3 Must-do Tours at NASCAR's home base

Photo courtesy The Gentleman Racer | Experience courtesy Cabarrus County tourism 
 A big part of my journey in journalism was my time in Charlotte. 
I was there for four years, and while there unknowingly became a super-fan of NASCAR.

NASCAR's home base is the Charlotte metropolitan area. 90% of the drivers, the teams, the engineers, and all of the operations for the sport are based in the area. As you can imagine, there are many businesses that support the sport that are near, too. In addition to that, there are sub-sports, minor leagues, and more. (The simple way to imagine it is if all of the NFL teams were based out of one metropolitan area.) The result is that motorsports adds nearly $6-billion to North Carolina's industry.

This sport is so fascinating to me and I could go on forever. However, this post is about how you can spend the day touring some key spots in Cabarrus County for an insiders look at NASCAR.

Tour Charlotte Motor Speedway

So if Charlotte is considered the hometown, then Charlotte Motor Speedway is the home track. (It's actually about 30 minutes north of Uptown Charlotte, in Concord.) Each season there are two NASCAR races and the All-Star Race. The area is nicknamed Speed City USA as it is home to Charlotte Motor SpeedwayzMAX Dragway, and The Dirt Track.  The awesome thing is that on any given day you can schedule a tour of these tracks, which include riding on the track, garage tours and VIP experiences. CHECK AVAILABLE TOURS HERE

NASCAR Racing Experience

Have a need for speed?
While at the track, check the schedule for the NASCAR Racing Experience. And if they are there, you can find yourself in the passenger side for some hot laps. I can promise it's a thrill of a lifetime.
Take it to the next level, and sign up for driving school. Complete the course and you can test a stock car on the track yourself!
*TIP: check Groupon regularly, as they are known to occasionally offer specials!

ALSO READ: Taking Some Hot Laps For The Indy 500

Tour a race shop

Here I am about to enter the shop of Hendrick Motorsports. Notice Jimmy Johnson's car behind me? Also home to your other favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. You can take a tour the shop where your favorite driver’s team prepares for race day and compare it to his competitors! Book a walk through Hendrick Motorsports museum and learn the history, and also other teams like Joe Gibbs, and more. The best way to book is to visit the team's website and call for their tour schedule. 

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is located in Uptown Charlotte. They are open daily as well. But, if you want a deep-dive into the sport, this guide is suitable for everyone - from beginners to super-fans, like me!

Check out the video of my day!

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