Aerial view of Talladega Superspeedway in 2007. The runways of the defunct Anniston Air Force Base are visible as well.
|Location||Talladega County, Alabama,
at 3366 Speedway Boulevard, Talladega, Alabama 35096, United States
|Owner||International Speedway Corporation|
|Operator||International Speedway Corporation|
|Broke ground||May 23, 1968|
|Opened||September 13, 1969|
|Construction cost||US$4 million|
|Architect||Bill Ward and William France Sr.|
|Former names||Alabama International Motor Speedway (1969–1989)|
|Length||2.666 mi (4.28 km)|
|Banking||Turns 1 and 2: 33°
Turn 3: 32.4°
Turn 4: 32.5°
Back straight: 3°
|Lap record||0:44.998; 212.809 mph; 342.483 km/h (Bill Elliott, Melling Racing, 1987, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)|
Talladega Superspeedway, originally known as Alabama International Motor Superspeedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Talladega. The track is a tri-oval and was constructed in the 1960s by the International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family. Talladega is most known for its steep banking and the unique location of the start/finish line - located just past the exit to pit road. The track currently hosts the NASCAR series such as the Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Talladega is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 miles (4.28 km), and the track at its peak had a seating capacity of 175,000 spectators, although the current capacity is 80,000 seats.
During the 1960s William "Bill" France, Sr. wanted to build a track faster and longer than Daytona International Speedway. He would end up breaking ground on an old airfield on May 23, 1968. The track would be named Alabama International Motor Speedway (AIMS). The name would remain for twenty years until 1989 when the facility's name was changed to Talladega Superspeedway. The track opened on September 13, 1969 costing $4 million. The first race at the track was unlike any other; all the original drivers abandoned the track due to tire problems, which allowed France to hire substitute drivers with the winner being Richard Brickhouse. After the first race, Talladega would host two Winston Cup Series races per year, one of which would become part of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. Since its opening year, Talladega has hosted many races and has been repaved 4 times. Talladega would also have many first-time winners such as Larry Schild, Sr.; Richard Brickhouse, Brian Vickers, and Brad Keselowski.
A 4-mile (6.4 km) infield road course was in operation from the track's founding until 1983. In the 1970s, sixIMSA GT Championship races were held at the speedway, including a 6-hour race in 1978.
In May 2006, Talladega started to re-surface the track and the apron. Construction started on May 1 and lasted until September 18. The first race on the resurfaced race track was a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on October 7.
In December 2013, the ISC announced removal of the 18,000-seat Allison Grandstand on the backstretch, reducing the track's seating capacity to 80,000. The 4,000-ft backstraightway was renamed The Alabama Gang Superstretch in time for the 2014 Aaron's 499 held in the spring.
The "Big One"
Speeds in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h) are commonplace at Talladega. Talladega has the record for the fastest recorded time by a NASCAR stock car in a closed oval course, with the record of 216.309 mph set by Rusty Wallace on June 9, 2004. Wallace circled the 2.66-mile (4.28-km) trioval in 44.270 seconds, which surpassed the previous record held by Bill Elliott (212.809 mph) set in 1987, but doesn't replace the record due to the fact it was a radio test and not a NASCAR sanctioned event. Buddy Baker was the first driver to test at a speed over 200 mph, with a 200.447 mph lap during testing on March 24, 1970. Baker's record was set while driving the #88 Chrysler Engineering Charger Daytona, which is currently undergoing restoration in Detroit, after being found in the late 1990s in Iowa. The late Benny Parsons was the first driver to qualify at over 200 mph, doing so in 1982 with a speed of 200.176 mph.
In May 1987, Bobby Allison, after debris from a blown engine, cut his right-rear tire from the debris while going through the tri-oval portion of the track. The car was vaulted airborne. His car damaged a portion of the frontstretch catch fence, but did not enter the spectator area. NASCAR imposed rule changes to slow the cars after the incident, with a 1988 rule requiring cars running there and at Daytona to use restrictor plates. The most often cited reason is a fear that the increasing speeds were exceeding the capabilities of the tires available at the time, as high-speed tire failure had led to some gruesome crashes at slightly lower speeds. The plates limit the amount of air and fuel entering the intake manifolds of the engine, greatly reducing the power of the cars and hence their speed. This has led to an extremely competitive style of racing at Talladega and Daytona. Allison's crash was very alike to Carl Edwards's airborne crash at the 2009 Aaron's 499.
