Dale Jr. Brings Shop Tours, Exhibits and NASCAR Merchandise Under One Roof
PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Curcio
Fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr. have a one-stop shop in Mooresville for checking out retail merchandise‚ viewing exhibits and touring the NASCAR driver’s race shop.
“To get the room that we need and to have really a first-class facility that we are proud of is just very exciting‚” says Kelley Earnhardt Elledge‚ JR Motorsports vice president and general manager and sister to Dale Jr.
Growing from six employees in 2001 to 100 employees in 2007‚ JR Motorsports moved out of two facilities with 14‚000 square feet into a 65‚000-square-foot building at Talbert Point Business Park in January 2007.
Fans can shop at JR Nation‚ the first retail store that exclusively carries the Dale Jr. and JR Motorsports brand‚ and they can visit the Dale Jr. Fan Experience‚ a permanent display featuring the driver’s life and racing career with exhibits that rotate quarterly. Past exhibits have included a salute to the fans and Earnhardt Jr.’s Elvis memorabilia. Exhibits in 2008 will chronicle Earnhardt Jr.’s association with the music industry‚ including his appearances in music videos‚ as well as his sports collectibles.
“He’s a huge Redskins fan‚” Elledge says of Earnhardt Jr.
The Fan Experience includes a 15-foot window into the race shop‚ where fans can watch the two Busch teams work on JR Motorsports’ No. 5 and No. 88 cars. Nearby is a life-sized wax figure of Earnhardt Jr. commissioned by Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.
JR Nation attracts about 4‚000 fans during the May race week and averages about 100 fans a day‚ according to Elledge. The retail store carries more than 500 items‚ including hats‚ shirts and collectibles‚ many with the JRM orange flame logo.
“Dale Jr. was very instrumental in helping with the design of the product‚” Elledge says “It definitely speaks Dale Jr. It’s got the cool factor. It’s interesting from the design standpoint‚ not your typical race gear. It’s more trendy and fashionable.”