Living in Charlotte has its perks. Not only are we in the town of Charlotte Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, but we also have many of the racing teams shops right here in our backyard. This series of blogs will review the racing shops in the Concord area. If you haven't visited a race shop before, they offer new insight into the racing industry. You can watch the team work on cars, pick up your favorite driver's gear and race used memorabilia, and most of all- they are free admission! (None of the ones we visited charged for entry.) First stop: Stewart-Haas racing. They are located at 6001 Haas Way Kannapolis, NC.
While I am a personal fan of Smoke, this was my first visit to his shop, and honestly, I had low expectations. I'd visited the big-wigs of Hendricks and Roush, so I figured that Tony's home would be less appealing. While it was smaller as expected, the Stewart-Haas shop had a sense of charm and tradition that was a breath of fresh air. While the outside was industrial, the interior had a "contemporary farm" feel that appealed to me. Once in the front door you will be automatically greeted by a few of Tony's cars. Behind them the shop sits on the other side of huge, glass windows. We could easily see Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick, and Tony's cars being worked on.
We were so enamored by the shop, we almost missed Tony's Orange County Choppers motorcycle in the corner. I wonder if he ever rides that home and then back to the shop? After spending some time checking out the cars and the motorcycle, we headed into the gift shop and was surprised by how many race used pieces scattered the store. We saw front ends from Bristol and Daytona (only $300!), rear end, spoiler, splitters, tires, etc. They also had shirts and other memorabilia with cool, updated graphic designs for the Stewart-Haas family of drivers. While none of the drivers were sighted on this day, we heard that it was relatively normal to see them around during race week. My son and I will definitely try back in the future!