The reduced power affects not only the maximum speed reached by the cars but the time it takes them to achieve their full speed as well, which can be nearly one full circuit of the track. The racing seen at Talladega today is extremely tight; often in rows of 3 or 4 cars, and sometimes even 5 lanes wide on the straightaways throughout most of the field, as the track is wide enough to permit such racing. Breaking away from the pack is very difficult as well.
Such close quarters, however, makes it extremely difficult for a driver to avoid an incident as it is unfolding in front of them, and the slightest mistake can lead to a multi-car accident – dubbed "the Big One" by fans and drivers. It is uncommon, but possible, to see 20 or more cars collected in the crashes. Occasionally, cars go airborne. NASCAR has made several advances in safety over the years to lessen the chance of a car going airborne.
The Talladega jinx
Numerous strange occurrences at the track have led to rumors of Talladega being cursed. Stories of the origin of the curse vary. Some claim that a local Native American tribe held horse races in the valley where the track currently resides where a chief was killed when he was thrown from his horse. Others say that the site of the superspeedway was once an Indian burial ground. Still another version says that after the local tribe was driven out by the Creek nation for their collaborating with the forces of Andrew Jackson, a shaman put a curse on the valley.
Since the construction of the track, many strange happenings and untimely deaths have fueled the rumors of the curse. In 1973, Bobby Isaac left his car during the race on lap 90 due to voices that he claimed to have heard which told him to park his car and get out. Earlier on lap 14 in the same race, young driver Larry Smith died in a seemingly minor wreck. In 1974, the morning before the Winston 500, drivers and crews alike found multiple cars sabotaged by cut brake lines and sand in the gas tank. That same year, Roger Penske crewman Don Miller lost part of his leg when the car his driver Gary Bettenhausen was pitting at the time, was hit by another driver and pinned Miller between the pit wall and Bettenhausen's Matador. And in the 1975 Winston 500, Randy Owens, brother-in-law of Richard Petty and a crew member on the family team Petty Enterprises (father of current Sprint Cup crew chief Trent Owens), was killed by an air tank that exploded in the pits.
To some, Bobby Allison's wreck in 1987 described above was yet another reminder of the curse. In 1993, his son, Davey Allison, died in a helicopter crash in the infield of Talladega. That same month, Neil Bonnett was involved in a crash similar to B. Allison's, in which his car went airborne and impacted the catch fence in the tri-oval. In 1996, Automobile Racing Club of America president Bob Loga died after a traffic accident in a parking lot. In the 2009 Aaron's 499, Carl Edwards suffered a similar wreck.
Talladega hosts many NASCAR events which include 2 Sprint Cup Series races, 1 Xfinity Series race, and 1 Camping World Truck Series race. The Sprint Cup Series races include the GEICO 500 and the Alabama 500, which are both 188 laps each or 500.08 miles (804.80 km). The Nationwide Series race has historically been a 311.2-mile/500-kilometer (117 laps) since its 1992 inception, but was cut to 300 miles (480 km) (113 laps) in 1998 due to a spectator's letter questioning the metric distance, but restored to 500 kilometers by its current sponsor. The Camping World Truck Series race is 250 miles (94 laps). The ARCA race, once a 500 kilometer affair, was shortened to 300 miles in 1998 and to 250 miles in 2006 when it was moved to Friday.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series records
