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McDonald’s Partners with Talladega Superspeedway for the Saturday Night Infield Concert on Oct. 12, Featuring Alabama Natives Riley Green & Tyler Braden04 Oct 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
Talladega Superspeedway announced today that McDonald’s will serve as the presenting sponsor of the traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert (Oct. 12) featuring Alabama’s own Riley Green and Tyler Braden, part of the track’s upcoming NASCAR Playoffs weekend. McDonald’s will also sponsor the Big One LIVE Music on Friday evening with country artist and singer-songwriter, Tim Dugger.
The Saturday Night Infield Concert presented by McDonald’s will have a full Alabama flavor, kicking off after the running of the Sugarlands Shine 250 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoff event and Foodland/Food Giant Qualifying for the 1000Bulbs.com 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Opening act Braden, born and raised in Slapout, AL, has a powerful voice and knack for writing emotional songs, and signed with 50egg Music with Luke Combs and Jonathan Singleton. He will get the crowd going at 7 p.m. CDT, while headliner and country music artist Green from Jacksonville, AL, will take the stage at 9 p.m. CDT.
Access to the Saturday Night Infield Concert, located at the intersection of Eastaboga and Talladega Blvds., is FREE to all infield guests and anyone who purchases a ticket to the Sunday, Oct.13, 1000Bulbs.com 500.
The party gets started the day before with the Big One LIVE Music presented by McDonald's on Friday Oct. 11, featuring NASCAR fan-favorite and another native of Alabama, Dugger. No stranger to the iconic 2.66-mile infield, the well-known singer will treat fans to live music at the end of Talladega Blvd. in the 5-points area (approx. 8:30 p.m. CDT) immediately following the always entertaining “Big One on the Blvd.” driver parade & fan competitions. Throughout the evening, fans can quench their thirst with MillerCoors, Sugarlands Shine and Tito’s Handmade Vodka mixed drinks at the Talladega Boulevard 5-points location.
Fans can also visit the McDonald’s activation in The Midway presented by Graybar (exhibit area outside the track’s frontstretch) throughout the entire race weekend for a chance to grab free Spicy BBQ Glazed Tenders and World Famous Fries, along with an opportunity to win VIP passes for the Saturday Night Infield Concert presented by McDonald’s.
For more information about the Saturday Night Infield Concert and the Big One LIVE Music, both presented by McDonald's, as well as the 1000Bulbs.com 500, Sugarlands Shine 250 and all other race weekend activities, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 855-518-RACE (7223).
Talladega Superspeedway is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year along with Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project presented by Graybar. Phase II of the project featuring the one-of-a-kind Talladega Garage Experience, which will allow fans to be immersed into the sport of NASCAR like never before, is set for its debut during the NASCAR Playoffs weekend. Fans can learn more about the project and view the progress 24/7 via the construction cam by visiting www.talladegasuperspeedway.
With the recently completed regular season, Mahoning Valley Speedway is now priming for the ¼-mile paved oval’s biggest event of the year, Octoberfast 2019.
This will mark the 8th annual Octoberfast which takes place on Saturday, October 12. Race time is 4:00 pm.
The Modifieds lead the list of classes with a big 150-lap, $5000-to-win feature. Since the event began in 2012 Matt Hirschman has become the ruler, winning the first two and again last year.
The Modified portion of Octoberfast always draws a great list of talent. Zane Zeiner, Roger Coss, Kyle Strohl and Bobby Jones have also taken the coveted top prize while fending off a bevy of top notch competition from start to finish, a now customary trademark with this extra distance feature.
Also in action will be the Late Models with a 60-lap/$1500-to-win main. Street Stocks are racing for $1200-to-win over a 75 lap distance. The Hobby Stocks will be going for a $500 first place payout contested in 50 laps and the All Star Slingshots and Junior Slingshots are competing in a nation tour event.
Each of the aforementioned divisions have provided amazing racing just as good as the Modifieds.
Pit gates will open at 10:00 am. There will be early paid practice ($25) from 11:30 – 2:00.
Regular warmups start at 2:30.
