Talladega Superspeedway was the biggest, fastest track on the NASCAR circuit when it opened its gates in 1969 as the Alabama International Motor Speedway. In fact, many drivers thought it was too fast, questioning its rough racing surface and whether contemporary tires could withstand the speeds.
As a result, some of the top drivers boycotted the inaugural running of the Talladega 500. Speeds at the track again became a concern in 1987 when Bill Elliott set the NASCAR record for the fastest qualifying lap at more than 212 mph. The following year, NASCAR mandated that cars run restrictor plates at Talladega and Daytona to reduce speeds to a safer level, and no driver has since threatened the record.
Over the years, the speedway has hosted the Talladega 500 (1969-1987), the Winston 500 (1971-1993), and the Diehard 500 (1990-2000). Two races were run in 2006: the Aaron's 499 and the UAW-Ford 500.
Talladega Superspeedway Visitor Information
Talladega Superspeedway contact information: Talladega Superspeedway. 3366 Speedway Blvd., Talladega, AL (35160). Phone toll-free 877/Go2-DEGA (462-3342). www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.
Talladega Superspeedway security: One soft-sided cooler or insulated bag, 6 x 6 x 12 inches or smaller, is allowed per ticket holder. One clear plastic bag, 18 x 18 x 4 inches, is also allowed. Food and beverages are allowed; no glass containers. Binoculars, radio scanners and cameras with neck straps and belt clips, and seat cushions are allowed. Prepare to be searched.
Talladega Superspeedway parking: Day parking is free. During race week, day parking lots open at 7 a.m. (Thurs-Fri), 5 a.m. (Sat-Sun). Lots must be cleared out before dark; overnight parking in North Park, West Park C, and Family Park. For information on parking packages for RVs and other vehicles, phone the ticket office, toll-free 877/Go2-DEGA (462-3342).
Talladega Superspeedway first aid: There are seven first-aid stations around the track area: at entrance plazas 4 and 8; two behind Allison Grandstand; one near North campground; one near West Park C, and one next to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Garage. Citizens Baptist Medical Center (604 Stone Ave., phone 256/362-8111) is about 15 miles from the track.
Talladega Superspeedway concessions: Stands are located throughout the grandstands on the front stretch and backstretch. While you’ll find souvenirs at the north end of the front stretch, Talladega old-timers will tell you to buy your heart out on Souvenir Row, where semi-trucks dedicated to individual drivers line the parking lot.