Congrats to Charlotte :)

After a year of competition with four other cities, Charlotte, NC will be the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR’s first Hall of Fame will be built in downtown Charlotte, within miles of the garages and sprawling mansions that make the region an epicenter of the sport.

The selection of Charlotte for the site of the $107.5 million hall ended a yearlong race featuring four other cities. The hall is expected to lure hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans annually, and officials hope it will open in 2009.

“In the end, you look at what’s going to be best in the long run,” NASCAR chairman Brian France told a crowd of about 1,000 people at the city’s convention center Monday.

The remaining finalists were Daytona Beach, Fla., and Atlanta. Richmond, Va., and Kansas City, Kan., were eliminated earlier.

Charlotte was the perfect fit for many reasons:

Charlotte’s proximity to the heart of the sport was cited repeatedly by supporters. Lowe’s Motor Speedway in suburban Concord is home to the longest race on the Nextel Cup circuit, the Memorial Day weekend Coca-Cola 600, and has long hosted NASCAR’s annual all-star race.

Nearly all the top race teams are headquartered in the communities north of the city, and many top drivers own luxury condominiums in downtown Charlotte or palatial homes on nearby Lake Norman. Dale Earnhardt Jr., one of the most popular drivers, lives nearby and has said Charlotte should get the hall.

Here’s an artist’s rendering of what the NASCAR Hall of Fame will look like (the background in this photo gives a better view). Here’s a photo of our happy Mayor Pat McCrory – a RINO, but a nice guy who’ll be mayor forever if he wants to be.

Congrats to the City of Charlotte and NASCAR fans, of which there are VERY many :)

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