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Welcome to the Talladega Superspeedway, otherwise known as the world’s fastest closed course stock car facility…
This massive 2.66-mile-high banked oval was built back in 1969 on what was a former World War II military base.
If you say the word ‘Talladega’ to a race fan, they’re gonna think of three things:
- Incredible speed
- Spectacular photo finishes
- Some of the most memorable, wild crashes…
You owe it to yourself to come here for a race – but if you can’t get here on one of those weekends you can still re-live all those memories by going to the museum just behind this banquet. That’s what we’re going to show you today…
A Palace of Speed
Inside the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega Superspeedway, we talked with the Director of Public Relations, Russell Branham.
Russel told us about speed and records and how it all started with a car and a driver named Buddy Baker.
Talladega Superspeedway was built back in 1969 by Bill France Sr. and his whole idea was to build a palace of speed.
In 1970, Buddy Baker came here, and he was the gentle giant. His right foot was heavy, heavy, heavy… and the goal during the test session was to be the first person to go over 200 mph on a closed course.
On March 24th, 1970, Buddy Baker did just that at 200.4 miles per hour. Now Buddy Baker may have been the first, but Bill Elliot was the fastest at 212 miles per hour in 1987. That led everyone to call him “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” because when you’re that fast, you’re pretty awesome.
If it has wheels on it, we’ve got it…
We asked Russell to tell us about the International Motorsports Hall of Fame; what it and why was it developed?
He told us:
“It was put here back in the mid-80s. Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr. wanted to build a Hall of Fame here at Talladega and I would put the collection of stock cars and the memorabilia that we’ve got here up against any other hall of fame, any other museum.”
“You’ve walked through here, and you’ve seen cars from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. All the way up until today and you can also see some other kinds of cars too. Indy cars, road racing cars, go-karts, motorcycles you name it, if it has wheels on it, we’ve got it.”
“The race cars are here and when you look at them you remember things that happened in history, the moments that made what NASCAR is today and motorsports in general. When you take this tour, you see it… If you remember it from way back when you get goosebumps – and if you haven’t seen it back in the past you can read about it and it gets you excited about it.”
All the traditional methods out the window…
“We see a lot of good looking cars on this show, and this is another magnificent machine… This is a 1956 Ford Big Window, F100, and this truck is gorgeous. It’s amazing, it’s absolutely amazing. This paint is flawless, and people come up to us all the time and ask how they can get their car to look this good? We get it all the time…
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