The NASCAR Cup Series will be paying a visit to Alabama this weekend to race at the circuit’s fastest track. Talladega Superspeedway will host the YellaWood 500 on Sunday afternoon, the 31st race of the 2021 season. The 2.66-mile track used to be the longest track on the series schedule until the additions of Road America and Circuit of the Americas this season. However, it does remain the longest oval that NASCAR visits.
Talladega is just like Daytona International Speedway in that, if you can start your engine, you have a chance to win the race. Will we see another surprise winner at a tapered spacer track? Or will we see the typical “spacer ace” get the win? The following offers an overview of Talladega Superspeedway including track history, stats and this weekend’s NASCAR racing schedule.
Talladega Superspeedway Overview
After seeing the success and excitement generated by racing at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR founder Bill France wanted to build a track that was both bigger and faster. After being turned down by two towns in North Carolina, France looked towards Alabama. He eventually found a place in Lincoln, and Talladega Superspeedway was born.
The track opened on September 13, 1969, about ten years after Daytona. At first, the track was named Alabama International Motor Speedway. That name stuck until 1989 when it was changed to Talladega Superspeedway. The track’s high banks mean that the drivers can keep their foot on the gas all the way around the 2.66-mile oval. One interesting characteristic of Talladega comes in the form of a slight variation in turn banking at opposite ends of the track. Turns One and Two are banked at 33 degrees while Turns Three and Four are set at 32 and a half degrees. The tri-oval section is banked at 16.5 degrees.
Talladega Superspeedway hosts two NASCAR Cup Series races annually. This year, it also is hosting two Xfinity Series races and a Truck Series race. This weekend, we will see both the trucks and Xfinity cars race their own respective playoff events on Saturday before the Cup stars take the track on Sunday.
The Curse of Talladega Superspeedway
Legend has it, there is a weird curse that is hovering around Talladega Superspeedway. People believe that it is due to something involving Native Americans that used to live in the area with a number of possible root causes. The spirits of the Natives are said to have cursed the track, and that is why we have seen so many driver deaths and injuries here in the past. If you take everything that has happened in Talladega races over the years into consideration, it’s very reasonable to believe in the curse.
Talladega Superspeedway Spring Race Recap
A wild wreck ended Stage 1 of April’s Geico 500 race as Joey Logano flipped and almost landed on Bubba Wallace. Matt DiBenedetto won the first stage. After avoiding any major damage from the earlier incident, Bubba Wallace went on to win Stage 2. Matt DiBenedetto had the lead going into the final lap of the race, but he made the wrong move by choosing to block the outside lane. This opened up the door for his corporate teammate, Brad Keselowski, and the No. 2 car went on to score the win.
NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway | Weekend Racing Schedule
Chevrolet Silverado 250
Series: NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2021
Start Time: 1 P.M. EST
Distance: 250 miles
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2021
Start Time: 4:30 P.M. EST
Distance: 300 miles
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Date: Sunday, October 3, 2021
Start Time: 2 P.M. EST
Distance: 500 miles
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