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Own a piece of Daytona history, and see the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America

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When plans were originally announced for the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Museum, many fans naturally assumed that the project would be placed next to the "World Center of Racing," the Daytona international Speedway. Numerous cities were considered for the project, with the contract eventually going to racing's second home, Charlotte, NC. In 2016, however, race fans will have another option when it comes to viewing the greatest objects in the history of auto racing, as the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, motor racing’s Cooperstown, will move its operations and collection of historic racing machines and memorabilia from the Detroit area to the ”World Center of Racing,” Daytona International Speedway by January 2016.

“The partnership between Daytona International Speedway and the Hall of Fame is a match made in racing heaven,” said Ron Watson, president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. “The Hall gets a home within one of America’s most famous and best-loved sports venues. Race fans and tourists who come to Daytona will have another great attraction to visit throughout the year.”

Coinciding with the scheduled January 2016 completion of DAYTONA Rising, the speedway’s $400 million frontstretch renovation project currently underway, the Hall of Fame's displays featuring cars, images, stories and bronze sculptures of 209 icons of American motorsports to be located in the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building, which was formerly known as the “DAYTONA 500 Experience.”

Vehicles and artifacts representative of the diversity of motorized competition celebrated by the Hall of Fame, including Open Wheel, Stock Cars, Motorcycles, Aviation, Drag Racing, Sports Cars and Powerboats, will be exhibited as a regular part of the tours admission at Daytona International Speedway all year long.

“Daytona International Speedway is an iconic racing venue and will be a fitting home to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Having the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America right here in Daytona will complement DAYTONA Rising and provide another reason for race fans to visit Daytona International Speedway.”

Daytona International Speedway offers three different types of tours – a 30-minute, 90-minute All-Access and a three-hour VIP tour. In addition, the champion Daytona 500 car will continue to be on display at the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours building and be a part of the Speedway tours.

If you've seen the plans for the redevelopment of the speedway, you've probably wondered where all the grandstand seats that they are removing are going? Well, rumors suggest that most of the backstretch seating is being transported to Phoenix to complement the existing grandstands at PIR, but the fate of the frontstretch seating that is being removed and replaced was still a mystery.

That is, until Valentine's Day, when Fanatics Authentic, the premier online destination for authentic autographed memorabilia, announced that it has teamed up with Daytona International Speedway to offer all race fans the rare opportunity to own a piece of motorsports history. As DAYTONA Rising, the historic redevelopment of Daytona International Speedway continues, Fanatics Authentic is giving fans the chance to purchase parts of the iconic “World Center of Racing,” from the very grandstand seats they sat in to the signage and other historic memorabilia from the Speedway. As the new memorabilia division of Fanatics, Inc., the nation's largest online retailer of licensed sports products, Fanatics Authentic is allowing fans the opportunity to bring home a lifetime of memories with their unique collectibles and unparalleled reputation.

The “World Center of Racing” is one of the most revered racetracks in NASCAR and motorsports history, producing over a half century of unforgettable racing moments with thrilling victories and high speed competition that are treasured by fans around the world. Daytona International Speedway and Fanatics Authentic are providing a way for NASCAR fans to preserve those special moments with their DAYTONA Rising Collection. With the renovation of Daytona International Speedway, Fanatics Authentic will use various pieces of the venue to create impressive commemorative collectibles.

“The renovation of Daytona International Speedway will usher in a new era for race fans at the historic venue,” said Ross Tannenbaum, CEO of Fanatics Authentic, “We’re thrilled to partner with Daytona International Speedway to offer race fans a chance to own a piece of that storied history. The fond memories of the iconic motorsports landmark can now live on in fans’ households in a unique way.”

Currently, the sports memorabilia retailer is offering Daytona International Speedway ticketholders the option to take home the seats they frequented by preselling the racetrack’s seats along the famed frontstretch. Non-ticketholders can purchase generic seats and additional speedway relics.

“From the day we announced the DAYTONA Rising project, we received a lot of interest from fans, industry partners and even drivers in purchasing seats and other memorabilia from the Speedway,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “By partnering with Fanatics Authentic, we will ensure the highest quality authentic memorabilia from the ‘World Center of Racing’ will be available to satisfy even the most die-hard NASCAR fan.”

Fans that purchase items from the DAYTONA Rising Collection will begin to receive their memorabilia from Turn 1 in September 2014.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter, and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR,#DAYTONA500 and #ROADTODAYTONA. You can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long, and follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising.

Over the next week or so, this column will strive to provide full coverage of the events leading up to the Great American Race, including a possible interview with the head of the CJ Mears Gang himself, Casey Mears, as well as other members of the NASCAR garage.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opens with the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Feb. 23. The race will be televised live on FOX at 1 p.m. ET. The cars will also be on track throughout the "SpeedWeeks" leading up to the "Great American Race," including the Budweiser Duels qualifying races, which will be televised live on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

Be sure to subscribe to the West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner, and keep track of your favorite racers, no matter how many (or how few) wheels they may or may not race on. If you're a motorsports fan, and know of an event, team, or person you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about local getaways, HOAs, elections, and restaurants.

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