NASCAR Hall of Fame debuts new Racin’ & Rockin’ exhibit, driver/fan Q&A series, Eldora truck race viewing party

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The NASCAR Hall of Fame is going to be very busy over the next few months.

Last month, the Hall debuted one of its most intriguing exhibits ever called Rockin’ and Racin’. Not only are there several NASCAR race-winner trophies in the shapes of guitars created by noted artist Sam Bass, there are also a number of vehicles that have been used in NASCAR-themed music videos or movies.

Among those: The 1959 Chevrolet Corvette featured in Brad Paisley’s “Old Alabama” music video, country music star Marty Robbins’ 1964 Plymouth race car, Juan Pablo Montoya’s 2012 No. 42 Chevrolet sponsored by Taylor Swift and the 2003 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 guitar trophy. The exhibit is on display through the end of the year.

Now there’s two other activities that will grab fans’ attention at the Hall, located in downtown Charlotte, N.C.

First is a special viewing party on July 23 of the 1-800-CarCrash Mudsummer Classic NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora (Ohio) Speedway. The party will be in the Hall’s 278-seat High Octane Theater on a 64-foot-wide, curved projection screen with surround sound. Admission is just $5 per person.

The Classic will mark the second straight year that the trucks have raced on the dirt at Eldora, one of the most popular highlights of last season, which also marked the first time any NASCAR series raced on dirt in 43 years.

And then there’s a new series of appearances by drivers from the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck series, which begins this Tuesday, July 15, at 4 pm ET.

Called “Summer Driver Tuesdays,” each session will feature a question-and-answer session moderated by Hall executive director and Motor Racing Network personality Winston Kelley, followed by an autograph session with fans.

In addition, drivers as well as NASCAR Hall of Fame members and fans will also have the opportunity to race against each other in the iRacing Simulators in Race Week.

Here’s the schedule for the series (dates, times and drivers subject to change – check the Hall’s web site for updates):

July 15, 4-5:30 pm: Michael McDowell, Brennan Newberry and Germán Quiroga

July 29, 4-5:30 pm: Landon Cassill, Erik Jones and Tyler Young

Aug. 5, 4-5:30 pm: Alex Bowman, Cole Whitt, Ryan Truex and Justin Allgaier

Aug. 2, 4-5:30 pm: Michael Annett, Joey Coulter, Spencer Gallagher and Jimmy Weller

Click here for more information on Summer Driver Tuesdays.

And click here for more information about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and other activities.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Will Power nips Jack Harvey at finish to pace Road America practice

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Will Power led the only IndyCar Road America practice of the weekend Saturday, shooting to the top of the chart on his 22nd and final lap of the session at 1 minute, 46.0021 seconds in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet.

Dixon knocked Jack Harvey’s No. 60 Dallara-Honda from the top spot (which would have marked the first time that a Meyer-Shank Racing car led practice).

Josef Newgarden, Power’s Team Penske teammate, was third, followed by Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay (who went off course late in the session but sustained no damage).

Alex Palou, Colton Herta, Graham Rahal, defending race winner Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward rounded out the top 10 in the practice that preceded a Saturday-Sunday race weekend doubleheader for IndyCar at Road America.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Click here to see who was fastest in the session

RACE INFORMATION: What you need to know for today’s REV Group Grand Prix

RATED ROOKIE: Rinus VeeKay rebounding well from a tough debut

IndyCar tested some new cooling devices with cars from Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske. Several drivers have said the cockpit heat caused by the new aeroscreen was stifling during last week’s GMR Grand Prix, and IndyCar repositioned drink bottles this weekend to keep liquids cool. The pieces tried by IndyCar during the Road America practice won’t be available during the races Saturday and Sunday at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course.

Scott Dixon, who is seeking to open the season with his third consecutive IndyCar victory, was 15th fastest in the 75-minute session. Other notables in Road America practice: Marco Andretti (12th), Simon Pagenaud (19th).

Power is aiming for his second consecutive pole position after qualifying first last week on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Qualifying for the REV Group Grand Prix Race #1 will take place at 2:15 p.m. ET (NBCSNNBC Sports Gold).

The broadcast of the IndyCar race at Road America will begin at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.