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Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega Superspeedway
"Tally"
325px
Aerial view of Talladega Superspeedway in 2007. The runways of the defunct Anniston Air Force Base are visible as well.
Location Talladega County, Alabama,
at 3366 Speedway Boulevard, Talladega, Alabama 35096, United States[1]
Time zone GMT-6
Coordinates

33°34′01.06″N 86°03′57.85″W / 33.5669611°N 86.0660694°W / 33.5669611; -86.0660694Coordinates: 33°34′01.06″N 86°03′57.85″W / 33.5669611°N 86.0660694°W / 33.5669611; -86.0660694{{#coordinates:33|34|01.06|N|86|03|57.85|W|type:landmark |primary |name=

}}
Capacity 80,000
Owner International Speedway Corporation
Operator International Speedway Corporation
Broke ground May 23, 1968; 47 years ago (May 23, 1968)
Opened September 13, 1969; 46 years ago (September 13, 1969)
Construction cost US$4 million
Architect Bill Ward and William France Sr.
Former names Alabama International Motor Speedway (1969–1989)
Major events
Tri-oval
Surface Asphalt
Length 2.666 mi (4.28 km)
Turns 4
Banking Turns 1 and 2: 33°
Turn 3: 32.4°
Turn 4: 32.5°
Tri-oval: 16.5°
Back straight: 3°
Lap record 0:44.998; 212.809 mph; 342.483 km/h (Bill Elliott, Melling Racing, 1987, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)

Talladega Superspeedway, originally known as Alabama International Motor Superspeedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama.[1] It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Talladega. The track is a Tri-oval and was constructed by International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family, in the 1960s. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the unique location of the start/finish line - located just past the exit to pit road. The track currently hosts the NASCAR series such as the Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Talladega Superspeedway is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of Script error: No such module "convert"., and the track at its peak had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators,[2] although the current capacity is 80,000 seats.[3]

History

During the 1960s Bill France, Sr. wanted to build a track faster and longer than Daytona International Speedway. He would end up breaking ground on an old airfield on May 23, 1968. The track would be named Alabama International Motor Speedway (AIMS). The name would remain for twenty years until 1989 when the facility's name was changed to Talladega Superspeedway. The track opened on September 13, 1969 costing $4 million. The first race at the new track was unlike any other; all the original drivers abandoned the track because of tire problems which caused Bill France to hire substitute drivers, with the winner being Richard Brickhouse. After the first race, Talladega would host two Winston Cup Series races a year, one of which would become part of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. Since its opening year Talladega has hosted many races and has been repaved four times. Talladega would also have many first time winners such as Larry Schild Sr, Richard Brickhouse, Brian Vickers, and Brad Keselowski.[4]

A Script error: No such module "convert". infield road course was in operation from the track's founding until 1983.[5] Six IMSA GT Championship races were held in the 1970s, including a six-hour race in 1978.[6]

File:Talladega Before the Race.jpg
Talladega Superspeedway after the repaving of the track.

During May 2006 Talladega Superspeedway started to re-surface the track and the apron. Construction started on May 1, 2006 and lasted until September 18, 2006. The first race on the resurfaced race track was the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on October 7, 2006.[7]

In December 2013, International Speedway Corporation announced removal of the 18,000-seat Allison Grandstand on the backstretch,[8] reducing the track's seating capacity to 80,000.[9] The 4,000-ft. back straight was renamed The Alabama Gang Superstretch in time for the 2014 Aaron's 499 spring race.[10]

The "Big One"

Main article: The Big One (NASCAR)

Speeds in excess of Script error: No such module "convert". are 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.[11] 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 a radio test and not a NASCAR sanctioned event. Buddy Baker was the first driver to test at a speed over 200 mph, with a 200.447 mph lap during testing on March 24, 1970. Baker's 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. The late Benny Parsons was the first driver to qualify at over 200 mph, doing so in 1982 with a speed of 200.176 mph.

In May 1987, Bobby Allison, after a blown engine, cut his right-rear tire from the debris while going through the tri-oval portion of the track. The car was vaulted airborne. His car damaged a portion of the frontstretch catch fence, but did not enter the spectator area. 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 an extremely competitive style of racing at Talladega and Daytona. Allison's crash was very alike to Carl Edwards's crash at the 2009 Aaron's 499.

