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

Michelin appoints new North American motorsports director

Michelin
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Michelin North America has named Tony Ménard as director of motorsports, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Ménard is succeeding Chris Baker, who has held the role for the past eight years. Baker is scheduled to retire in March of 2020, ending a lengthy career that began with Michelin in 1982.

“Chris has played a vital role in the growth and success of our motorsports program, both for BFGoodrich and Michelin in North America,” said Matthieu Bonardel, global director for Michelin Group’s motorsports business entity. “His passion and understanding for motorsport fueled growth in the organization and established credibility in the market. Chris’s leadership propelled the Group, which experienced tremendous success with race wins, and advanced the way the brands leveraged our motorsports participation to benefit the overall business.”

A native of Le Mans, France, Ménard has served in several positions during his 30-year career with Michelin, most recently serving global business leader for Michelin brand in the passenger-vehicle category. Ménard has worked closely with the North American motorsports team since early July in preparation for the transition.

Baker oversaw the development of the motorsports function for Michelin and BFGoodrich Tires brands as a single business unit in North America. He also directed the expansion of Michelin’s involvement in IMSA sports-car racing as the “Official Tire of IMSA” and BFGoodrich Tires partnership with SCORE International Racing as the “Official Tire of SCORE.”

During Baker’s tenure, BFGoodrich achieved an unprecedented 650 off-road class wins, including five overall victories in the Baja 1000. The brand also demonstrated performance in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing, Ultra4 King of Hammers, and provided strong support of grass roots racing across North America with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), National Auto Sport Association (NASA), and Super Production Challenge in Canada.

“I am incredibly grateful to Michelin for the opportunities and support throughout my career, and to all the folks that I have worked with and continue to work with,” Baker said. “I want to thank all the teams, partners, officials and fans who have made our relationships so successful and are essential to the brands’ successes. I look forward to witnessing the continued success of our motorsports programs under Tony’s leadership, as well as the contributions of the Michelin Motorsport North America staff and volunteers, who are completely dedicated and invested in representing our brands in competition.”