Summer Travel Quest #45

Peek Behind the Scenes of NASCAR

See how race teams work during the Racing Insiders Tour at Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame
by Eric Barton Posted Jun 30th 2014 2:03p.m.

While Eric grew up in New Hampshire, he found his home in the South. He’s most happy with a plate of barbecue and a bourbon, expensive or otherwise.

Getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the legendary Charlotte race shops? Yeah, that’s a good one too.

You can get that kind of access thanks to the Racing Insiders Tour put on by the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, which provides two different backstage passes into some of the sport’s most storied homes.

The all-day tours ($90 for adults, $80 for children aged 5 to 12) begin with a trip through the NASCAR Hall of Fame. After lunch, you’ll set off to three of six different race shops, which include Penske Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing.

INSIDER TIP

Bring along gear for the drivers of the race shops you’ll be visiting. If Greg Biffle happens to show up, you’ll be ready to ask him to sign a No. 16 hat.

For the uninitiated, the race shops are like the ultimate racecar man caves. Most include observation spots where you can look out on machine shops as spotless as dental offices. Mechanics might be prepping rows of cars for that weekend’s race, and crews practicing a timed pit stop.

The tour doesn’t guarantee a sighting of someone famous, but you never know if a crew chief or a driver might saunter up to say hello. Maybe Joe Gibbs, NFL coach-turned NASCAR team owner, will stop by to survey his fleet.

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While Eric Barton grew up in New Hampshire, he found his home in the South. He’s most happy with a plate of barbecue and a bourbon, expensive or otherwise.

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MORE SUMMER TRAVEL QUESTS

43) Eat Atlanta's Best Peach Dishes on a Peach Crawl

44) Salute the 200th Anniversary of the 'Star-Spangled Banner'

45) Peek Behind the Scenes of NASCAR

46) Sail Like a Pirate

47) Eat Something Wild at a State Fair

>> All 99 Summer Travel Quests

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Use the hashtag #99SummerQuests to share your own summer travels, and follow along with us at @MapQuest and Instagram.

How to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame
How to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame
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