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Contact: Meredith Beatrice,

PHOTO RELEASE: New Auto Racing Exhibit at the Museum of Florida History

Tallahassee –

The Department of State’s Museum of Florida History announces a new temporary exhibit, Sun, Sand, and Speed–Florida Auto Racing, opening on January 22 and remaining on display until July 4. This exhibit explores Florida’s long history in the sport of auto racing, from the first racing tournaments on Ormond Beach in 1903 to today’s Daytona 500–“The Great American Race.”

“This new exhibit allows visitors an opportunity to learn about the fascinating history of auto racing in the Sunshine State,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “The enduring spirit of competition and innovation that are the hallmarks of Florida auto racing today are show cased throughout the exhibit.”


PHOTO (Credit Museum of Florida History): On Thursday, January 21, the Museum of Florida History held a ribbon cutting ceremony opening its new exhibit, Sun, Sand, and Speed–Florida Auto Racing, followed by an event featuring drag racing legend Don “Big Daddy” Garlits.

(Pictured in the photo from left to right): Michelle Hearn, Senior Museum Curator; Tim Leatzow, Museum Exhibit Designer; Secretary of State of Ken Detzner; Don “Big Daddy” Garlits; Andrew Dewerff, Executive Assistant, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac; Jeana Brunson, Museum Executive Director; Tim Moore, Executive Director Business Development, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac;  Laura Rogers, Board Member; Lena Juarez, Board Member; and Bruce Graetz, Senior Museum Curator.


Exhibit topics include beach racing pioneers, NASCAR and stock car racing, Sebring and sports car endurance racing, open-wheel racing, drag racing, and champions of this exciting sport. Visitors can experience Florida’s racing culture in this thrilling exhibit featuring race cars, driver’s memorabilia, racing images, videos, and a NASCAR arcade game. 

Highlights of the exhibit include:

  • Cunningham C-4R sports car, one of only two on display in the world, the Cunningham built in Florida won 12 Hours at Sebring (1953) and came in fourth at 24 Hours of Le Mans (1952)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2008 Chevrolet Impala sponsored by the National Guard
  • Dragster constructed by “Big Daddy” Don Garlits
  • Recreated 1906 Stanley Steamer Rocket that raced and won on Ormond Beach
  • 1908 stock car trophy from Ormond-Daytona Beach race
  • Racing suits and helmets from Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Prototype Chevrolet Corvette hood, nose, windshield, and signed memorabilia from North American sports car championship team VISIT FLORIDA Racing
  • Daytona 500 checkered flag signed by Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and other legends

The Museum will host numerous programs and events for people of all ages. Programs will interpret various types of racing and significant periods in Florida’s racing history. For more information on programs, visit the Museum of Florida History website at, call 850.245.6400, or join the conversation on Social Media using #SunSandSpeed.




About the Museum of Florida History
The Museum of Florida History is part of the Florida Department of State’s Office of External Affairs and is located in the R. A. Gray Building at 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday and holidays, noon to 4:30 p.m.  Free parking is available in the garage next to the R. A. Gray building.