Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Travel Tips: The Dale Trail

The Dale Earnhardt statue in Dale Earnhardt Plaza
credit: Paula Thompson
If you’re planning a trip to the Charlotte/Concord area of North Carolina for the upcoming NASCAR Hall of Fame inductions, either NASCAR race weekend or just for a vacation, make sure you take a trip down the “Dale Trail.”

A nearly all-inclusive history lesson on the life of “The Intimidator,” the Dale Trail is a self-guided tour of 20 sites in the Cabarrus County area of North Carolina – a collectible brochure and map of the Trail are available at the Cabarrus County Visitor Center (10099 Weddington Rd. Ext., Suite 102 in Concord). Among the sites:
  • Dale Earnhardt Blvd., which begins at I-85 exit 60 and weaves through Kannapolis.
  • The grave of Dale’s father Ralph Earnhardt at Centergrove Lutheran Cemetery.
  • “Idiot Circle,” one of Earnhardt’s hang-outs as a teen.
  • Dale Earnhardt Plaza, featuring  a nine-foot bronze statue of Earnhardt and many other features drawing on Earnhardt’s number, “3.”
  • Curb Museum for Music and Motorsports (600 Dale Earnhardt Blvd. in Kannapolis), featuring the car Earnhardt drove to his first Cup Series championship in 1980.
  • Intimidators Stadium (2888 Moose Rd. in Kannapolis), home of the Kannapolis Intimidators, a minor-league baseball team Earnhardt was part owner of.
  • Richard Childress Racing (425 Industrial Dr. in Welcome), the home of the No. 3 for many years.
  • Dale Earnhardt Inc. (1675 Coddle Creek Highway in Mooresville), once the home of Earnhardt’s race team, now a showroom and store open to the public.
  • The Sam Bass Gallery (4030 Concord Parkway S. in Concord), with many works of art featuring Earnhardt.
Find out more about the Dale Trail at the Cabarrus County website, www.visitcabarrus.com.