Pit entrance is $50 per person. Modified entry fee $100. Late Model entry fee $70. Street Stock entry fee $60. Hobby Stock entry fee is $30. All-Star Slingshot entry fee is $25. Jr. Slingshot entry fee is $15. Driver sign-ins take place from 1:00 – 2:15 pm. Heats get underway at 4:00 pm.
The running order (subject to change) will be Jr. Slingshots, All Star Slingshots, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Modifieds, and Late Models. There will be a draw for heat starting spots and redraw for features. Number of redraw TBD per class.
Grandstands will open at 2:00 pm. Adult admission is $25, $2 off for students, seniors 65+ and active military (must show positive I.D.) Children under 10 are free.
Octoberfast rain date is Saturday, October 19.
The 2019 season will close on Sunday afternoon, October 20 with the first ever Mahoning Valley Speedway Small Car Nationals. All feature events will be challenged with 4-cylinder of less size power-plants.
The line-up will include an Open Comp Hobby Stock/Pro 4 feature, Small Car Enduro, East Coast TQ Midgets and for the first time at Mahoning Junk Car races.
Grandstand general admission for the Mahoning Valley Speedway Small Car Nationals is just $7 and $25 for the pits.
Please log onto the official Mahoning Valley Speedway website at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway for updated info. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.
It was only fitting that Buddy Baker, who at 6 feet 6 inches tall was a giant of a man, would have success at NASCAR’s biggest, baddest track – Talladega Superspeedway.
Baker, known for his lead foot and running a car as hard as it could go, made his ’Dega debut in NASCAR’s premier series in 1970. He would pull off a sweep of victories in 1975 with car owner Bud Moore in the famous No. 15, then come back in spring of ’76 with yet another triumph. His fourth and final win at Talladega came in 1980, driving the No. 28 “Gray Ghost” for car owner Harry Ranier. Toss in 15 top-five finishes – six of which were runner-up results - he truly was one of the best in the business at Talladega.
As the track, once known as Alabama International Motor Speedway, we look back to the thoughts of Baker, who passed away in 2015, on how to tackle the 2.66-mile venue. The following are excerpts and a graphic from a first-person story written by Baker that appeared in the 1970 summer Talladega souvenir program. Enjoy.
By Buddy Baker
Race tracks are a one-way street, and there’s only one way-one particular course-which is the fastest way around.
That’s what practice is all about. You drive that track, again and again, looking for that one fast way ’round. That means being high some places and driving low at others. You experiment a lot, and each driver develops his own line.
Those who qualify fastest not only have the faster cars, but they have found the best line. If I didn’t have a good line at Talladega, I’d never have made those over 200-mph runs.
The main effort is to make as straight a delivery into the corner as possible. But let’s make a trip around the steepest banked (33 degrees) track in America … and the fastest track in the world. Come along.
Coming into the dogleg (Graphic A), you try to go as straight as possible. You stay near to the wall … as close as possible. The wind is usually crosswise, and on-the-wall is the only place to be.
Running close to the wall is safer. If anything happens, you hit the wall flat. You don’t build up momentum and then hit. I’ve been in a few walls, and catching them flat is the only way to go.
When I see my corner angle (B) I cut for it. I go as low as possible (C) because this is the quickest way. Also, you’re coming off the bank, going downhill here. And at Talladega, the bank in the turn is the same all the way up to the rail.
There are a series of bumps (D), and it’s very choppy in the second and third grooves. That’s another reason for staying low. If you scuff a tire at 200 mph, you cut at least a tenth of a second off of your speed.
You start letting the car (E) free out to the top of the race track, then tuck up over by the wall (F) on the other side of Turn 2.
Now we’re set for the backstretch. I put my shoulder against the door (G), hold my left arm stiff, and get a straight line down the backstretch. I want the straightest line possible.
If I wander, I lose time. Most fans don’t realize that. They don’t realize how much time you lose when you come off your line to pass another car.
As I go down the back straight (H to I), I check all the gauges. You’ve had the biggest load on the car through the turn there, and you want to see just how things are going. You want to know that everything is all OK.
