Talladega is the name of both a city and a race track in Alabama. The city was named after an early settler named James Talladega. The track’s surface is asphalt and has a banking sector on each turn. The track’s length is a little over one mile (1.6km) and has four main straightaways. Some other notable features include the checkered flag on the front straightway and a grandstand that spectators can use to follow the action. As a NASCAR race track, Talladega is best known for its yearly race, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, on which many of the sport’s biggest stars race. Due to its popularity, the track has become a bit of a pilgrimage for sports fans and even has its own annual Thanksgiving day race.
The Track’s Surfaces
As with any other sports facility, the track’s surface plays an important role in how the track functions. A smooth and level surface promotes lower air drag, allowing for faster speeds. Additionally, a tightly packed surface promotes better traction between the tires and the track, again aiding in higher speeds. However, a smooth and level surface is not all that is needed to promote high speeds. The turns and especially the straightaways need to have some elevation changes to make the track truly special. For this reason, tracks like Bristol Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway have hills and even a few curves along their main straightaways. In addition to these features, some tracks have chosen to add an elevation change to each one of their turns for even more excitement. Witness the great heights that Watkins Glen and Richmond Raceway have climbed since their inception.
The Track’s Banking Sector
One of the most distinctive features of Talladega is its banking sector. This is where the track makes the turns and straights more interesting by adding a small incline into the design. This allows for an increase of traction and speed as the tires climb the hill and reach the top. On the turns, the banking adds some flair by adding a small rise and fall to each turn, further promoting cornering as the driver takes the curve. The result is that Talladega is always a speedway, even when the surface isn’t in use.
The History Of The Track
Talladega was originally constructed as a military base in the 1930s. After the base closed in the 1950s, the track was purchased by sports businessmen who transformed it into a grand prix-style track that would eventually host the 1969 Grand Prix International. After this race, the track hosted several other races until NASCAR took over in 2002. Since then, it has become a popular choice for many NASCAR races and is currently one of the venues for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. With over 200,000 seats and millions of dollars in prize money, it is clear that Talladega is one of the most popular tracks in all of sports. If you have the opportunity, visit the track in person. You will not be disappointed.