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3366 Speedway Blvd.
Talladega, AL 35160

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Mapit Talladega Superspeedway Talladega, Nascar Tickets

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TAILGATING INFORMATION:

Talladega Superspeedway offers excellent tailgaing on its hundreds of acres of overnight parking. Plan early for the Talladega experoence. Welcome to Alabama NASCAR. Southerners know how to tailgate with the best of them and typically have warm weather so it is a bit more comfortable. The trailgating in the infield ar Talladega is legendary for going on for days prior to a race. It is possibly the best tailgating for any event anywhere. So bring your beer goggles and a grill and be prepared to tailgate with the hardcore. Also the Motorsports Hall of Fame is right there. Good Times!

TAILGATING CHECKLIST:

  • Your Tickets
  • Local Map
  • Grill
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Charcoal or gas
  • Lighter/Matches
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Sunscreen
  • Food/Drinks
  • Bottle opener
  • Napkins
  • Serving
  • Utensils
  • Plates/Utensils
  • Radio
  • Garbage
  • Bags
  • Umbrella, poncho,hat
  • Something to sit on

ALABAMA FLAVOR:

Since Talladega is in Alabama you should try or even bring some local specialties. Grits for breakfast, maybe corn bread with butter a little later. Some fried okra or green tomatoes is always good. Greens; mustard or collard with vinegar. Cold beer and bbq with slaw. Slaw is a local favorite and the bbq is typically pork or chicken with sauce. Smoked sausages, pecan pie, blackeyed Peas (the ones that don't sing to you). Enjoy southern foods while visiting Talladega, Alabama. The state motto is "Audemus jura nostra defendere" - We Dare Defend Our Rights. We believe this also applies to the right to eat anything you can catch clean and prepare for native Alabamins.

TRACK DETAILS:

Seats: 143,231
Track: 2.66 miles
Turns: Banked 33 degrees
Straightaways: Frontstretch Banked 16.5 degrees, Backstretch Banked 2 degrees
Length of frontstretch 4,300 feet
Length of backstretch: 4,000 feet

 

Talladega Superspeedway is a motorsports complex located in Talladega, Alabama, United States. It was constructed in the 1960s in place of abandoned airport runways by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by NASCAR's founding France family along with Daytona International Speedway and several other racetracks. At 2.66 miles long, Talladega is the largest (and most steeply banked) oval track in the Sprint Cup Series and has seating provisions for over 142,000 patrons.

The start/finish line is placed after the pit exit because Bill France wanted to have higher ticket sales towards that side, as well as centered with pit road. The unusual placement has affected the outcome of several races (the start/finish line is normally placed across from the center of pit road). The track is adjacent to and visible from Interstate 20.

The International Motorsports Hall of Fame is adjacent to the Talladega Superspeedway.

HISTORY

In the early days of NASCAR, a one-mile, oval track was originally planned to be built in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Local religious leaders opposed the construction of such a large track, and NASCAR founder Bill France decided to instead build the track in Alabama at Talladega.

Talladega got off to a controversial start when the Professional Drivers Association, a union of drivers led by Richard Petty, went on strike the night before the inaugural Talladega 500. The union was concerned with the speed which could be attained due to the track's length and steep banking, and the perceived threat to driver safety that this posed. Bill France took to the track himself in a car and drove around it at high speeds. NASCAR also ran a successful support race, but it was not enough, and the PDA drivers went on strike. Replacement drivers from the previous day's race were asked to race, and tickets were good for future races. The race was the only win for Richard Brickhouse and was the debut race for six-time championship team owner Richard Childress.

Since 1970, the year after the track opened, Talladega has held two Sprint Cup races. Traditionally the first race was in the spring (April/May) and the second was at the end of July. In 1997, the track moved the summer race back to October, responding to the requests of fans because of the uncomfortably hot summer temperatures at the track and the unpredictability of summer thundershowers in the area. Since then, the fall race has become a part of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup.

TALLADEGA & RESTRICTOR PLATES

Speeds well in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h) were commonplace at Talladega. Talladega Superspeedway has the record for the fastest recorded time by a NASCAR stock car in a closed oval course, with the record of 216.309 mph set by Rusty Wallace on June 9, 2004.[2]. Wallace circled the 2.66-mile (4.28-km) trioval in 44.270 seconds, which surpassed the previous record held by Bill Elliott (212.809 mph) set in 1987, but doesn't replace the record due to the fact it was practice. Buddy Baker was the first driver to qualify at a speed over 200 mph, with a 200.447 mph lap during testing on March 24, 1970. Bakers record was set while driving the #88 Chrysler Engineering Charger Daytona, which is currently undergoing restoration in Detroit, after being found in the late 1990s in Iowa.