Then I check the oil pressure about 50 yards or so (J) before I go into the corner-but on the backstretch you check every gauge.
The perfect lap is the only way you can catch up. A caution flag may bunch up the field, or you may be able to luck out when you go through traffic, but the surest way to close ground is to turn that perfect lap. And then you hope the guy ahead got messed up somewhere. If he didn’t just pray for a caution, or hope that your pit stop will be better than his.
Hope to see you at Talladega. Look for me in Cotton Owens red Daytona with the big orange No. 6. With a little bit of luck, maybe I’ll win it this time. Sure hope so.
In the third NASCAR premier series race held at Talladega Superspeedway, Baker would finish fifth behind winner Pete Hamilton.
The tradition continues at the Palace of Speed with the Sugarlands Shine 250 for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series on Saturday, Oct. 12, and the 1000Bulbs.com 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, Oct. 13 – both crucial NASCAR Playoff events.
In addition, the track will debut the new Talladega Garage Experience, the major part of the Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar where fans will be immersed into the sport of NASCAR and the sanctioning body’s Most Competitive venue like never before. For ticket information and to learn more about the Talladega Garage Experience and all ticket questions for the upcoming weekend, log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 855-518-RACE (7223).
Ally Financial Selected as Presenting Sponsor for New Infield Beach Experience at Homestead-Miami Speedway03 Oct 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
Fans coming to the infield at Homestead-Miami Speedway will soon enjoy the same beach amenities they would get visiting South Beach, thanks to Homestead-Miami Speedway and new presenting sponsor Ally Financial. Homestead-Miami Speedway and Ally have teamed up to offer the first-ever motorsports infield beach party. Access passes for The Infield Party at the Ally Beach are available to the public now.
The Infield Party at the Ally Beach, which is open to guests 18 and over, will debut during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race on Sunday, November 17.
The Ally Beach is the first ticketed beach area in motorsports and is the first of its kind across all sporting venues throughout the country. The 20,000 square-foot beach is located in the Speedway’s infield, inside of Turn 3, and sits on the spring-fed, 7-acre lake that spans the width of the backstretch.
Limited space is available for The Infield Party at the Ally Beach. Access passes start at $40 and guests will be treated to a one-of-a-kind experience that includes:
- Live entertainment including music by Miami’s #1 hit music station, Y100, and an appearance by Miami’s own DJ Irie, who will once again be performing on the front stretch stage prior to Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 MENCS championship race
- Beach and water activities such as kayaks, paddle boards and much more
- Unique food and beverage options
“This is a special opportunity to have Ally join us to bring a piece of the Miami culture to Homestead-Miami Speedway” said President Al Garcia. “The Infield Party at the Ally Beach will be one of the most exciting areas during Ford Championship Weekend and is sure to be a thrilling experience for everyone in attendance.”
“We’re delighted to join Homestead-Miami Speedway to bring this incredible beach experience to life for race fans,” said Andrea Brimmer, Ally’s Chief Marketing and PR Officer. “As a digital disruptor in financial services, we’re always looking for new and fun ways to deliver meaningful and innovative experiences for our customers and communities. The Ally Beach will be a one-of-a-kind venue in motorsports, and another great example of our relentless commitment to ‘Do It Right’.”
Tickets for 2019 Ford Championship Weekend, which consists of the Ford EcoBoost 200 (NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship race), Ford EcoBoost 300 (NASCAR XFINITY Series championship race) and Ford EcoBoost 400 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship race), are now available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.
Dover International Speedway’s new NASCAR Cup Series garage ready for competitors for Oct. 4-6 weekend03 Oct 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
Dover International Speedway’s new NASCAR Cup Series garage is complete and ready for teams and haulers for this week’s NASCAR tripleheader weekend as the Monster Mile completes its 50th Anniversary season and hosts its 100th NASCAR Cup Series race.
The new garage is located between Turns 1 and 2 in the infield, a shift from its previous spot closer to Turn 1. The garage includes an Allied Steel Building, the official and exclusive steel buildings of Dover International Speedway. Raynor Garage Doors, the preferred garage door of Dover International Speedway, provided the garage doors for the project.
