Stan Rabineau of Garage Pass Shop Tours invited me to tag along on one of the VIP tours and it was a hoot.

Let me tell you Stan knows his stuff. He’s been around, and around again.

Our first stop was the Roush Fenway museum and store in Concord, complete with trophys galore, photos, awards, cutaway cars and more. Stan offered his group a lesson on bootlegging and how it evolved into present day NASCAR racing. In addition, lots of little details you may not get elsewhere are offered. For example, the “hockey puck” on the top of the cars (which every Cup car has) is a camera housing. But how can you tell if that particular car has a camera? Look for the “shark fin” antenna on top. All cars carry the housing for aerodynamic reasons.

The 48 and 88 shop of Hendrick Motorsports was next. The really interesting part of that was the replica of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, complete with wall, fencing and Musco lighting, used for filming commercials. The backdrop of the speedway is added during editing. Down the sidewalk was the 5 and 24 of Hendrick, from which you could see the chopper pad (which we did not use). Each car built goes through a 165-point checklist before it leaves the shop.

Stewart-Haas Racing was next, and after that the “Dale Trail,” a look at Dale Earnhardt’s hometown of Kannapolis.

Curb Music and Motorsports Museum opened its doors for a private tour for our group and what a place. It’s open to the public for a few weeks each May and October and if you have time it is worth a stop. It’s on Dale Earnhardt Blvd. in Kannapolis. Curb has quite a record (no pun intended) in the music business as well as in motorsports. This museum showcases both.

Corinne Economaki