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 five lanes 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 them, and the slightest mistake can lead to a multi-car accident – dubbed "the Big One" by fans and drivers. It is uncommon, but possible, to see 20 or more cars collected in the crashes. Occasionally, cars go airborne. NASCAR has made several advances in safety over the years to lessen the chance of a car going airborne.

The Talladega jinx

Numerous strange occurrences at the track 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 where 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.[12]

Since the construction of the track, many strange happenings and untimely deaths have fueled the rumors of the 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. In 1974, the morning before the Winston 500, drivers and crews alike found multiple cars sabotaged by cut brake lines and sand in the gas tank.[12] During the 1975 Winston 500, Randy Owens, brother-in-law of Richard Petty and a crew member on the family team Petty Enterprises (father of current Sprint Cup crew chief Trent Owens), was killed by an air tank that exploded in the pits.[13]

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.[12] That same month, Neil Bonnett was involved in a wreck similar to Bobby Allison's in which his car got airborne and impacted the catch fence in the tri-oval. In 1996, Automobile Racing Club of America president Bob Loga died after a traffic accident in a parking area.[14] In the 2009 Aaron's 499 Carl Edwards suffered a similar wreck.

The Legend of Hallowdega, a comedic short film about the Talladega jinx, was directed by Terry Gilliam and released in 2010.

Scheduled races

Talladega Superspeedway hosts many NASCAR events which include two Sprint Cup Series races, one Xfinity Series race, and one Camping World Truck Series race. The Sprint Cup Series races include the GEICO 500, and the Alabama 500, which are both 188 laps each or Script error: No such module "convert".. The Nationwide Series race has historically been a 500-kilometer/311.2 mile race (117 laps) since its 1992 inception, but was cut to Script error: No such module "convert". (113 laps) in 1998 because of a spectator's letter questioning the metric distance, but restored to 500 kilometers by its current sponsor. The Camping World Truck Series race is 250 miles (94 laps). The ARCA race, once a 500 kilometer affair, was shortened to 300 miles in 1998, and to 250 miles in 2006 when it was moved to Friday.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series records

(As of 10/23/11)

Most Wins 10 Dale Earnhardt</tr> Most Consecutive Wins 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr.</tr> Most Top 5s 23 Dale Earnhardt</tr> Most Top 10s 27 Dale Earnhardt</tr> Starts 61 Dave Marcis</tr> Poles 8 Bill Elliott</tr> Most Laps Completed 9777 Dave Marcis</tr> Most Laps Led 1377 Dale Earnhardt</tr> Avg. Start* 3.6 Bobby Isaac</tr> Avg. Finish* 5.6 Pete Hamilton</tr>

* from minimum 5 starts.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners

