If you think large-scale RV tailgating, loud music, cars traveling at over 180 miles per hour, and families are a bad combination, you might think differently after spending a weekend at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama!
Over the weekend of October 5th - October 7th Talladega Superspeedway's 23 campgrounds will be filled to capacity as fans file in to witness the Talladega 500 race. But for some the race is not the primary reason for attending.
RV and race enthusiasts will be glad to know that in 2008 Talladega was named the top NASCAR track for tailgating, and for good reason. Sitting on what used to be an Air Force base the speedway has one of the largest infields of any tracks on the NASCAR circuit and is thus one of the largest parties in the nation. Typically tailgating begins three to four days before the race begins and has been compared to Mardi Gras - late-night partying, poker games, and dancing are common occurrences.
But it's not just all beer and bedlam in the infield. Campgrounds at Talladega fall into three categories - "party atmosphere," "quiet atmosphere," and "family atmosphere." Families who spend the weekend in an infield "family atmosphere" zone enjoy being close to the action without having to worry about their children being kept up late at night. They also enjoy the benefits of being close to DEGA Kids Zone, an area dedicated to kids with a load of activities like climbing, putting tires on model race cars and playing Nintendo games.
While the kids are having fun, race fans will be focused on the main event - the race. Talladega Superspeedway is the largest track on the NASCAR circuit: 2.66 miles to be exact. It is also one of the fastest. But it is not pure speed that makes racing at Talladega so exciting. Rather, it is the drafting.
Since aerodynamics are of the utmost importance at Talladega, the cars race in one large pack, often referred to as "the freight train." Within the pack, cars draft off of each other, often racing with only a few inches between each car. As a result, lead changes occur frequently and multi-car pile ups are not uncommon. One slight mistake can lead to disastrous results. The unpredictability of the race keeps the fans on their feet. Don't try this in your RV!
Perhaps it's the unpredictability of the weekend in general that adds to the Talladega mystique. Who will you meet at the campground? Drinks at your RV or mine? And, of primary importance, who will win the race? With so many unknowns, there is but one guarantee, this weekend will never be forgotten.
You can find out more at Talladega Superspeedway.
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