Some highlights and features of the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage include:
- Expanded square footage in building: 28 percent increase
- Includes 44 large garage bays (15-foot by 30-foot) with individual garage doors for cars and teams
- Larger garage area footprint: 22 percent increase. Existing guardrail facing Turns 1 and 2 were removed, along with grass areas on the inside of the turns. The area inside the apron is now fully paved, with SAFER barriers covering the entire length of the inside walls of Turns 1 and 2.
- Cost: $5.5 million
- Design: Becker-Morgan Architects out of Dover, Del.
- Contractor: Kent Construction out of Smyrna, Del.
Work began on the project on Tuesday, May 7, immediately after Dover’s spring NASCAR weekend. This weekend, the garage will host drivers and teams competing in Sunday’s “Drydene 400” Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
“The expanded NASCAR Cup Series Garage is simply a tremendous new asset for our track,” said Mike Tatoian, Dover International Speedway’s president and CEO. “We have literally maximized the space that the area will allow. It certainly continues to show our commitment to continually make improvements both for the teams and our fans.”
Last week, track officials buried a time capsule on the east end of the garage. It includes mementos from Dover’s history, which dates to its inaugural event on July 6, 1969.
Items inside the capsule, which was signed by all full-time Dover International Speedway employees, include:
- A replica gold Monster Trophy
- Letters by NASCAR chairman and CEO Jim France and Dover Motorsports, Inc. President & CEO Denis McGlynn
- A USB drive that includes Dover’s 50th Anniversary historical video, highlights from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a 2019 Dover TV commercial.
- An NBC Sports hat and T-shirt signed by some of its on-air talent, including Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Rick Allen, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Burton, Krista Voda, Parker Kligerman, Kyle Petty, Kelli Stavast and Ray Evernham.
- Two photos of NASCAR on FOX on-air crews - one from February 2002 (Darrell Waltrip, Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, Dick Berggren, Jeff Hammond, Matt Yocum and Steve Byrnes) and one from 2019 featuring Jeff Gordon, Joy, Larry McReynolds and Waltrip.
- Three hats from the Motor Racing Network, which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019.
- Proclamations from Delaware’s Governor’s Office, House of Representatives and State Senate.
A plaque on top of the buried capsule requests future generations open the vault in 50 years, during Dover’s expected 100th Anniversary celebration in 2069.
The NASCAR tripleheader weekend also includes the “Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and the “General Tire 125” NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season finale on Friday.
In addition to the iconic gold Monster trophies given to the race winners, fans can also enjoy free Harlem Globetrotters performances (Sunday), the Budweiser Clydesdales (all weekend), a free Grand Funk Railroad concert on the Xfinity Stage at Victory Plaza (Sunday), Micro Wrestling Federation matches (Saturday and Sunday), a Winston Cup Mobile Museum display (all weekend), Monster Energy “Smoke Show” (Saturday and Sunday), and much more in Dover’s 8-acre FanZone.
For tickets or more information on Monster Mile events and 50th Anniversary activities, call (800) 441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com. You can also keep up with track activities at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile.
Dover Motorsports PR
Mixing it up! Alabama’s Grant Enfinger, with a Splash of Tennessee’s Moonshiners – Mark & Digger – Show Their Spirit at Talladega Superspeedway02 Oct 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
With the culmination of the Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar in clear sight and set to debut Oct. 11-13, Talladega Superspeedway played host Wednesday to a fellow Alabamian – Grant Enfinger – along with a twist from Tennessee, the Moonshiners Mark & Digger, leaving the trio in amazement of what fans are going to see next week during the track’s NASCAR Playoffs doubleheader.
“Absolutely incredible,” quipped Enfinger, from Fairhope, AL, who will be a favorite in the Saturday, Oct. 12, Sugarlands Shine 250, of the new Talladega Garage Experience. “Just super fan-friendly. I mean you are right there, you’re right at the garage bays. You see the Cup guys up close and personal. They will be working on the car only a few feet away from you. It’s great for the entire family. It has incredible seating and I can bet they will be selling some moonshine in there. It’s an iconic facility that has stepped up its game."