(As of 10/23/11)
|Most Wins||10||Dale Earnhardt|
|Most Consecutive Wins||4||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.|
|Most Top 5's||23||Dale Earnhardt|
|Most Top 10's||27||Dale Earnhardt|
|Most Laps Completed||9777||Dave Marcis|
|Most Laps Led||1377||Dale Earnhardt|
|Avg. Start*||3.6||Bobby Isaac|
|Avg. Finish*||5.6||Pete Hamilton|
* from minimum 5 starts.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners
|Season||Date||Winning Driver||Car #||Sponsor||Make||Avg Speed||Margin of Victory|
|1969||September 14||Richard Brickhouse||99||Nichels Engineering||’69 Dodge||153.778 mph (247.482 km/h)||7 sec|
|1970||April 12||Pete Hamilton||40||Petty Enterprises||’70 Plymouth||152.321 mph (245.137 km/h)||44 sec|
|1970||August 23||Pete Hamilton (2)||40||Petty Enterprises||’70 Plymouth||158.517 mph (255.108 km/h)||10 sec|
|1971||May 16||Donnie Allison||21||Wood Brothers||’69 Mercury||147.419 mph (237.248 km/h)||6 cl|
|1971||August 22||Bobby Allison||12||Holman-Moody||’69 Mercury||145.945 mph (234.876 km/h)||2.1sec|
|1972||May 7||David Pearson||21||Wood Brothers||’71 Mercury||134.4 mph (216.296 km/h)||4.9 sec|
|1972||August 6||James Hylton||48||Hylton Engineering||’71 Mercury||148.728 mph (239.355 km/h)||1 cl|
|1973||May 6||David Pearson (2)||21||Purolator||’71 Mercury||131.956 mph (212.363 km/h)||1 lap|
|1973||August 12||Dick Brooks||22||Eastern Airlines||’72 Plymouth||145.454 mph (234.086 km/h)||7.2 sec|
|1974||May 5||David Pearson (3)||21||Purolator||’73 Mercury||130.22 mph (209.569 km/h)||0.17 sec|
|1974||August 11||Richard Petty||43||STP||’74 Dodge||148.637 mph (239.208 km/h)||UC|
|1975||May 4||Buddy Baker||15||Sunny King||’75 Ford||144.948 mph (233.271 km/h)||1 cl|
|1975||August 17||Buddy Baker (2)||15||Sunny King||’75 Ford||130.892 mph (210.650 km/h)||5 feet|
|1976||May 2||Buddy Baker (3)||15||Norris Industries||Ford||169.887 mph (273.407 km/h)||35 sec|
|1976||August 8||Dave Marcis||71||K&K Insurance||Dodge||157.547 mph (253.547 km/h)||29.5 sec|
|1977||May 1||Darrell Waltrip||88||Gatorade||Chevrolet||164.877 mph (265.344 km/h)||0.29 sec|
|1977||August 7||Donnie Allison (2)||1||Hawaiian Tropic||Chevrolet||162.524 mph (261.557 km/h)||UC|
|1978||May 14||Cale Yarborough||11||First National City||Oldsmobile||155.699 mph (250.573 km/h)||2 cl|
|1978||August 6||Lennie Pond||54||W.I.N.||Oldsmobile||174.7 mph (281.15 km/h)||2 cl|
|1979||May 6||Bobby Allison (2)||15||Hodgdon/Moore||Ford||154.77 mph (249.078 km/h)||1 lap + 50 sec|
|1979||August 5||Darrell Waltrip (2)||88||Gatorade||Oldsmobile||161.229 mph (259.473 km/h)||62 sec|
|1980||May 4||Buddy Baker (4)||28||NAPA||Oldsmobile||170.481 mph (274.363 km/h)||3 feet|
|1980||August 3||Neil Bonnett||21||Purolator||Mercury||166.894 mph (268.590 km/h)||6 cl|
|1981||May 3||Bobby Allison (3)||28||The 5 Racers||Buick||149.376 mph (240.397 km/h)||0.1 sec|
|1981||August 2||Ron Bouchard||47||Race Hill Farm||Buick||156.737 mph (252.244 km/h)||2 feet|
|1982||May 2||Darrell Waltrip (3)||11||Mountain Dew||Buick||156.597 mph (252.018 km/h)||3 cl|
|1982||August 1||Darrell Waltrip (4)||11||Mountain Dew||Buick||168.157 mph (270.622 km/h)||1 cl|
|1983||May 1||Richard Petty (2)||43||STP||Pontiac||153.936 mph (247.736 km/h)||2 cl|
|1983||July 31||Dale Earnhardt||15||Wrangler||Ford||170.611 mph (274.572 km/h)||4 cl|
|1984||May 6||Cale Yarborough (2)||28||Hardee’s||Chevrolet||172.988 mph (278.397 km/h)||2 cl|
|1984||July 29||Dale Earnhardt (2)||3||Wrangler||Chevrolet||155.485 mph (250.229 km/h)||1.66 sec|
|1985||May 5||Bill Elliott||9||Coors||Ford Thunderbird||186.288 mph (299.801 km/h)||1.72 sec|
