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’s a look at three stops along The Dale Trail.
To start your adventure, come by the Cabarrus County Visitor Center at 10099 Weddington Road Ext., Ste. 102, Concord, NC 28027.
Dale Earnhardt Tribute 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.
Try Dale Earnhardt’s favorite sandwich– a simple tomato sandwich made with lettuce and Miracle Whip on white bread– at Punchy’s diner. This is just one of the many examples of how Dale never forgot where he came from. To Dale, the sandwich was a reminder of his beginnings in racing when money was scarce.
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. At the Museum & Team Store, visitors will find race cars, memorabilia, and trophies from drivers including recently retired fan favorite, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Here, fans can also purchase exclusive items such as tires and lug nuts used in competition. Inside the 9/24 and 48/88 race shops, viewing areas give a behind-the-scenes look at 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. Don’t forget to share your journey using #DaleTrail on social media!
Ready to explore The Dale Trail and need a place to stay? Explore all the accommodations Cabarrus County has to offer here.