In May 1987 Bobby Allison experienced a tire failure while going through the tri-oval portion of the track, which sent his car airborne. His car tore out a portion of the frontstretch catch fence, nearly entering the crowd. NASCAR imposed rule changes to slow the cars after the incident, with a 1988 rule requiring cars running there and at Daytona to use restrictor plates. The most often cited reason is a fear that the increasing speeds were exceeding the capabilities of the tires available at the time, as high-speed tire failure had led to some gruesome crashes at slightly lower speeds. The plates limit the amount of air and fuel entering the intake manifolds of the engine, greatly reducing the power of the cars and hence their speed. This has led to the style of racing held at Talladega and Daytona to be somewhat different from that at other superspeedways and to be referred to by NASCAR fans as "restrictor-plate racing".

The reduced power affects not only the maximum speed reached by the cars but the time it takes them to achieve their full speed as well, which can be nearly one full circuit of the track. The racing seen at Talladega today is extremely tight; often in rows of three or four cars, and sometimes even 5 wide on the straightaways throughout most of the field, as the track is wide enough to permit such racing. Breaking away from the pack is very difficult as well.

Such close quarters, however, makes it extremely difficult for a driver to avoid an incident as it is unfolding in front of him, and the slightest mistake often leads to massive (and often frightening) multi-car accidents – dubbed "the Big One" by fans and drivers – and Talladega is notorious for such, and always has been. It is not uncommon to see 20 or more cars collected in the crashes. Such huge crashes are less frequent at Daytona, which is a more handling-oriented track.

The danger of "The Big One" not only can cause extensive damage to cars during a race, but it can affect points standings overall, especially since the second race was moved from July to October because of the Alabama heat, and the development of NASCAR's playoff system that incorporates the second race, currently the AMP Energy 500, although such big wrecks occasionally occurred even before the restrictor plates were introduced as well.

THE TALLADEGA JINX

The high number of crashes over the years, along with other factors, have led to rumors of Talladega Superspeedway being cursed. Stories of the origin of the curse vary. Some claim that a local Native American tribe held horse races in the valley where the track currently resides and a chief was killed when he was thrown from his horse. Others say that the site of the superspeedway was once an Indian burial ground. Still another version says that after the local tribe was driven out by the Creek nation for their collaborating with the forces of Andrew Jackson, a shaman put a curse on the valley. However, none of these rumors can be proven.

Since the construction of the track, many strange happenings and untimely deaths have fueled the rumors of a curse. In 1973, Bobby Isaac left his car during the race on lap 90 because of voices he claimed to have heard which told him to park his car and get out. Earlier on lap 14 in the same race, young driver Larry Smith died in a seemingly minor wreck.

To some, Bobby Allison's 1987 wreck described above was yet another reminder of the curse. In 1993, Bobby's son, Davey Allison, died in a helicopter crash in the infield of Talladega.