Season Date Winning Driver Car # Sponsor Make Avg Speed Margin of Victory
1969 September 14 Richard Brickhouse 99 Nichels Engineering ’69 Dodge Script error: No such module "convert". 7 sec
1970 April 12 Pete Hamilton 40 Petty Enterprises ’70 Plymouth Script error: No such module "convert". 44 sec
1970 August 23 Pete Hamilton (2) 40 Petty Enterprises ’70 Plymouth Script error: No such module "convert". 10 sec
1971 May 16 Donnie Allison 21 Wood Brothers ’69 Mercury Script error: No such module "convert". 6 cl
1971 August 22 Bobby Allison 12 Holman-Moody ’69 Mercury Script error: No such module "convert". 2.1sec
1972 May 7 David Pearson 21 Wood Brothers ’71 Mercury Script error: No such module "convert". 4.9 sec
1972 August 6 James Hylton 48 Hylton Engineering ’71 Mercury Script error: No such module "convert". 1 cl
1973 May 6 David Pearson (2) 21 Purolator ’71 Mercury Script error: No such module "convert". 1 lap
1973 August 12 Dick Brooks 22 Eastern Airlines ’72 Plymouth Script error: No such module "convert". 7.2 sec
1974 May 5 David Pearson (3) 21 Purolator ’73 Mercury Script error: No such module "convert". 0.17 sec
1974 August 11 Richard Petty 43 STP ’74 Dodge Script error: No such module "convert". UC
1975 May 4 Buddy Baker 15 Sunny King ’75 Ford Script error: No such module "convert". 1 cl
1975 August 17 Buddy Baker (2) 15 Sunny King ’75 Ford Script error: No such module "convert". 5 feet
1976 May 2 Buddy Baker (3) 15 Norris Industries Ford Script error: No such module "convert". 35 sec
1976 August 8 Dave Marcis 71 K&K Insurance Dodge Script error: No such module "convert". 29.5 sec
1977 May 1 Darrell Waltrip 88 Gatorade Chevrolet Script error: No such module "convert". 0.29 sec
1977 August 7 Donnie Allison (2) 1 Hawaiian Tropic Chevrolet Script error: No such module "convert". UC
1978 May 14 Cale Yarborough 11 First National City Oldsmobile Script error: No such module "convert". 2 cl
1978 August 6 Lennie Pond 54 W.I.N. Oldsmobile Script error: No such module "convert". 2 cl
1979 May 6 Bobby Allison (2) 15 Hodgdon/Moore Ford Script error: No such module "convert". 1 lap + 50 sec
1979 August 5 Darrell Waltrip (2) 88 Gatorade Oldsmobile Script error: No such module "convert". 62 sec
1980 May 4 Buddy Baker (4) 28 NAPA Oldsmobile Script error: No such module "convert". 3 feet
1980 August 3 Neil Bonnett 21 Purolator Mercury Script error: No such module "convert". 6 cl
1981 May 3 Bobby Allison (3) 28 The 5 Racers Buick Script error: No such module "convert". 0.1 sec
1981 August 2 Ron Bouchard 47 Race Hill Farm Buick Script error: No such module "convert". 2 feet
1982 May 2 Darrell Waltrip (3) 11 Mountain Dew Buick Script error: No such module "convert". 3 cl
1982 August 1 Darrell Waltrip (4) 11 Mountain Dew Buick Script error: No such module "convert". 1 cl
1983 May 1 Richard Petty (2) 43 STP Pontiac Script error: No such module "convert". 2 cl
1983 July 31 Dale Earnhardt 15 Wrangler Ford Script error: No such module "convert". 4 cl
1984 May 6 Cale Yarborough (2) 28 Hardee’s Chevrolet Script error: No such module "convert". 2 cl
1984 July 29 Dale Earnhardt (2) 3 Wrangler Chevrolet Script error: No such module "convert". 1.66 sec
1985 May 5 Bill Elliott 9 Coors Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 1.72 sec
1985 July 28 Cale Yarborough (3) 28 Hardee’s Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 0.66 sec
1986 May 4 Bobby Allison (4) 22 Miller American Buick Regal Script error: No such module "convert". 0.19 sec
1986 July 27 Bobby Hillin, Jr 8 Miller American Buick Regal Script error: No such module "convert". 3 cl
1987 May 3 Davey Allison 28 Texaco Havoline Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 0.78 sec
1987 July 26 Bill Elliott (2) 9 Coors Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 0.15 sec
1988 May 1 Phil Parsons 55 Crown Petroleum / Skoal Classic Oldsmobile Cutlass Script error: No such module "convert". 0.21 sec
1988 July 31 Ken Schrader 25 Folgers Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 2 cl
1989 May 7 Davey Allison (2) 28 Texaco Havoline Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 2 cl
1989 July 30 Terry Labonte 11 Budweiser Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 0.2 sec
1990 May 6 Dale Earnhardt (3) 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Lumina Script error: No such module "convert". 2 cl
1990 July 29 Dale Earnhardt (4) 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Lumina Script error: No such module "convert". 0.26 sec
1991 May 6 Harry Gant 33 Skoal Bandit Oldsmobile Cutlass Script error: No such module "convert". 11 sec
1991 July 28 Dale Earnhardt (5) 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Lumina Script error: No such module "convert". 1.5 cl
1992 May 3 Davey Allison (3) 28 Texaco Havoline Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 2 cl
1992 July 26 Ernie Irvan 4 Kodak Film Chevrolet Lumina Script error: No such module "convert". 0.19 sec
