CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Since opening in 2010, the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s signature exhibit, Glory Road, has served as a prominent focal point for guests and members alike. Every three years, the exhibit receives a makeover with a new theme and 18 new race cars. For the fourth generation of Glory Road, the NASCAR Hall of Fame partnered with Dale Earnhardt Jr. as its first-ever guest curator to create “Dale Jr.: Glory Road Champions,” featuring 18 premier series championship cars personally selected by Dale Jr.
“Having the chance to help choose the cars for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s newest installment of Glory Road was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” said Earnhardt Jr.. “Everyone knows how much I enjoy learning about the history of our sport and sharing that history with people, and with this, I’m able to play a small role in what we share with fans who visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame. I knew when Winston (Kelley) and his team first met with me that if I was able to pick the cars for the exhibit, I wanted it to focus on the champions of our sport. I felt like that was a no-brainer,” he continued. “I picked cars for this exhibit for many different reasons. But I definitely wanted to represent a broad history of the sport as a whole, so we could also see the progression of the cars. It’s really cool when they’re all there together and you can see all that’s changed in the technology from where we started to where we are today.”
Over the past 10 years, the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Glory Road has featured some of most recognizable race cars and drivers throughout the history of NASCAR. For the fourth generation of the exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Dale Jr. worked together to create a collection unlike any other, celebrating the champions and championship moments of the sport. “Dale Jr.: Glory Road Champions” showcases a lineup of cars that fans will recognize for their significance in some of the most memorable races and championship seasons in NASCAR, including the first and last championship cars from three seven-time champions, Jimmy Johnson, Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. The 15 drivers represented on the new Glory Road have combined wins for 46 of 71 NASCAR premier series championships, 1,076 race wins, 770 poles and 14 out of the 15 drivers have already been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
“We are excited to present some of NASCAR’s most iconic premier series championship cars from the eyes of one of our biggest fans and ambassadors, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.,” said Winston Kelley, Executive Director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “I have always been inspired by Dale Jr.’s sincere interest in, and appreciation for, the history of our great sport. Having Dale guest curate one of our most recognizable exhibits following his days as a full-time driver has always been one of my personal goals. With so much from which to choose, selecting a theme, and narrowing that theme to 18 cars from a list of 75 – 100 available cars, is a very tough task. I know I can speak for my fellow NASCAR fans in thanking Dale for once again giving back to the sport he so dearly loves.”
The full list of “Dale Jr.: Glory Road Champions” now on display at the NASCAR Hall of Fame is below. For an in-depth look at the history of each individual car and its champion, fans can check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s new podcast series available at nascarhall.com and on Spotify.
- 1951 Champion: Herb Thomas // Hudson Hornet
- 1957 Champion: Buck Baker // Chevrolet 150
- 1964 Champion: Richard Petty // Plymouth Belvedere
- 1968 Champion: David Pearson // Ford Torino
- 1973 Champion: Benny Parsons // Chevrolet Chevelle
- 1978 Champion: Cale Yarborough // Oldsmobile Cutlass 442
- 1979 Champion: Richard Petty // Oldsmobile Cutlass 442
- 1980 Champion: Dale Earnhardt // Chevrolet Monte Carlo
- 1981 Champion: Darrell Waltrip // Buick Regal
- 1983 Champion: Bobby Allison // Buick Regal
- 1988 Champion: Bill Elliott // Ford Thunderbird
- 1989 Champion: Rusty Wallace // Pontiac Grand Prix
- 1992 Champion: Alan Kulwicki // Ford Thunderbird
- 1994 Champion: Dale Earnhardt // Chevrolet Lumina
- 1997 Champion: Jeff Gordon // Chevrolet Monte Carlo
- 2002 Champion: Tony Stewart // Pontiac Grand Prix
- 2006 Champion: Jimmie Johnson // Chevrolet Monte Carlo
- 2016 Champion: Jimmie Johnson // Chevrolet SS
Every three years since NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in 2010, there has been a new focus for Glory Road. The first-ever Glory Road was the exhibit’s debut, the second featured generations of stock cars and the third called “Glory Road: Icons” introduced themed Glory Road exhibits. Glory Road displays the cars in race formation on a curved “track” representing the different levels of banking found where NASCAR’s national series competes, along with some of NASCAR’s historic tracks.
For more information about the NASCAR Hall of Fame, visit nascarhall.com.