Talladega Superspeedway Races
#8 4/17/11 Aaron's 499 1:00PM FOX
2010 Winner: Kevin Harvick
#32 10/23/11 Talladega 500 2:00PM ESPN
2010 Winner Clint Bowyer
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Talladega - The History
The Talladega Superspeedway was originally known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway when it was first opened in 1969. It has become synonymous with the history of NASCAR.
The result of a simple conversation between race driver Bill Ward and Bill France, who was the founder of NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation, the Talladega Superspeedway became a reality thanks to the world-famous
Daytona International Speedway
(Talladega was commissioned after the two men had a conversation at the famous oval).
Since then, the Talladega Superspeedway has been responsible for some of the biggest incidents in NASCAR, from records being set to some of the biggest crashes in NASCAR.
Just a look at some of the stories behind Talladega and you can see why this racetrack holds such a special place in the hearts of NASCAR fans everywhere.
Recent Aaron's 499 Winners
2010 Kevin Harvick
2009 Brad Keselowski
2008 Kyle Busch
2007 Jeff Gordon
2006 Jimmie Johnson
Recent Talladega 500 Winners
2010 Clint Bowyer
2009 Jamie McMurray
2008 Tony Stewart
2007 Jeff Gordon
2006 Brian Vickers
Talladega – The Track
One of the reasons that the track holds such a lofty position with NASCAR fans is for the very same reason they love the sport – it’s larger than life and grabs your attention with the sheer spectacle it offers.
From its early beginnings in 1969, the Talladega Superspeedway has grown into one of the largest and fastest of all racetracks worldwide.
For example, attendance figures alone constantly manage to outshine pretty much anywhere else – hardly surprising when you take into account the track’s ability to house over 143,000 spectators in its grandstands, and even more on the field located inside the speedway.
Add to that the 2,000 acres that the speedway ground takes up, and you can see why it calls itself “the biggest, fastest, most competitive sports facility in the world”.
The course itself is a trioval design, with an overall length of 2.66 miles. With the turns banked at 33 degrees, and the trioval banked at an angle of 18 degrees, you can see why so many records have been set here for speed.
Add to that the combination of a 48- foot wide track itself, along with a front stretch of 4,300 feet and a backstretch just under at 4,000 feet, and the Talladega Superspeedway is a speed demon’s dream.
Talladega – The Records
With the design and distance of the track set up for speed, it’s perhaps not surprising that so many records have been set at this wonderful track, and continue to do so today.
Yet it’s not just the speed that has NASCAR fans singing the praises of the Talladega Superspeedway, although that’s certainly one of its attractions.
The racetrack is so beloved due to the fact that it is the most competitive racetrack in the NASCAR series.
For instance, in the 1984 race, the fans were treated to no fewer than 75 lead changes during the race, a record that still stands today.
Not only that, but two years later, it was also home of the most leaders overall in a NASCAR Cup Series race, with no fewer than 26 leaders.
If that’s not impressive enough, that latter feat was repeated again on April 22 2001, when the record for most leaders was equaled. Not bad for a track that started off as a pipe dream between two race lovers.
Talladega – The Racer’s Track
Yet perhaps the real reason for the Talladega Superspeedway’s place in NASCAR folklore is the sheer racing excitement the track can provide. This is perhaps best summed up by the events of the 1981 Diehard 500 at the track.
Still recognized today as one of the closest finishes of all time, Ron Bouchard took the checkered flag by no more than a single foot in length.
If this wasn’t exciting enough, the second-place car, driven by Darrell Waltrip, finished the same distance ahead of the third-place driver Terry Labonte.
What makes this victory even more special is that Bouchard actually lay in third place with a mere 500 yards to go.
Bouchard might not have won this race if it was at any other track because Talladega's start/finish line is not in the middle of the trioval like most tracks, its closer to turn 1 giving drivers more distance to win or LOSE the race.
By sling-shotting around the two cars at the end, Bouchard won the race (the only win of his career).
Size; speed; excitement - the Talladega Superspeedway has it all, and with its place already secure in the hearts of NASCAR fans both old and new, it can only continue to grow in both stature and reputation as THE racetrack of NASCAR.
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