|1985||July 28||Cale Yarborough (3)||28||Hardee’s||Ford Thunderbird||148.772 mph (239.425 km/h)||0.66 sec|
|1986||May 4||Bobby Allison (4)||22||Miller American||Buick Regal||157.698 mph (253.790 km/h)||0.19 sec|
|1986||July 27||Bobby Hillin, Jr||8||Miller American||Buick Regal||151.522 mph (243.851 km/h)||3 cl|
|1987||May 3||Davey Allison||28||Texaco Havoline||Ford Thunderbird||154.228 mph (248.206 km/h)||0.78 sec|
|1987||July 26||Bill Elliott (2)||9||Coors||Ford Thunderbird||171.293 mph (275.669 km/h)||0.15 sec|
|1988||May 1||Phil Parsons||55||Crown Petroleum / Skoal Classic||Oldsmobile Cutlass||156.547 mph (251.938 km/h)||0.21 sec|
|1988||July 31||Ken Schrader||25||Folgers||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||154.505 mph (248.652 km/h)||2 cl|
|1989||May 7||Davey Allison (2)||28||Texaco Havoline||Ford Thunderbird||155.869 mph (250.847 km/h)||2 cl|
|1989||July 30||Terry Labonte||11||Budweiser||Ford Thunderbird||157.354 mph (253.237 km/h)||0.2 sec|
|1990||May 6||Dale Earnhardt (3)||3||Goodwrench||Chevrolet Lumina||159.571 mph (256.805 km/h)||2 cl|
|1990||July 29||Dale Earnhardt (4)||3||Goodwrench||Chevrolet Lumina||174.43 mph (280.718 km/h)||0.26 sec|
|1991||May 6||Harry Gant||33||Skoal Bandit||Oldsmobile Cutlass||165.62 mph (266.540 km/h)||11 sec|
|1991||July 28||Dale Earnhardt (5)||3||Goodwrench||Chevrolet Lumina||147.383 mph (237.19 km/h)||1.5 cl|
|1992||May 3||Davey Allison (3)||28||Texaco Havoline||Ford Thunderbird||167.609 mph (269.741 km/h)||2 cl|
|1992||July 26||Ernie Irvan||4||Kodak Film||Chevrolet Lumina||176.309 mph (283.742 km/h)||0.19 sec|
|1993||May 2||Ernie Irvan (2)||4||Kodak Film||Chevrolet Lumina||155.412 mph (250.111 km/h)||2 cl|
|1993||July 25||Dale Earnhardt (6)||3||Goodwrench||Chevrolet Lumina||153.858 mph (247.610 km/h)||0.005 sec|
|1994||May 1||Dale Earnhardt (7)||3||Goodwrench||Chevrolet Lumina||157.478 mph (253.436 km/h)||0.06 sec|
|1994||July 24||Jimmy Spencer||27||McDonald’s||Ford Thunderbird||163.217 mph (262.672 km/h)||0.025 sec|
|1995||April 30||Mark Martin||6||Valvoline||Ford Thunderbird||178.902 mph (287.915 km/h)||0.18 sec|
|1995||July 23||Sterling Marlin||4||Kodak Film||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||173.188 mph (278.719 km/h)||0.05 sec|
|1996||April 28||Sterling Marlin (2)||4||Kodak Film||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||149.999 mph (241.400 km/h)||0.22 sec|
|1996||July 28||Jeff Gordon||24||DuPont Refinishes||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||133.387 mph (214.666 km/h)||0.146 sec|
|1997||May 10||Mark Martin (2)||6||Valvoline||Ford Thunderbird||188.354 mph (303.126 km/h)||0.146 sec|
|1997||October 12||Terry Labonte (2)||5||Kellogg's||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||156.601 mph (252.025 km/h)||0.146 sec|
|1998||April 26||Bobby Labonte||18||Interstate Batteries||Pontiac Grand Prix||144.428 mph (232.434 km/h)||0.167 sec|
|1998||October 11||Dale Jarrett||88||Quality Care/Ford Credit||Ford Taurus||159.318 mph (256.397 km/h)||0.14 sec|
|1999||April 25||Dale Earnhardt (8)||3||Goodwrench||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||163.395 mph (262.959 km/h)||0.137 sec|
|1999||October 17||Dale Earnhardt (9)||3||Goodwrench||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||166.632 mph (268.168 km/h)||0.114 sec|
|2000||April 16||Jeff Gordon (2)||24||DuPont||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||161.157 mph (259.357 km/h)||0.189 sec|
|2000||October 15||Dale Earnhardt (10)||3||Goodwrench||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||165.681 mph (266.638 km/h)||0.119 sec|
|2001||April 22||Bobby Hamilton||55||Square D||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||184.003 mph (296.124 km/h)||0.163 sec|
