NASCAR. As you walk through, you will see exhibits and photos that capture the 33 years that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company sponsored NASCAR’s premier series. Cars driven by Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Jimmy Spencer, and Wendell Scott are on display and you can relive Michael Waltrip’s victory in The Winston in 1996 and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s thrilling Winston No Bull 5 win at Talladega Superspeedway.

1355 N Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
P:
3367244557
Email: wcminfo@winstoncupmuseum.com

Winston Cup Museum Admission:

Adults $12
7-12 $8
Military ID and Under 6 FREE
Plan: 1hr

Winston Cup Museum Hours:

Thursday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm

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