Motorsports Hall Of Fame showcases stars from all venues

Don’t let Daytona location fool you, museum features Indy, stock and sports cars, off-road, drag, even aircraft and boat racing

Just outside Turn Four at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida is a building that houses the NASCAR Experience attraction and the Motorsports Hall Of Fame Of America Museum, which holds a lot more kinds of racing machinery than just NASCAR cars.

Formerly based in Michigan, for the last 30 years or so, the Motorsports Hall Of Fame has honored the history and accomplishments of men and women in every phase of American motorsports, including NASCAR, sports cars, open-wheel cars, off-road racing, drag racing, motorcycles, aircraft and boats, and historical figures.  

A new class of racers is inducted in March every year, and this building honors all of those inductees and contains some of the most historically significant racing machinery in American history.  Also honored are some of the men and women who have contributed to American racing who were not drivers, including team owners journalists, broadcasters, sponsors, and manufacturers.  

The Class of 2019 includes Tony Stewart from NASCAR, Dario Franchitti from Indycar, Tony Schumacher from drag racing, racing mechanic Phil Remington, motorcycle racer Kevin Schwantz, car manufacturer and racer Augie Duesenberg, and racing personality Linda Vaughn.  Each is enshrined in the Heroes Of Horsepower exhibit for one year, until the class of 2020 takes their places and their plaques will be moved.

This is just one of boat racing veteran Bob Nordskog’s machines, sporting a very large and very powerful Chevrolet V-8 engine and a cavitation plate at the stern to keep the bow in the water

The cars, trucks, bikes, planes and boats ensconced here are placed in separate coves for each category, and the main floor is used for temporary displays and extra cars of all kinds.  Upstairs, the Petersen Theatre shows historical movies and hosts group meetings.

These extra steps make this a museum like no other in America because of the broad spectrum of machinery, and one of the joys of this place is that the exhibits change frequently, so nothing in here gets stale. 

Another is that the physical volume of the place allows some of the racing machinery to be hung from the ceiling, so that everywhere you look, there is something more to enjoy.

Jim McCraw
CONTRIBUTOR
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