“I have one word to describe the whole Garage Experience - Insane! It’s just absolutely beautiful,” joked Mark Ramsey, AKA “Mark” of the hit TV show Moonshiners, and representative of Sugarlands Shine. “The fans are going to love it, being so close to the drivers. It’s tremendous. Digger and I have gone in the direction of making Talladega our home track. We have been treated so kind down here and we want to return the favor. So, if fans see us here in Talladega next weekend for the Sugarlands Shine 250, come and hug our neck and have a drink at the Sugarlands Bar in BIG BILL’S.”
Enfinger, the 2019 regular season series champion, who was eliminated from playoff competition after a blown motor at Las Vegas a few weeks back, is a former winner of the Sugarlands Shine 250, in 2016, for his first career triumph in the Gander Truck Series. A win, especially after the disappointment of an early exit to his title run, would be extra special.
“Talladega is obviously a home track for me, and this place is honestly what got the fire burning for me as a kid,” admitted Enfinger. “Dad and I would come up here every year. He’d normally get a charter bus, and get a good 30 or 40 good old southern guys from Alabama, and that’s what started the fire for me as a race fan. For it to be able to come full circle, and for me to be able to come back and compete for another checkered flag, is just a dream come true for me. A win would help make amends for our bad luck to start the playoffs.”
After a tour of the entire Talladega Garage Experience that will feature unparalleled access, FREE Wi-Fi and incredible $4 or less Value-Priced Concessions, the trio were a part of three activities that included boarding a tram for a tour of the track’s new four tram routes, three of which will get fans to and from the outside of the track to the drop-off location in front of the Talladega Garage Experience entry.
Afterward, it was time to try their hand at creating their own specialty mixed drink at the 74-foot Sugarlands Shine Bar using Sugarlands Shine as well as a host of fruit and Coca-Cola products. The judges were none other than 1960 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Rex White, along with Senior Superintendent Gary Merriman from Hoar Construction, who has spear-headed the project.
Enfinger then assisted the construction crew by hanging one of the giant photos inside BIG BILL’S, which also includes a 41-foot diagonal video screen, as well as the two garages that house the top 22 drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship standings.
Prior to getting to the track, Enfinger stopped by Moody Junior High School to visit with students who will be a part of the “Driving STEM at Talladega Superspeedway presented by First Bank of Alabama.”
The Talladega Garage Experience is a major part of the $50 million Transformation endeavor that will stretch from the Tri-Oval down near the start-finish line. It will feature a host of activities and destinations, including more than 140,000 square feet of social and engagement areas and a new Gatorade Victory Lane where fans will be just a few steps away from the winner’s celebration in Fr8Auctions Celebration Plaza. Other amenities include a Kids Zone, Watch Zone, the Clyde May’s Courtyard, Iron Alley (featuring historic race cars), new restrooms, concession and souvenir stands, as well as a new Guest Services center.
The Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar is part of International Speedway Corporation’s (Parent company of Talladega Superspeedway) long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes. DLR Group is the architect of the entire project while Hoar Construction (Birmingham, AL) continues to spearhead Phase II. GT Grandstands (Plant City, FL) is constructing a new Race Operations tower high above the Tri-Oval, as well as the Pit Road Club that will house 600 guests who will get a birds-eye view of team pit stops from behind pit road, along with food and beverages.
Fans can learn more about the project and view the progress 24/7 via the construction cam by visiting www.talladegasuperspeedway.
The Sugarlands Shine 250 for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series gets the green flag on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 12:30 p.m. CDT, while the 1000Bulbs.com 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13. Both will play pivotal roles in NASCAR’s Playoffs. Friday’s activities include practice sessions for both series.
ARCA Racing Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series will come together in the Memphis 200, Sept. 26, 2020 at Memphis International Raceway (MIR) to crown a series champion.
