NASCAR Hall of Fame Opening Day – Click above for high-res image gallery

Even though you hear less and less about it with each evolution of the Car of Tomorrow and huge new ad deal, much of NASCAR's current allure is tied to the romance of good ol' boys in (genuine) stock cars with big engines and even bigger personalities gunning around raggedy tracks for the win. Those pioneers of the sport have finally been honored with the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.

From a total of 25 nominees, the inaugural class of inductees were Bill France, Sr., Bill France, Jr., Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Junior Johnson. They're the first to hang in the 150,000-square foot hall along with 60 years of NASCAR exhibits, simulators, video screens and memorabilia, an institution that the city of Charlotte calls "the most technologically advanced Hall of Fame in all of professional sports." Take that, Canton and Cooperstown!


  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Darrell Waltrip's Championship-winning No. 11 Mountain Dew Buick during the kick off of the final 50 days before the opeining of the NASCAR Hall of Fame at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on March 22, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on October 10, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on October 10, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on October 10, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on October 10, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • <> on October 14, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.(Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)
  • <> on October 14, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.(Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 3, 2008 in Talladega, AL.
  • during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

[Source: Sports Illustrated | Image: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]

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