CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The NASCAR Hall of Fame’s signature exhibit has a brand-new look, and it’s all thanks to Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The Hall of Fame partnered with the former Hendrick Motorsports driver as its first-ever guest curator to create “Dale Jr.: Glory Road Champions.”
“It was a real honor to be asked,” Earnhardt said. “To have any involvement in anything that goes on at the Hall of Fame – this is where you learn about our sport.”
Glory Road now features a new collection of 18 race cars, all of which were raced to a premier series championship.
Three Hendrick Motorsports cars are featured among the batch, including Jeff Gordon’s 1997 championship Chevrolet Monte Carlo and two of Jimmie Johnson’s championship rides – his 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and his 2016 Chevrolet SS.
The exhibit features all 18 cars in race formation along a curved track that showcases the different levels of banking across NASCAR venues. Check out some photos of the exhibit's unveiling here.
One of the most notable features of Earnhardt’s selections is the fact that the first and seventh championship cars of all three seven-time champions – Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty – are on display.
“This is the first time we’ve had more than one of any driver,” said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “To have the first and the seventh, not just any two cars, was more than good luck. It’s just the support the industry has given the NASCAR Hall of Fame, that’s what it says to me. And also it does elevate those seven-time champions in a unique way.”
Kelley was quick to thank Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress and the Petty Museum for providing those milestone cars.
Outside of Gordon and the seven-time champions’ rides, the other cars featured in the exhibit were driven by 1951 champion Herb Thomas, 1957 champion Buck Baker, 1968 champion David Pearson, 1973 champion Benny Parsons, 1978 champion Cale Yarborough, 1981 champion Darrell Waltrip, 1983 champion Bobby Allison, 1988 champion Bill Elliott, 1989 champion Rusty Wallace, 1992 champion Alan Kulwicki and 2002 champion Tony Stewart.
“I wanted it to focus on the champions of our sport – I felt like that was a no-brainer,” Earnhardt Jr. said of his vision for the exhibit. “But I definitely wanted to represent a broad history of the sport as a whole so we could also see the progression of the cars. It’s really cool when they’re all there together and you can see all that’s changed in the technology from where we started to where we are today.”
“Dale Jr.: Glory Road Champions” is currently on display at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit nascarhall.com.