1993 May 2 Ernie Irvan (2) 4 Kodak Film Chevrolet Lumina Script error: No such module "convert". 2 cl
1993 July 25 Dale Earnhardt (6) 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Lumina Script error: No such module "convert". 0.005 sec
1994 May 1 Dale Earnhardt (7) 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Lumina Script error: No such module "convert". 0.06 sec
1994 July 24 Jimmy Spencer 27 McDonald’s Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 0.025 sec
1995 April 30 Mark Martin 6 Valvoline Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 0.18 sec
1995 July 23 Sterling Marlin 4 Kodak Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.05 sec
1996 April 28 Sterling Marlin (2) 4 Kodak Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.22 sec
1996 July 28 Jeff Gordon 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.146 sec
1997 May 10 Mark Martin (2) 6 Valvoline Ford Thunderbird Script error: No such module "convert". 0.146 sec
1997 October 12 Terry Labonte (2) 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.146 sec
1998 April 26 Bobby Labonte 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix Script error: No such module "convert". 0.167 sec
1998 October 11 Dale Jarrett 88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford Taurus Script error: No such module "convert". 0.14 sec
1999 April 25 Dale Earnhardt (8) 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.137 sec
1999 October 17 Dale Earnhardt (9) 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.114 sec
2000 April 16 Jeff Gordon (2) 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.189 sec
2000 October 15 Dale Earnhardt (10) 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.119 sec
2001 April 22 Bobby Hamilton 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.163 sec
2001 October 21 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.388 sec
2002 April 21 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (2) 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.060 sec
2002 October 6 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (3) 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.118 sec
2003 April 6 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (4) 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.125 sec
2003 September 28 Michael Waltrip 15 NAPA Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.095 sec
2004 April 25 Jeff Gordon (3) 24 DuPont/Pepsi Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". UC
2004 October 3 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (5) 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.117 sec
2005 May 1 Jeff Gordon (4) 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.193 sec/GWC
2005 October 2 Dale Jarrett (2) 88 UPS Ford Taurus Script error: No such module "convert". UC/GWC
2006 May 1 Jimmie Johnson 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". 0.120 sec
2006 October 8 Brian Vickers 25 GMAC Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". UC
2007 April 29 Jeff Gordon (5) 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo Script error: No such module "convert". UC/GWC
2007 October 7 Jeff Gordon (6) 24 Pepsi Chevrolet Impala SS Script error: No such module "convert". 0.066
2008 April 27 Kyle Busch 18 M&M's Toyota Camry Script error: No such module "convert". UC
2008 October 5 Tony Stewart 20 Home Depot / Subway Toyota Camry Script error: No such module "convert". 0.052 sec / GWC
2009 April 26 Brad Keselowski 09 Miccosukee Chevrolet Impala SS Script error: No such module "convert". 0.175 sec
2009 November 1 Jamie McMurray 26 Irwin Industrial Tools Ford Fusion Script error: No such module "convert". UC/GWC
2010 April 25 Kevin Harvick 29 Shell / Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala Script error: No such module "convert". 0.011 sec / GWC
2010 October 31 Clint Bowyer 33 BB&T Chevrolet Impala Script error: No such module "convert". UC
2011 April 17 Jimmie Johnson (2) 48 Lowe's Chevrolet Impala Script error: No such module "convert". 0.002 sec
2011 October 23 Clint Bowyer (2) 33 Chevy 100 Year Anniversary Chevrolet Impala Script error: No such module "convert". 0.018 sec
2012 May 6 Brad Keselowski (2) 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger Script error: No such module "convert". 0.304 sec
2012 October 7 Matt Kenseth 17 Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion Script error: No such module "convert". UC/GWC
2013 May 5 David Ragan 34 Farm Rich Ford Fusion Script error: No such module "convert". 0.212 sec / GWC
2013 October 20 Jamie McMurray (2) 1 Cessna Chevrolet SS Script error: No such module "convert". UC
2014 May 4 Denny Hamlin 11 FedEx Toyota Camry Script error: No such module "convert". UC
2014 October 19 Brad Keselowski (3) 2 Redd's Wicked Apple Ale Ford Fusion Script error: No such module "convert". 0.141 sec / GWC
2015 May 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (6) 88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet SS Script error: No such module "convert". 0.158 sec