The inaugural season of the ARCA Racing Series Showdown, where drivers from the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series will race against each other in a new and unique race format, will conclude a 10-race championship series at MIR in 2020. The Memphis 200 will crown the ARCA Racing Series Showdown champion in NASCAR’s and ARCA’s only visit to the Mid-South.
“We and our race fans in the Mid-South are appreciative for the opportunity to host the Inaugural ARCA Racing Series Showdown championship weekend at Memphis International Raceway,” Memphis International Raceway General Manager Justin Kamm said. “It will be an exciting conclusion to the 10-race showdown as we all see who will be crowned as champion Saturday, September 26, 2020.”
Tickets are $25 for adults and will go on sale June 1, 2020. Children ages 6-12 are $5. Children 5-and-under are admitted free.
For more information please go to RaceMIR.com or call 1-901-969-7223.
After the purchase of the ARCA Menards Series last year, NASCAR and ARCA worked diligently to develop an exciting new competition framework for 2020 and beyond. The ARCA Menards Series evolution will establish the series as the highest level of professional, grassroots racing designed to preserve both series’ historic short-track lineage stretching back more than 60 years.
The series will incorporate the current ARCA Menards Series as well as NASCAR’s long-standing East and West Series under the ARCA Menards Series banner – adding a new fourth championship that will feature competitors from all three series – the ARCA Menard Series Showdown.
“The ARCA Menards Series Showdown illustrates NASCAR’s laser-focused intent to crown a true national short track champion using ARCA and the East and West divisions as the foundation,” said Iowa Speedway President David Hyatt. “We’ve hosted 17 East-West combination races and past winners include Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Cole Custer just to name a few. We want to continue to highlight our up-and-coming stars in the sport while celebrating the perennial stalwarts in each series.”
The new series will serve as a home for ‘career’ professional short-track racers as well as young rising stars who aspire to advance to the highest levels of the sport. The ARCA Menards Series will feature four championships in 2020. Here’s how it will work:
- The current K&N Pro Series East and West will move to the ARCA Menards Series, and operate as the ARCA Menards Series East (with an Atlantic coast footprint) and the ARCA Menards Series West (with races in the western states)
- Each will have 6-8 races per season and will continue the heritage of the Pacific Coast Late Model Series / Winston West (1954) and the famed Busch North Series (1987)
- The current ARCA Menards Series will remain the same and will consist of 20 races across the United States
- This is a continuation of the series founded in 1953
- The new ARCA Menards Series Showdown will be a 10-race program within the broader ARCA Menards Series calendar at a variety of venues including Iowa Speedway
- The ARCA Menards Series Iowa 150 will feature competitors from all three series racing against one another
The ARCA Menards Series will be in action on Friday, July 17, 2020. The NTT IndyCar Series will return to the Fastest Short Track on the Planet for the Iowa 300, under the lights, on Saturday, July 18, giving fans a full complement of stock car and open wheel racing during INDYCAR weekend.
Iowa Speedway PR
Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering a new ticket package that packs in the most fun at the best price for diehard NASCAR fans: the Extreme Package.
Like the Good, Better, and Best packages that have been offered to fans for years, the Extreme Package provides a great deal on a weekend full of unforgettable experiences, highlighted by access to the Cup series garage while NASCAR teams prepare for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on race weekend.
In addition to being able to check out the garage area, fans that purchase the Extreme Package will also enjoy tickets to the entire weekend of on-track action, including a seat in the Upper Winners section for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on March 15, 2020. Fans will also receive a Fanvision rental for all three days, a weekend pre-race pit pass good for all three days, a $25 voucher towards a purchase at the AMS gift shop, and VIP parking in the Earnhardt lot just a few steps away from the grandstands.
All of that is included for just $249 with the Extreme Package, which is available while supplies last.
The Extreme Package is the seventh fan enhancement announced as part of the Speedway’s 20 in 20 Initiative, which will see 20 individual improvements made to increase the value and fan enjoyment of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR weekend on March 13-15, 2020.