|2001||October 21||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||8||Budweiser||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||164.185 mph (264.230 km/h)||0.388 sec|
|2002||April 21||Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (2)||8||Budweiser||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||159.022 mph (255.921 km/h)||0.060 sec|
|2002||October 6||Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (3)||8||Budweiser||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||183.665 mph (295.580 km/h)||0.118 sec|
|2003||April 6||Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (4)||8||Budweiser||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||144.625 mph (232.751 km/h)||0.125 sec|
|2003||September 28||Michael Waltrip||15||NAPA||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||156.045 mph (251.130 km/h)||0.095 sec|
|2004||April 25||Jeff Gordon (3)||24||DuPont/Pepsi||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||129.396 mph (208.243 km/h)||UC|
|2004||October 3||Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (5)||8||Budweiser||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||156.929 mph (252.55 km/h)||0.117 sec|
|2005||May 1||Jeff Gordon (4)||24||DuPont||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||146.904 mph (236.419 km/h)||0.193 sec/GWC|
|2005||October 2||Dale Jarrett (2)||88||UPS||Ford Taurus||143.818 mph (231.453 km/h)||UC/GWC|
|2006||May 1||Jimmie Johnson||48||Lowe’s||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||142.891 mph (229.961 km/h)||0.120 sec|
|2006||October 8||Brian Vickers||25||GMAC||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||157.602 mph (253.636 km/h)||UC|
|2007||April 29||Jeff Gordon (5)||24||DuPont||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||154.167 mph (248.108 km/h)||UC/GWC|
|2007||October 7||Jeff Gordon (6)||24||Pepsi||Chevrolet Impala SS||143.445 mph (230.852 km/h)||0.066|
|2008||April 27||Kyle Busch||18||M&M's||Toyota Camry||157.409 mph (253.325 km/h)||UC|
|2008||October 5||Tony Stewart||20||Home Depot / Subway||Toyota Camry||140.281 mph (225.760 km/h)||0.052 sec / GWC|
|2009||April 26||Brad Keselowski||09||Miccosukee||Chevrolet Impala SS||147.565 mph (237.483 km/h)||0.175 sec|
|2009||November 1||Jamie McMurray||26||Irwin Industrial Tools||Ford Fusion||149.759 mph (241.014 km/h)||UC/GWC|
|2010||April 25||Kevin Harvick||29||Shell / Pennzoil||Chevrolet Impala||150.59 mph (242.351 km/h)||0.011 sec / GWC|
|2010||October 31||Clint Bowyer||33||BB&T||Chevrolet Impala||163.618 mph (263.318 km/h)||UC|
|2011||April 17||Jimmie Johnson (2)||48||Lowe's||Chevrolet Impala||156.261 mph (251.478 km/h)||0.002 sec|
|2011||October 23||Clint Bowyer (2)||33||Chevy 100 Year Anniversary||Chevrolet Impala||143.404 mph (230.786 km/h)||0.018 sec|
|2012||May 6||Brad Keselowski (2)||2||Miller Lite||Dodge Charger||160.192 mph (257.804 km/h)||0.304 sec|
|2012||October 7||Matt Kenseth||17||Ford EcoBoost||Ford Fusion||171.194 mph (275.510 km/h)||UC/GWC|
|2013||May 5||David Ragan||34||Farm Rich||Ford Fusion||148.729 mph (239.356 km/h)||0.212 sec / GWC|
|2013||October 20||Jamie McMurray (2)||1||Cessna||Chevrolet SS||178.795 mph (287.743 km/h)||UC|
|2014||May 4||Denny Hamlin||11||FedEx||Toyota Camry||135.132 mph (217.474 km/h)||UC|
|2014||October 19||Brad Keselowski (3)||2||Redd's Wicked Apple Ale||Ford Fusion||143.302 mph (230.622 km/h)||0.141 sec / GWC|
|2015||May 3||Dale Earnhardt Jr. (6)||88||Nationwide Insurance||Chevrolet SS||159.4872 mph (256.670 km/h)||0.158 sec|
- cl = Number of caution laps at time of finish
- UC = Race finished under caution
- GWC = Race extended by green-white-checkered finish.
