Who Owns Talladega Speedway? [Expert Guide!]

Talladega Speedway is a place that you either love or you hate. Whether you’re a racer or a spectator, the legendary track in Alabama has captivated fans for over 80 years. While it is true that the racing in this part of the country is more than acceptable, it’s fair to say that the passion behind it all is more than a little different. For those interested in racing, this is a place that you couldn’t miss. However, for those who enjoy the thrills that the stock car industry can give, there are other options as well. In this article, we’ll explore the history of Talladega Speedway and who actually owns it.

Early Years

Talladega Speedway first came to be on April 30, 1922 when a group of investors purchased the racing track, named it after themselves, and announced that they would be holding races there that fall. Things didn’t go according to plan and soon enough, the original owners were forced to sell the property to Ned Hanlin. Hanlin was a well-known owner of automobile races at the time and saw the potential that the area had to offer. He began renovating the track and held his first practice session on November 1st, 1922. Since then, Hanlin has gone on to become one of the most prominent figures in the sport and is credited with starting several car companies, including Hanlin Motors, which became part of Ford in 1929. He is also known for bringing racing to small towns where there were no other businesses or attractions, which is why most of the tracks he owned are either in rural areas or in small towns that didn’t have any other forms of entertainment. This strategy helped him dominate the sport for many years and earn millions of dollars.

The Birth Of The International Speedway

In 1960, a young man named Bill France Sr. purchased the property from Hank and Edy Kaufman and renamed it International Speedway. At the time, France was already one of the most successful business magnates in the country and had a vast array of properties, including a racetrack in Illinois that he purchased in 1944. He loved the idea of bringing racing to other parts of the country and creating something that would be an attraction for both locals and travelers. The following year, he acquired another track in Delaware and named it the Delaware International Speedway, which closed down in 1972.

Fast forward to 1968 and we find ourselves in the midst of the Vietnam War. Racers opposed to the war were at the forefront of the protest movement and decided that they would no longer be accepting of being involved in the sport that they loved so much. This resulted in a split in the motorsport community with some going to sanctioned tracks and others staying away altogether. The anti-war protesters created a new organization called the Firecracker 500 and held an annual race at International Speedway called the Firecracker 400. This race was modeled after the prestigious Indianapolis 500 and was aimed at bringing attention to the growing opposition in the country towards the Vietnam War. It wasn’t long before other tracks followed suit and held their own anti-war protest races, too. The war may have ended in 1973, but the protests continued until 1975.

Racing Today

The Vietnam War may have taken its toll on the racing community, but it didn’t stop fans from going to the track. In fact, the demand for cars and racing equipment in general increased as a result of the military conflict and when the economy began to recover, fans turned to the sport as a way of life, as evidenced by the fact that total racing attendance increased by 28% in 1975 compared to the previous year. This was mainly due to the fact that many tracks were closed down in the country as a result of the protests, preventing fans from having a place to go. However, since that time, the sport has declined in popularity as tracks have closed down and the economy has shifted to other industries. Attendance at NASCAR races in particular has decreased by 49% since 2010, with only 16.7 million people attending the sport as of 2018.

Who Owns Talladega Speedway?

The history of Talladega Speedway is one of a kind, not only because of its unique location and the fact that it is one of the oldest tracks that still exists, but also because it has been owned by several prominent individuals. In fact, the track is currently valued at around $14 million, which puts it in the category of high-end sports and entertainment properties. Whoever buys it will be getting into quite the exclusive club of people who have owned this track. It also makes for a great investment, as well. If you’re interested, you can learn more about this magnificent piece of American racing history at https://myleskearns.com/who-owns-talladega-speedway/.

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