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Race Tracks Everyone has their favorite race track(s) growing up as a kid. In this forum you can discuss your favorite old race track. Make sure to title your new thread with the name of the race track.



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Old 05-10-2009, 10:00 PM   #1
Olen McGuire
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Default THE TALLADEGA JINX

In the early days of NASCAR, a one-mile, oval track was originally planned to be built inHillsborough, North Carolina. Local religious leaders opposed the construction of such a large track, and NASCAR founder Bill France decided to instead build the track in Alabama at Talladega.
At 2.66 miles long, Talladega is the largest (and most steeply banked) oval track in the Sprint Cup Series and has seating provisions for over 175,000 patrons.


Talladega got off to a controversial start when the Professional Drivers Association, a union of drivers led by Richard Petty, went on strike the night before the inaugural Talladega 500. The union was concerned with the speed which could be attained due to the track's length and steep banking, and the perceived threat to driver safety that this posed. Bill France took to the track himself in a car and drove around it at high speeds. NASCAR also ran a successful support race, but it was not enough, and the PDA drivers went on strike. Replacement drivers from the previous day's race were asked to race, and tickets were good for future races. The race was the only win for Richard Brickhouse and was the debut race for six-time championship team owner Richard Childress.

Speeds well in excess of 200 mph were commonplace at Talladega. Talladega Superspeedway 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.
In May 1987 Bobby Allison experienced a tire failure while going through the tri-oval portion of the track, which sent his car airborne. His car tore out a portion of the frontstretch catch fence, nearly entering the crowd. 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 their speed. This has led to the style of racing held at Talladega and Daytona to be somewhat different from that at other superspeedways and to be referred to by NASCAR fans as "restrictor-plate racing".

The Talladega Jinx
The high number of crashes over the years, along with other factors, have led to rumors of Talladega Superspeedway 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 and 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 witchdoctor put a curse on the valley. However, none of these rumors can be proven.
Since the construction of the track, many strange happenings and untimely deaths have fueled the rumors of a curse. In 1973, Bobby Isaac left his car during the race on lap 90 because of voices 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.
To some, Bobby Allison's 1987 wreck described above was yet another reminder of the curse. In 1993, Bobby's son, Davey Allison, died in a helicopter crash in the infield of Talladega.
(Source Wikipedia)

Racing at Talladega Superspeedway in 2008.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:18 PM   #2
VintageBuzz
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Default Re: THE TALLADEGA JINX

Hey Olen! I see that you've been busy posting some articles w/photos. You rock!!! Did you attend the spring race at Talladega this year? I would love to see that one in-person some day before my "last pit stop." ~VB
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:55 PM   #3
Olen McGuire
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Default Re: THE TALLADEGA JINX

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Originally Posted by VintageBuzz View Post
Hey Olen! I see that you've been busy posting some articles w/photos. You rock!!! Did you attend the spring race at Talladega this year? I would love to see that one in-person some day before my "last pit stop." ~VB
Hey Buzz,it's great to see you on the new ARM.I know you have a lot of memories to share with us.I only wish I was able enough to go to the "Dega" races,with them being so close to me now.For now I'm satisfied with watching them on the big screen.I love to watch the resrictor-plate races because there's more to winning than just driving.The good ones have to use their brains as much as their right foot to win.
I can't wait to see you posting again because I know you've got some good stuff.~Olen
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