- 2008 AMP Energy 500: Regan Smith (#01 The Principal Financial Group Chevrolet Impala SS) crossed the start/finish line first, but was penalized for passing Tony Stewart below the yellow line to prevent contact with Stewart; thus was sent to the tail end of the lead lap. Margin of victory is related to official 2nd-place finisher Paul Menard.
- 2009 Aaron's 499: The caution waved and race scoring stopped after the Top 3 drivers had crossed the finish line. An official margin of victory was scored before the caution was given.
- Starting in 1993, timing has been scored by electronic sensors.
- 2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500: On the final lap, during a green-white-checkered finish, Tony Stewart and Michael Waltrip made contact with each other, triggering a 25-car crash. Stewart flipped several times and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had a concussion. Matt Kenseth won the race.
- 2013 Aaron's 499: Race halted on lap 126 for 3.5 hours due to rain.
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: GEICO 500, Alabama 500
- NASCAR Xfinity Series: Winn-Dixie 300
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola
- ARCA Racing Series: Talladega ARCA 200
The circuit's infield also hosts the Birmingham Ultimate Disc Association Mud Bowl tournament in the winter.
- March 24, 1970: Buddy Baker, driving the Chrysler Engineering #88 Dodge Charger Daytona, officially becomes the first driver in NASCAR history to break the 200 mph barrier by turning a lap of 200.447 mph (322.588 km/h). This was also a World Record at the time for any vehicle on a closed course. It was achieved using official NASCAR Scoring and Timing equipment.
- August 20, 1971: Paula Murphy, "Miss STP" made a record closed course run for a female at 171.499 mph (276.001 km/h).
- August, 1974: A.J. Foyt tests an Indy car at a speed of 217.854 mph (350.602 km/h).
- August 9, 1975: Mark Donohue sets a closed-course world record in a Porsche 917-30 at 221.160 mph. It would stand as a world record for four years, and as a United States record until 1986.
- May 6, 1984: The Winston 500 set a motorsports record with 75 lead changes in a single race.
- May 5, 1985: Bill Elliott sets a 500-mile race record, winning the Winston 500 at an average speed of 186.288 mph. Elliott won the race despite losing nearly two laps during a lengthy early pit stop to fix a broken oil line, and despite the race only having two caution flags. Elliott made up the entire distance he lost under one lengthy, green-flag period. The record stood as the fastest 500-mile race of any kind until 1990, when Al Unser, Jr. broke it by winning the CART Michigan 500 at Michigan International Speedway at an average speed of 189.727 mph (305.336 km/h). Mark Martin later broke the record for fastest 500-mile NASCAR race (see below).
- November 26, 1985: Lyn St. James sets a record closed course run for a female, at over 200 mph (320 km/h).
- March 24, 1986: Bobby Unser sets a closed-course speed record for four-wheel drive vehicles with an Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro at 206.825 mph (332.853 km/h) with a top speed over 350 km/h (over 219 mph) the car was complying with NASCAR rules.
- 1986: The Saab Long Run – set of 2 world and 21 international records with three series SAAB 9000 Turbo – 100,000 km with an average speed of 213.299 km/h and 50,000 miles with an average speed of 213.686 km/h.
- April 30, 1987: Bill Elliott sets the all-time NASCAR qualifying record, winning the pole for the Winston 500 at a speed of 212.809 mph (342.483 km/h) (44.998 seconds). The record still stands due strictly to the use of the carburetor restrictor plate, mandated after the 1987 season.
- October 11, 1988: Lyn St. James sets a record closed course run for a female at 212.577 mph (342.110 km/h), driving a Ford Thunderbird.
