The Dale Trail
Discover NASCAR Legend Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s Hometown
The Dale Trail was created in the community of Kannapolis, North Carolina to commemorate hometown hero Dale Earnhardt Sr. This self-guided tour features more than 15 locations that tell the story of Earnhardt’s life, his legendary NASCAR career and his old stomping grounds. Here’s a look at three stops along The Dale Trail.
Visit the Cabarrus County Visitor Center to pick up the free map and start your journey.
Located on the corner of Main Street and West B Street is a park dedicated in Dale Earnhardt’s memory. The centerpiece of the plaza is a nine-foot, 900-pound bronze statue of Dale as his hometown knew him—dressed in Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots and a creased, short-sleeve, button-down shirt with sunglasses in the pocket. Sporting his famous grin, his gaze is directed toward Idiot Circle, Dale’s favorite hangout during his teen years. Take note of the subtle, symbolic elements—benches in groups of three, an oval layout and more.
This retro, 1950s-themed diner serves Dale Earnhardt’s favorite sandwich, a tomato sandwich made with lettuce and Miracle Whip on white bread. This simple dish is just one of the many examples of how Dale never forgot where he came from. To Dale, the sandwich was a reminder of his beginnings in racing when money was scarce. Punchy’s is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch. Fuel up and head to the next stop.
Home to several race teams, Cabarrus County is known as “Where Racing Lives.” One of the most prominent is just one mile from Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord. Hendrick Motorsports features state-of-the-art technology that supports four full-time teams in the sport’s top division, the NASCAR Cup Series. Inside the 9/24 and 5/48 race shops, viewing areas give a behind-the-scenes look at race day preparations.
There are even more stops along The Dale Trail that tell the story of Earnhardt’s history. Begin by picking up the free, collectible map that details each location.
The Dale Trail map is available at the Cabarrus County Visitor Center and in all Cabarrus County hotels.
At the Visitor Center, you’ll also find souvenirs to commemorate your trip. Follow along and share your journey on social media using #DaleTrail.
Start planning your visit with these Places to Stay in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.