Last year I did a Q&A with NASCAR team owner Richard Childress following his election to the NRA Board of Directors. In addition to being a legendary NASCAR figure, Childress is also a dedicated hunter and conservationist. In fact, Childress chairs NRA’s Hunting & Wildlife Conservation Committee.
Among the topics we discussed in that interview was the wildlife and conservation gallery housed in Childress’ racing museum. The museum—which encompasses more than 47,000 square feet—is a really neat place for anyone who loves both hunting and racing. The facility is packed with actual race cars driven by the late Dale Earnhardt, as well as photos, memorabilia, trophies and video screens depicting important moments in RCR’s illustrious history.
But the center of the museum—named the Richard Childress Wildlife and Conservation Gallery—is devoted entirely to hunting and wildlife. There are displays in the gallery for the NRA, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Ducks Unlimited, plus many of Richard’s personal mounts and hunting memorabilia are on exhibit for the public to see.
The RCR Racing Museum actually takes $1 from each paid admission and divides it between the five groups mentioned above, which says a lot about Childress’ commitment to wildlife and habitat conservation.
“Back in the ‘80s, after I had done a hunt and NASCAR wrote an article on it, I got some bad press at the time,” Childress said. “They were saying things like, ‘We’re not going to go buy a Chevrolet again.’ Stuff like that. I decided that I wasn’t going to let a very small minority of people take me away from what I enjoyed sharing with other people. So I wanted to put my animals on display. I wanted to be able to share that with the public. Even when we put the display in, there were questions of how it would be accepted. It has been accepted probably as much or more than the automobile museum. We get a lot of schools that come for day trips just to see the wildlife museum.”
Our friends at the NRA Blog recently traveled to the museum while on assignment in North Carolina. Check out their photo gallery, and if you ever get the chance, visit the RCR Racing Museum for yourself. Located on the RCR campus in Welcome, N.C., the museum is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information: http://rcrracing.com/museum/