Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum
"Most visitors to the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum aren't quite sure what to expect. Old cars, or modern ones? A history lesson, or a fresh look at a most contemporary and constantly evolving sport?
The answer: The museum offers all this, and a lot more.
A walk through the Museum is not only a trip through the history of Darlington Raceway, but of the entire sport. On the end of a line of classic cars, looking like a prop from a 1940s film, sits the 1950 Plymouth Johnny Mantz drove to Victory Lane in the very first Mountain Dew Southern 500. Mantz was the slowest qualifier for the race which he eventually won by 15 laps over second-place finisher Fireball Roberts.
Did you know that the winningest car in the history of stock car racing is a convertible? The 1956 Ford convertible which sits in the Weatherly Museum won 22 races in a single year racing in the convertible series, plus three more races that same year with the top welded on - including the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington.
Sitting quietly in the middle of a row, sporting its trademark blue and the number 43, is the 1967 Plymouth of Richard Petty, a car that won 10 races that year. Occupying a prominent spot in the back is Darrell Waltrip's 1991 Chevy Lumina, which rolled eight times in the '91 Pepsi 400 in one of the most fearsome crashes in stock car history. Waltrip walked away from the incident, and the car stands as an impressive witness to stock car safety.
In the rear of the building visitors can find the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame, filled with photos, memorabilia and interactive exhibits showcasing the sport of NASCAR racing and the personalities who have inhabited it over the years. Alan Kulwicki; David Pearson; Junior Johnson. Lee and Richard Petty. Neil Bonnett.
A very unique exhibit is a bittersweet favorite with fans. It features Dale Earnhardt, Sr.'s handprints, preserved in concrete. Earnhardt was a nine-time champion at the track "Too Tough To Tame," second only to David Pearson on the all-time win list."
Opening times: Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.