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 Geico 500 on Sunday afternoon, the tenth 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. However, it remains the longest oval that NASCAR will run at this year.
Talladega is just like Daytona International Speedway in that if you can start your engine, you can 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?
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, Alabama, and Talladega Superspeedway was born.
The track opened on September 13, 1969, about ten years after Daytona opened. 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 track. One interesting characteristic of Talladega is 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 Trioval is banked at 16.5 degrees.
Talladega hosts two NASCAR Cup Series races annually, as well as one Xfinity Series race and a Truck Series race. This weekend, we will see the Xfinity cars race 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 at the track. If you take everything that has happened in Talladega races over the years into consideration, it’s very reasonable to believe in the curse.
NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway | Weekend Racing Schedule
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021
Start Time: 4 P.M. EST
Distance: 300 miles
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Date: Sunday, April 25, 2021
Start Time: 2 P.M. EST
Distance: 500 miles