- December 14, 1989: Patty Moise sets a record closed course run for a female at 216.607 mph (348.595 km/h), driving a Buick.
- January 23, 1990: Patty Moise sets a record closed course run for a female at 217.498 mph (350.029 km/h), driving a Buick.
- 1996: Saab set endurance and speed record-breaking runs in their 900 Talladega.
- May 10, 1997: Mark Martin wins the Winston Select 500, a race which had no caution flags, at a NASCAR 500-mile record speed of 188.354 mph (303.126 km/h), nearly ten years after the introduction of restrictor plates.
- October 15, 2000: Dale Earnhardt sets a record for the most wins at the track with 10. This was also his 76th and final win before his death in the 2001 Daytona 500.
- April 6, 2003: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won his 4th consecutive Cup race at Talladega. The race also saw NASCAR's largest Sprint Cup wreck to date, when 27 cars piled up in turn 1 on lap 4.
- June 10, 2004: Rusty Wallace tests a stock car without a restrictor plate for series sponsor Nextel to test communication capabilities, gets an overall lap time of 44.27 seconds (216.309 mph), beating Elliott's old record by more than seven-tenths of a second.
- April 25, 2010: The Aaron's 499 broke the 1984 mark of 75 lead changes with 88; it also set a new motorsports record with 29 different leaders.
- October 7, 2012: A crash involving 25 cars erupted on the final lap when Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth were battling for the win; Stewart made contact Michael Waltrip and went up the track in turn 4; he flipped over as the field plowed into a suddenly blocked track. Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch escaped the crash as Kenseth went on to win. The race lead changed a season-high 54 times.
A large number of drivers won the first race of their careers at Talladega. As of May 5, 2013, 10 drivers have won their first race at Talladega.
- Richard Brickhouse*
- Dick Brooks*
- Lennie Pond*
- Ron Bouchard*
- Bobby Hillin, Jr.*
- Davey Allison
- Phil Parsons*
- Ken Schrader
- Brian Vickers
- Brad Keselowski
- * As of 2014, this is/was their only career win in the series.
- Dale Jarrett Racing School
Film & television
- "Track Location". Talladega Superspeedway. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
- "Track Facts". Talladega Superspeedway. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
- Utter, Jim (27 November 2013). "Talladega Superspeedway to reduce seating to 80,000". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "History". Talladega Superspeedway. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- Talladega Superspeedway. na-motorsports.com. April 24, 2006. ISBN 0-7368-4379-5. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
- "Talladega – List of Races". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- "2006 Reconfiguration". USA Today. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- "Allison Grandstand being removed as part of Talladega Superspeedway renovation". AL.com. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "NASCAR grandstands continue to shrink". Autoweek. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "Talladega renames backstretch after NASCAR’s famed "Alabama Gang"". NBCSports. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- http://www.nascar.com/2004/news/headlines/cup/06/10/rwallace_talladega/index.html Accessed July 4, 2007.
- "They're hearing voices at Talladega". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "Bob Loga fatally injured". http://www.motorsport.com/arca/news/bob-loga-fatally-injured/. 27 April 1996.
- Ryan, Nate (October 6, 2008). "Stewart breaks through, holds off Smith at Talladega". USA Today.
- "GEICO’s Partnership Grows with Talladega Superspeedway - "GEICO 500" Fall Classic Sprint Cup Series Race Set for Oct. 19". Talladega Superspeedway. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- "NASCAR Talladega: Matt Kenseth wins; massive crash on final lap".
- Bolton, Mike and Jim Nunn (October 7, 2006) "Talladega doesn't measure up." Birmingham News. – Updates previously published track dimensions with new measurements taken during 2006 repaving.
- Fielden, Greg. NASCAR Chronicle. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, Ltd., 2004.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Talladega Superspeedway.|
- Talladega Superspeedway Official Site
- Talladega Superspeedway race results at Racing-Reference
- Talladega Superspeedway Page on NASCAR.com
- GNEXTINC.com: Talladega Superspeedway Page – Local area information, track specs, mapping, news and more.
- Jayski's Talladega Superspeedway Page – Current and Past Talladega Superspeedway News
- Talladega Superspeedway on World of Stadiums – Info and photo's