Location! Location! Location: The Additional 1,250 feet Closer to Turn 1 Makes Talladega Superspeedway’s Start-Finish Line Truly Unique02 Oct 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
When the design for Talladega Superspeedway began to take shape in NASCAR founder Bill France’s mind in the late 1960s, he wanted something a little different.
Already the visionary behind Daytona International Speedway, France didn’t want to just stamp a cookie cutter into the Alabama countryside and produce an exact replica of his Florida facility. He wanted something slightly more unique. A little more breathtaking.
When drawing pencils finally went to paper, “Big” Bill decreed that Talladega would be slightly longer (2.66 miles to Daytona’s 2.5 miles), slightly steeper (33-degree banking in the turns to 31 degrees) and the racing surface would be wider by one lane. Then he added one more twist that ultimately made Talladega distinctive from almost every other racetrack ever conceived.
His finishing touch, so to speak, was to move the Start-Finish Line from its traditional in the middle of the Tri-Oval area further down the track nearly 1,250 feet towards Turn 1.
France reasoned it would sell more tickets in that area if fans could expect to see the drivers dash to the finish right in front of them along the main grandstand. He thought a slingshot move in those last few precious yards might decide a race here or there. And, just maybe he believed that an unheralded driver or two would achieve NASCAR greatness somewhere along the line thanks to those few extra feet – or inches – they had to maneuver.
Man, was he ever right. In layman’s terms, 1,250 feet is a pretty good ways, more than four football fields to be exact. In Talladega terms, it is literally a blink of the eye, and it only takes about that long for a list of the track’s classic finishes to start rolling off the tongue thanks to France’s foresight.
“For whatever reason they decided to put it there, the results have been tremendous over the years,” two-time Talladega winner Donnie Allison said. “Now maybe some of the drivers didn’t like it, but for what we were there for, which was to put on a good show for the fans, I think it was an excellent choice.”
Countless finishes at Talladega have seen two and three abreast separated by merely inches at the checkered flag. Among those “classic” finishes are six specific races that would have gone down differently in the record books had Talladega’s finish line been in the usual place.
Officially, the winners of those races were Richard Petty, Ron Bouchard, Dale Earnhardt, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson. But on another track with a Tri-Oval finish line a roll call of those race winners would have read David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip, Ernie Irvan, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer.
Here’s a brief look at each race and its mark in Talladega history thanks to the unique placement of the Start-Finish Line.
• Aug. 11, 1974 – Pearson was looking to win from the pole position, sweep both 1974 races and post his fourth victory in his last six Talladega starts, but Petty – “The King” – had other ideas when he made his move in the Tri-Oval. The result was a finish so close that, in the era before electronic scoring, the official margin of victory in Petty’s first-ever Talladega triumph was simply listed as 2 feet.
• Aug. 2, 1981 – In what still may be the most famous of Talladega’s fantastic finishes because of an iconic black-and-white photo snapped at the stripe, rookie Bouchard was third coming off Turn 4 but came home first when Waltrip chose to crowd Terry Labonte to the outside in the Tri-Oval. Again, the official margin of victory was listed as 2 feet in what is still generally considered one of the closest outcomes in any era of NASCAR scoring history.
• Aug. 25, 1993 – Leave it to “The Intimidator” to provide Talladega fans another exciting finish. In a classic drag race, Earnhardt beat Irvan to the line by .005 seconds and then summed it up by saying “I just had to play the game to the last move. We got the last move, and it worked.”
• April 26, 2009 – One moment, Edwards appeared on his way to his first Talladega victory. The next he was out of shape going through the Tri-Oval. After the contact that sent Edwards around, Keselowski, who surprisingly picked up his first career win with an underfunded team, still had his hands full and barely held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. by .175 seconds.
• April 25, 2010 – With two-car tandems in vogue, Harvick pushed McMurray far enough from the field for the two to settle it between themselves, and that’s exactly what they did. Just before the stripe Harvick was happy to duck inside McMurray and take the win by .011 seconds, breaking a 115-race winless streak in the process.
