The Talladega Superspeedway is located about forty miles east of Birmingham, Alabama in the city of Talladega. The track is situated on Speedway Boulevard, which runs parallel to the interstate. The track is shaped as a tri-oval and is 2.66 miles. The turns are pretty steep and are banked at 33 degrees. Adjacent to the track is the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and museum. Here you can browse through the hall of fame and also see racing memorabilia. There are also several cars on display that have been involved in wrecks. Inside the museum area there is a room dedicated solely to racing great Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
The infield at Talladega is an area comprised of 212 acres. Staying in the infield is quite an experience. The area is divided up into several different sections, depending on how you are staying. There are areas for people with tents and separate areas for people with campers and RVs. Inside the infield there are buildings with restrooms and sinks as well as shower buildings. They are kept clean and it is nice not having to use a port-a-potty.
A trip to the infield of Talladega Superspeedway can be summed up in one word – PARTY. Although, there is a noise curfew that goes into affect at midnight, though it is loosely monitored. People grill all kinds of foods and drink all kinds of beverages, mostly alcoholic. One stretch of the infield is home to most of the partying. This section has camper after camper. Most of them are decorated to match the favorite driver of the owners. At night it turns into Mardis Gras. People are walking up and down throwing beads and playing drinking games. Even if you don’t participate it is a sight to see.
My most recent trip to Talladega Superspeedway was September 30, 2006 to October 3, 2006. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race was on Sunday, October 2nd. Dale Jarrett in the UPS Ford won the race. It was an exciting race that included fifty lead changes. Rusty Wallace drove in the race, and because it was his last full season of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing, the Alabama Governor, Bob Riley, proclaimed it “Rusty Wallace Day”. Bo Bice was also on had to sing the National Anthem.
Once the race was over, spectators flocked to the parking lot in order to wait in bumper to bumper traffic to leave the track. Those of us who stayed in the infield had a short trip to go back to grill and have fun. Some spectators stayed in the infield during the race to watch from their campsites. Either way, it was nice not having to wait in the traffic to get out. More partying was done, and everyone left by the following morning at 10am.
If you are going to Talladega Superspeedway, stay in the infield. You don’t have to drive back and forth from the track to a hotel, and you avoid a lot of post race traffic. Plus, you are guaranteed to have a good time.