Growing up in Talladega, I was always told that our city was the largest in the state twice a year because of the crowd that the race attracted. A running joke during school is that we didn’t get Fall Break since we got Race Weekend. Schools in Talladega County would get half a day off on Friday and all day off of school on Monday in an attempt to avoid any traffic, but the crowd starts coming in at least a week before.
There is nothing like a race weekend in Talladega. It takes weeks of preparation and participation from the whole town. If you are driving through town, there will be race memorabilia pop-up shops on every corner. All of the stores in town put up big “Welcome Race Fans” signs that hang in the windows for weeks, and getting a good camping spot takes commitment. The devoted race fans show up about a week before the race festivities begin to claim their territory.
Talladega Superspeedway has changed a lot in fifty years. Since last October, the infield of the track has been under construction and is re-opening in time for the fiftieth anniversary celebration. Even though there has been some remodeling, the culture and excitement that surrounds race weekend in Talladega is just as electrifying as ever. So, if you ever have a need for speed, Talladega Superspeedway is the place to visit.