The Dale Trail

A Self-Guided Tour of NASCAR Legend Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s Hometown

The Dale Trail was created in the community of Kannapolis, North Carolina, to commemorate hometown hero Dale Earnhardt Sr. An unforgettable experience for race fans, The Dale Trail features 19 locations that tell the story of Earnhardt’s life, his legendary NASCAR career and his old stomping grounds.

To get your motor running, here are three stops along The Dale Trail:

  1. Dale Earnhardt Plaza
    Located on the corner of Main Street and West B Street is a park dedicated in Dale Earnhardt’s memory. The centerpiece of the plaza is a nine-foot, 900-pound bronze statue of Dale as his hometown knew him — dressed in Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots and a creased, short-sleeve, button-down shirt with sunglasses in the pocket. Sporting his famous grin, his gaze is directed toward Idiot Circle, Dale’s favorite hangout during his teen years. Take note of the subtle, symbolic elements — benches in groups of three, an oval layout and more. The best time to take a photograph with the statue? In the afternoon when there are no shadows on his face.
  2. Punchy’s Diner
    Try Dale Earnhardt’s favorite sandwich at Punchy’s Diner, located on Concord Parkway in Concord, NC. Dale’s favorite was a simple tomato sandwich made with lettuce and Miracle Whip on white bread. This is just one of the many examples of Dale’s humbleness — he never forgot where he came from, which means a lot of the people of Kannapolis. To Dale, the sandwich was a reminder of his beginnings in racing when money was scarce.
  3. Hendrick Motorsports
    Home to several race teams, Cabarrus County is known as “Where Racing Lives.” One of the most prominent is located just one mile from Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord. The Hendrick Motorsports facility features state-of-the-art technology that supports four full-time teams in the sport’s top division, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, including the No. 88 of Dale Earnhardt Jr. At Hendrick Motorsports, visitors will find race cars, memorabilia and trophies at the Museum & Team Store along with exclusive items such as tires and lug nuts used in competition. Inside the 5/24 and 48/88 race shops, viewing areas give a behind-the-scenes look into race day preparations. Admission is free.

A free, collectible map that details each stop on The Dale Trail can be picked up at Cabarrus County Visitor Center and in all Cabarrus County hotels. The full itinerary includes:

  1. Cabarrus County Visitor Center
  2. Dale Earnhardt Boulevard
  3. Earnhardt Road
  4. Ralph Earnhardt Memorial
  5. Highway 29: Former Site of Eddleman’s Garage & Flying Mile
  6. Car Town/Earnhardt Neighborhood
  7. Main Street/Midway
  8. Curb Motorsports
  9. Kannapolis
  10. Idiot Circle
  11. Dale Earnhardt Plaza
  12. NC-3
  13. Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
  14. JR Motorsports
  15. Kannapolis Intimidators Stadium
  16. Richard Childress Racing
  17. Punchy’s Diner
  18. Charlotte Motor Speedway
  19. Hendrick Motorsports

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