TRACK RECORD TRIVIA

  • March 24, 1970: Buddy Baker, driving the Chrysler Engineering #88 Dodge Charger Daytona, officially becomes the first driver in NASCAR history to break the 200 mph barrier by turning a lap of 200.447 mph (322.588 km/h). This was also a World Record at the time for any vehicle on a closed course. It was achieved using official Nascar Scoring and Timing equipment.
  • August 20, 1971: Paula Murphy, "Miss STP" made a record closed course run for a female at 171.499 mph (276.001 km/h).
  • August, 1974: A.J. Foyt tests an Indy car at a speed of 217.854 mph (350.602 km/h).
  • August 9, 1975: Mark Donohue sets a closed-course world record in a Porsche 917-30 at 221.160 mph. It would stand as a world record for four years, and as a United States record until 1986.
  • 1984: The Winston 500 set a still standing NASCAR record with 75 lead changes in a single race.
  • May 5, 1985: Bill Elliott sets a 500-mile race record, winning the Winston 500 at an average speed of 186.288 mph. Elliott won the race despite losing nearly two laps during a lengthy early pit stop to fix a broken oil line, and despite the race only having two caution flags. Elliott made up the entire distance he lost under one lengthy, green-flag period. The record stood as the fastest 500-mile race of any kind until 1990, when Al Unser, Jr. broke it by winning the CART Michigan 500 at Michigan International Speedway at an average speed of 189.727 mph (305.336 km/h). Mark Martin later broke the record for fastest 500-mile NASCAR race (see below).
  • November 26, 1985: Lyn St. James sets a record closed course run for a female, at over 200 mph (320 km/h).
  • March 24, 1986: Bobby Unser sets a closed-course speed record for four-wheel drive vehicles with an Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro at 206.825 mph (332.853 km/h).
  • 1986: The Saab Long Run – set of 2 world and 21 international records with three series SAAB 9000 Turbo – 100,000 km with an average speed of 213.299 km/h and 50,000 miles with an average speed of 213.686 km/h.
  • April 30, 1987: Bill Elliott sets the all-time NASCAR qualifying record, winning the pole for the Winston 500 at a speed of 212.809 mph (342.483 km/h) (44.998 seconds). The record still stands due strictly to the use of the carburetor restrictor plate, mandated after the 1987 season.
  • October 11, 1988: Lyn St. James sets a record closed course run for a female at 212.577 mph (342.110 km/h), driving a Ford Thunderbird.
  • December 14, 1989: Patty Moise sets a record closed course run for a female at 216.607 mph (348.595 km/h), driving a Buick.
  • January 23, 1990: Patty Moise sets a record closed course run for a female at 217.498 mph (350.029 km/h), driving a Buick.
  • 1996 Saab set endurance and speed record-breaking runs in their 900.
  • May 10, 1997: Mark Martin wins the Winston Select 500, a race which had no caution flags, at a NASCAR 500-mile record speed of 188.354 mph (303.126 km/h), nearly ten years after the introduction of restrictor plates.
  • June 10, 2004: Rusty Wallace tests a stock car without a restrictor plate for series sponsor Nextel to test communication capabilities, and hits a speed over 228 mph (367 km/h) on the straights (some reports say the speeds were close to 235 mph / 378 km/h), and 221 mph (356 km/h) average speed for the lap.

TALLADEGA - MEMORABLE RACES

  • 2007: Kyle Busch goes for a terrifying tumble into the 3rd turn during the spring Busch Series race, after making contact with Tony Stewart. Numerous other cars are involved in other small wrecks during the race that whittled the field down. Jeff Gordon wins the spring Cup race the next day, and, like the 2004 race, a few fans litter the track in debris (especially beer cans) in protest of Gordon passing Dale Earnhardt in career wins. Gordon won the fall race in the same year in the first ever COT restrictor plate race by passing teammate Jimmie Johnson and fellow competitor Tony Stewart to lead from the entrance of turn 3 to the finish line on the last lap with Johnson coming up short on a late pass attempt. This also marked a milestone as it was Gordon's 80th career win and a personal achievement.
  • 2007 (Fall): Jeff Gordon had a pit-road penalty for taking pit equipment from his stall earlier in the race, went to the back, but made a charge to the front late in the race and on the final lap, he was running second behind teammate Jimmie Johnson until Tony Stewart led a group of cars on the outside, heading down the backstretch, Gordon went up in front of Stewart which gave him a draft push by Johnson and into the lead and held him, Stewart and Dave Blaney off for the win. This was Gordon's 80th career win, 6th at Talladega and 12th restrictor-plate win, passing Dale Earnhardt for the most restrictor-plate wins, he also sweeps the races at Talladega for 2007, becoming the 6th person to sweeps both races at Talladega on the same year and wins the first Car of Tomorrow race on a Superspeedway. Gordon won the race with a special Pepsi paint scheme designed by a fan, quoting after he won that "they should do this again next year.", this is Gordon's 3rd win at Talladega with a Pepsi paint scheme. Toyota was the spotlight of the weekend, celebrating its first pole on a Superspeedway courtesy of Michael Waltrip, five Toyotas in the top 6 starting spots, and drivers in outside the Top 35 in owners points qualifying unusually well. The Big One also happened in the race, involving 11 cars. Also the first appearance in victory lane by his new daughter Ella.

FIRST TIME WINNERS AT TALLADEGA

  • Richard Brickhouse
  • Dick Brooks
  • Lennie Pond
  • Ron Bouchard
  • Bobby Hillin, Jr.
  • Phil Parsons
  • Brian Vickers
  • Brad Keselowski

Wikipedia.org

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