Wednesday, February 14, 2024

This Is Talladega


Depending on how long you've read this blog or how well you know me will determine whether you're aware that I abhor all things sports-related.  I'm not a fan of any sport of any kind.  Sadly, I've absorbed information about sports in my life and know more than I wish I did about several kinds, but if I had to rank the ones I care about (like if a gun were being held to my head), I'd have to say NASCAR would be at the very bottom of the list. I'd watch dwarf tossing before a NASCAR race.

But, it was Valentine's Day and we were in Alabama, and my beloved (seen below) wanted to tour the Talladega race track.  How could I say no to that face?
The Talladega Superspeedway, formerly known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway, is the fastest and longest NASCAR oval track in the United States.

Its main grandstand can hold 80,000 spectators and if you figure in the areas where people camp and set up RVs for race weekends, the total capacity of the speedway rises to somewhere around 175,000 spectators. 

That's a whole lotta redneck energy.

This is the media booth at the Speedway.  Our guide told us that the window there on the right is where FOX and CBS broadcast from.

Seats in the grandstand range from $60 to $185, with the higher seats costing more. The RV spots located on the infield of the track can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars for a race weekend.  There are even more RV spots on the far east side of the track with plenty of space for fans to gather.

Our guide told us that Talladega hosts only two NASCAR race weekends a year.  The rest of the time, the track sits empty except for a few small events hosted throughout the year.  And the money they make from those two events in ticket sales isn't what sustains them - it's the contracts with the media companies that make them any money.

Talladega holds the record for the fastest recorded speed by a NASCAR vehicle on a closed oval course.  That speed was 216.309 mph set by Rusty Wallace in 2004.  He circled the 2.66-mile track in 44.270 seconds.  But, because the record was a radio test and not a NASCAR-sponsored event, the official record of 212.809 mph set by Bill Elliott in 1987 is the one that stands.  Speeds today hover around 200 mph, even though track officials prefer the cars to race a little slower than that citing safety concerns.  

I can't say it was the most romantic way to spend Valentine's Day (although, I did get roses, candy, a beautiful card, a dinner out, and quality time with my handsome husband), but it was something to do on a day off and we have vowed in 2024 to take advantage of as many things as we can when we're on the road with extra time on our hands. 

The interior of the Talladega visitor's center houses the ticket office and gift shop.

It definitely wasn't a bucket list item, but now I can say I've been to Talladega and hopefully, I'll never have to go back.

And let's remember some words of wisdom that work equally well in NASCAR and life, gifted to us by Ricky Bobby himself...

"If you ain't first, you're last." 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2023: Sorry, no post on this day.
2022: Sorry, no post on this day.
2021: Sorry, no post on this day.
2020: Sorry, no post on this day.
2019: Be Anything, But Be Mine
2018: Comfortable Love

2017: I Heart Cats
2016: Sweet And Undefinable
2015: Grand And Important
2014: Winter Is A Table Set With Ice And Starlight
2013: The Romance Of The Road
2012: Celebrate With A Wild Desire
2011: Powerful Stuff
2010: Falling In Love With Ugly 
2009: A Love Like This Can Know No Death 
2008: Peace To This House
2007: The Sultan Of Love 
2006: It’s Even Better Than Arbor Day
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

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