Notes:

  • 2008 AMP Energy 500: Regan Smith (#01 The Principal Financial Group Chevrolet Impala SS) crossed the start/finish line first, but was penalized for passing Tony Stewart below the yellow line to prevent contact with Stewart; thus was sent to the tail end of the lead lap.[15] Margin of victory is related to official second-place finisher Paul Menard.
  • 2009 Aaron's 499: The caution waved and race scoring stopped after the top three drivers had crossed the finish line. An official margin of victory was scored before the caution was given.
  • Starting in 1993, timing has been scored by electronic sensors.
  • 2013 Aaron's 499: Race halted on lap 126 for three and a half hours due to rain.

Current races

The circuit's infield also hosts the Birmingham Ultimate Disc Association Mud Bowl tournament in the winter.

Records

  • 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.
  • May 6, 1984: The Winston 500 set a motorsports 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) with a top speed over 350 km/h (over 219 mph) the car was complying with NASCAR rules.
  • 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.
File:Bill Elliott 200 mph.jpg
Bill Elliott's car that set the record for the fastest qualifying speed in a stock car – 212.809 mph (342.483 km/h)
File:Lynstjamescar.jpg
Lyn St. James' female closed circuit speed record car
  • 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 Talladega.
  • 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.
  • October 15, 2000: Dale Earnhardt sets a record for the most wins at the track, 10. This was also his 76th and final win before his death at the 2001 Daytona 500.
  • April 6, 2003: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won his fourth consecutive Sprint Cup race at Talladega. The race also saw NASCAR's largest Sprint Cup wreck to date, when 27 cars piled up in turn 1 on lap 4.
  • June 10, 2004: Rusty Wallace tests a stock car without a restrictor plate for series sponsor Nextel to test communication capabilities, gets an overall lap time of 44.27 seconds (216.309 mph), beating Elliott's old record by more than seven-tenths of a second.[11]
  • April 25, 2010: The Aaron's 499 broke the 1984 mark of 75 lead changes with 88; it also set a new motorsports record with 29 different leaders.
  • October 7, 2012: A melee involving 25 cars erupted on the final lap when Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth were battling for the win; Stewart chopped into Michael Waltrip and shot up the track in Turn Four; he flipped over as the field plowed into a suddenly blocked track. Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch escaped the crash as Kenseth took the win.[17] The race lead changed a season-high 54 times.

First-time winners

A large number of drivers won the first race of their careers at Talladega. As of May 5, 2013, 10 drivers have won their first race at Talladega.

  • * As of 2014, this is/was their only career win in the series.

Racing schools

Film & television

References

  1. ^ a b "Track Location". Talladega Superspeedway. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "Track Facts". Talladega Superspeedway. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Utter, Jim (27 November 2013). "Talladega Superspeedway to reduce seating to 80,000". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "History". Talladega Superspeedway. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Talladega Superspeedway. na-motorsports.com. April 24, 2006. ISBN 0-7368-4379-5. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  6. ^ "Talladega – List of Races". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "2006 Reconfiguration". USA Today. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Allison Grandstand being removed as part of Talladega Superspeedway renovation". AL.com. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "NASCAR grandstands continue to shrink". Autoweek. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Talladega renames backstretch after NASCAR’s famed "Alabama Gang"". NBCSports. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  11. ^ a b http://www.nascar.com/2004/news/headlines/cup/06/10/rwallace_talladega/index.html Accessed July 4, 2007.
  12. ^ a b c "They're hearing voices at Talladega". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  13. ^ http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/focus.php?db=ct&n=2953
  14. ^ "Bob Loga fatally injured". http://www.motorsport.com/arca/news/bob-loga-fatally-injured/. 27 April 1996. 
  15. ^ Ryan, Nate (October 6, 2008). "Stewart breaks through, holds off Smith at Talladega". USA Today. 
  16. ^ "GEICO’s Partnership Grows with Talladega Superspeedway - "GEICO 500" Fall Classic Sprint Cup Series Race Set for Oct. 19". Talladega Superspeedway. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "NASCAR Talladega: Matt Kenseth wins; massive crash on final lap". 

Further reading

  • Bolton, Mike and Jim Nunn (October 7, 2006) "Talladega doesn't measure up." Birmingham News. – Updates previously published track dimensions with new measurements taken during 2006 repaving.
  • Fielden, Greg. NASCAR Chronicle. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, Ltd., 2004.

External links