Inside the Museum

Friday, June 30, 2017
by Laci White

I used to do a podcast for the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum talking about the current events of the museum. It was appropriately titled, In the Museum with Laci. I know it’s kind of corny, but it was something fun. However, with everything going on recently I have had not had time to do anymore videos. Recently when Bill Wright asked me to write an article for this website, I was thrilled because I thought, “why not”, I can add what I did in my video, here on the website and who doesn’t love Bill’s website? I plan on keeping everyone up to date on current events here in the museum and hall of fame and other things that might be of interest to everyone.

Speaking of current events: this race season has already turned into quite an exciting time here in turn 2 of the Knoxville Raceway. We opened the season with our NEW raffle that we have never tried before. We are giving away a sprint car vacation like no other. It is a trip to Australia!! The winner will receive round trip airfare for 2 people from anywhere in the contiguous US, 7 night hotel accommodations, and 2 VIP tickets to the Grand Annual Sprint Car Classic. If you would prefer not to take the trip of a lifetime, you can take the cash prize of $10,000. The price of one ticket is $20 or 6 tickets for $100. You can go to or call 641-842-6176 to get your tickets. Doesn’t that sound like fun? A dream come true for some, I know I have Australia on my bucket list of places I want to see sprint car racing.

In the museum itself, we have opened our new exhibit, Salute to Champion Sammy Swindell. It opened on June 1st and is turning out to be one of our best exhibits yet. We have eight cars that Sammy has driven, in our museum right now, which is very exciting. We also have 2 touch screens to add to this exhibit, which is brand new to the museum. We were also extremely lucky to get Sammy’s very own drafting table. It’s such an amazing display of Sammy’s cars and memorabilia. We are so lucky to have all of these items in our museum. They are a huge part of sprint car history. Being that Sammy is from the Memphis, TN area we are also featuring a “Memphis Connection” exhibit, with “Hooker” Hood. We have three of Hooker’s cars on display, including his right rear dual tire super modified. That is such an awesome car, and so unusual. You have to see it to believe how ingenious it was for him to place two tires on the right side of the car.

On June 3, we had our 28th annual National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum induction ceremony where we inducted eight new members into the Hall of Fame. Dave Darland, Terry McCarl, Tony Elliot, Doug Auld, Earl Cooper, Guy Forbrook, John Singer, and Pat Sullivan. We had the Dyer Hudson building on the other side of the Knoxville Raceway filled up. In fact we had record attendance that day. It was a wonderful day, then followed up by a remarkable night of USAC racing. I cannot tell you the last time I saw a non-winged show, and certainly not a USAC show. It was so fun to watch, I cannot wait for them to come back or maybe I should just find a USAC show somewhere near Iowa and ad that to my bucket list of races that I MUST see.

Every week this spring we have gotten busier and busier. We have had visitors from all around the U.S. and even some Australian and Canadian visitors. I find it so interesting where our visitors come from. They literally come from all over the world. We had our most visitors in one day on June 15, 2017. This would have been Bryan Clauson’s 28th birthday. The day was very fitting for the ground breaking of the Bryan Clauson Suite Tower. It was a muggy, hot Iowa summer day, but it was also a very beautiful day. About 100 people came for the festivities and lunch, including donators Richard and Jennifer Marshal, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Kyle Larson. Of course Bryan Clauson’s wonderful family were on hand as well, and the famous Chevy Clauson. The day was so incredibly special for everyone involved. It felt more like a family reunion, rather than a ground breaking ceremony and there is no better family than the racing family. We are all intertwined and when something horrific happens, as Bryan’s accident, we make the best of it, because it affects every one of us. This building being built, the Bryan Clauson Tower, is a testament to our family, and how we come together for all of us. We remember that we all belong to this family. I think Bryan is smiling down on his "family" and is so proud of how we are continuing, not only his memory, but preservation of the history and future of the sport we all love. So far we have raised about one half of the money needed to complete the million dollar project. I have no doubt in my mind that our “family” will raise the money needed, so if you would like to help with this project financially, and help sustain our museum and hall of fame for years to come you can make a donation at or by calling me here at the museum.

I hope you come in to see us at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum. We have so much to see, so come spend a day with us. You might also like to know that we are changing exhibits all the time, which make things very exciting and makes a “new” museum all the time. Hope to see you soon!

Laci White
Visitor Services Coordinator
National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum