“Lights. Camera. NASCAR.” is the newest and largest exhibit the NASCAR Hall of Fame has housed to date, is now on display in the Great Hall.
A never before seen look at NASCAR, the exhibit chronicles how the industry has influenced films, how NASCAR has promoted movies through sponsorship and how film has portrayed the sport’s legends over the years. With more than 40 artifacts on display, box office favorites represented include “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” Disney’s “Cars,” “Days of Thunder,” “Greased Lightning,” “Herbie Fully Loaded” and much more.
While the sport originated on dirt tracks across the South, NASCAR has certainly found itself on Hollywood's A-list in recent decades. Glitz and glamour await as you explore NASCAR’s legacy on the big screen.
Among the 40+ artifacts that encompass items such as driver uniforms, hoods, scripts, stills and original cars, the exhibit also boasts the largest number of cars featured in the Great Hall to date. The six on display had starring roles in movies and film promotion:
Several real life NASCAR figures were the inspiration for the characters of “Days of Thunder” including Cole Trickle played by Tom Cruise, Harry Hogge played by Robert Duvall and Tim Daland played by Randy Quaid. The real life inspiration for each was driver Tim Richmond, crew chief Harry Hyde and team owner Rick Hendrick.
“If you ain’t first, you’re last,” was the mantra for Will Ferrell’s character Ricky Bobby, who drove this car during filming at Rockingham Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
This car, complete with NASCAR racing components such as roll bars, a spoiler and racing slicks, reached speeds of more than 130 mph during filming at Auto Club Speedway in California.
The “Fabulous Hudson Hornet”-inspired car was built by Gunnar Racing, a private company in Palm Beach, Fla., as a tribute to Paul Newman and was driven at the “Cars” movie premiere at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May 2006.
Based on the legacy of Wendell Scott, Warner Bros. commissioned Scott to build the car, which would be his last creation. To date, Scott is the only African American to win a premier series race and the first to be nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Built by Hendrick engineer Rex Stump and used to promote Universal Studios new “Jurassic Park”-themed ride, the car picked up the nickname “T-Rex.” Jeff Gordon dominated the 1997 All-Star Race to make it one of the most legendary cars in NASCAR history.