CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A $160 million Hall of Fame is being constructed in Charlotte, N.C., for the Nextel Cup auto racing circuit.
"A $160 million facility, including a 19-story NASCAR building right in the city center of Charlotte, it's just unbelievable," Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory said during groundbreaking ceremonies Thursday. "And we should be very proud."
Among others in attendance were NASCAR veterans Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, and Ned Jarrett.
"I'm proud of Charlotte, because we didn't take anything for granted," said Rick Hendrick, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "When I called all the team owners in the area, there wasn't a single person who didn't raise their hand to help."
"I was at the first race in NASCAR history in 1949," said Petty. "This is where it belongs."
The facility is expected to open by early 2010. The office building will be a part of NASCAR Plaza.