NASCAR Hall of Fame: Glory Road 2.0 pleases Jeff Hammond

Darrell Waltrip looks under the hood of his 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo AeroCoupe during a press conference announcing the new Glory Road exhibit at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images

Saturday the NASCAR Hall of Fame reopened with its new display, Glory Road 2.0. It’s the first time the theme for Glory Road has been revised since the doors opened at the Hall. You’ve heard me say many, many times that I had a blessed NASCAR career. I was blessed to have our No. 11 Mountain Dew Buick on the first Glory Road display and now doubly-blessed to have our No. 11 Budweiser car on Glory Road 2.

I am very proud to have been a part of that time in our sport. I have been extremely fortunate to have been on six NASCAR championship Cup teams and each one I can remember like it was yesterday. Working side by side the icons of our sport like Junior Johnson, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip truly are what dreams are made of.

Guys like Dale Inman and Leonard Wood are already in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. They were my heroes. I looked up to them and they influenced my career. More importantly, to be able to call them my friend means the world to me. I don’€™t take any of it for granted and have a real sense of pride.

I have been very lucky. I’ve got to work at a profession I loved. Even after calling my last race as a crew chief, I was fortunate enough to stay in the sport and enjoy my second career in NASCAR working for FOX Sports. Junior, Cale, DW, Dale and Leonard are all in the NASCAR Hall of Fame for a reason. In my mind, they represent the Glory Days of our sport. They are the Heroes and Legends we all strive to emulate. To have been even a small part of that is something I am extremely grateful for.

Seeing our Budweiser Chevrolet as part of Glory Road brings back a lot of great memories. Newer fans probably don’™t know that Bill Elliott was kicking everyone’s tail that year. Many a Sunday the rest of us were simply racing for second. Bill won 11 races plus the Winston Million.

Our No. 11 Budweiser team simply chipped away and chipped away. After he won the Winston Million at Darlington late in the season, Bill and his team started have problems. We were waiting and capitalized on that. So much so that come the end of the season, Darrell Waltrip won his third championship overcoming Bill and winning by 101 points.

That’s why that year is so special. That’s why seeing the No.11 Budweiser car in the NASCAR Hall of Fame is so special to me. We weren’t supposed to win that year. We only won three races the entire season compared to Bill winning 11 times. We overcame and won the championship as a team and I’ll be the first to tell you it was really darn sweet. So selfishly, I am thrilled they included our Budweiser car in the new Glory Road 2.0 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. To me, it’s right where it belongs.