• April 17, 2011 – When they came off Turn 4 there was such a swarm of cars (Johnson was fifth) it was really hard to say who would have been the winner at that point. When they reached the line, it was Johnson, who made a dramatic pass on the low side, stinging the pack with a .002-second victory - so close that calling a winner was difficult to the naked eye even with numerous television replays. It would be a NASCAR record.
For most of those winners, the extra distance was a path to continued or much greater success. For a guy like Bouchard, it was the difference between having a NASCAR win on his career ledger and never finding Victory Lane at all.
“When we first went there, Buddy Baker told me that one of the differences at this track was that when you came off Turn 4 you had to remember that the Start-Finish Line wasn’t in the Tri-Oval,” the late Bouchard said. “He actually went through the scenario with me where he said if for some reason I was third coming off Turn 4 I needed to wait until the second-place guy made his move then go the other way because, at that point, there was still plenty of time to draft by those guys at the line.
“When we came off Turn 4, I remembered what Buddy told me, and I waited and Terry jumped to the high side of Darrell. Then the only thing Darrell was worried about was Terry, and I got a draft off the two of them. When I passed them, I remember thinking as we crossed the stripe, ‘I’ll be a son-of-a-gun if Baker didn’t talk about this very thing, and it happened just like he said.’”
It’s just one of 100 chapters that have made Talladega what it is and always will be – the fastest, most exciting racetrack in the world.
“If you go back and look at it closely, there are probably only a small handful of races where it didn’t contribute to determining the winner in some way,” Allison said. “It’s something that has made Talladega very, very special that’s for sure.”
Sunday, Oct. 13, should produce the same.
The tradition continues at the Palace of Speed with the Sugarlands Shine 250 for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series on Saturday, Oct. 12, and the 1000Bulbs.com 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, Oct. 13 – both crucial NASCAR Playoff events.
In addition, the track will debut the new Talladega Garage Experience, the major part of the Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar where fans will be immersed into the sport of NASCAR and the sanctioning body’s Most Competitive venue like never before. It will feature a fan walkway under the same roof as the garage bays of all of the race teams, BIG BILL’S 35,000 square foot Social Club, FREE Wi-Fi, Value-Priced Concessions, access to celebrate with the race winner in Gatorade Victory Lane and much more.
For ticket information and to learn more about the Talladega Garage Experience and all ticket questions for the upcoming weekend, log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 855-518-RACE (7223).
For the third consecutive year, the Motor Racing Network (MRN) will offer live coverage of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 5.
Veteran announcers Dave Moody and Kyle Rickey will call the action from the booth, with Ford Martin in the turns and Woody Cain and Hannah Newhouse providing inside analysis and pit reporting.
“We are very happy to announce that MRN will once again broadcast the ValleyStar Credit Union 300,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “Martinsville Speedway is proud to host the most prestigious Late Model race in the country and having MRN once again bring its award-winning coverage to our event only enhances the experience for our fans, partners and competitors.”
Southern Trust Home Services, Woodall Auto Mall and the Lester Group, Inc. came together to make the broadcast possible on MRN and its Digital platforms.
Last year’s broadcast of the race featured the most fans to ever tune into live coverage from the event on MRN’s digital platforms.
“MRN is pleased to once again be a part of this great event at Martinsville Speedway, said Motor Racing Network President Chris Schwartz. “This event has grown in popularity every year on our various broadcast platforms and with the new format changes and level of competition entered for this year’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 should only make this event bigger and better this year. We look forward to broadcasting another great race at Martinsville Speedway this Saturday."
In addition to being heard online, through MRN.com, the race will be broadcast locally and on select affiliates nationwide.
The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car Race, paying $32,000 to the winner with a total purse of more than $110,000.
The weekend will start with practice and qualifying on Friday with the winner of the pole winning $5,000 and this year the top-20 qualifiers will be locked in to the main event. Practice begins at 4 p.m. with qualifying slated to start at 8 p.m.
Saturday kicks off with the driver autograph session at 12:45 p.m. followed by two 50-lap heat races to set the field. The 200-lap main event will begin at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $30 for adults and children 17-and-under are free. Tickets can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
Martinsville Speedway PR