Talladega Transformation: New superspeedway infield project unveiled
TALLADEGA, Ala. – NASCAR’s most competitive track — Talladega Superspeedway — along with its parent company, International Speedway Corporation (ISC), announced at a press conference today details of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project.
The approximate $50 million redevelopment endeavor is part of ISC’s long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes. The project, highlighted by a one-of-a-kind Garage Fan Zone Experience, will feature “up-close” access, interactive attractions and enhanced amenities for fans, sponsors, teams and stakeholders in the iconic Talladega infield.
Full completion of the modernized project is scheduled for October of 2019, just in time for the track’s fall NASCAR weekend. Talladega Superspeedway will also celebrate its 50th Anniversary next year. Construction will commence at the 2.66-mile venue after the upcoming NASCAR Playoff doubleheader weekend, Oct. 12-14, featuring the 1000Bulbs.com 500 and Talladega 250.
Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project will give the hundreds of thousands of fans who annually make the journey to central Alabama the chance to get closer than ever to NASCAR’s top drivers and teams via a fan walkway under the same roof as the race car bays in the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage. Add to it a unique 35,000 square foot covered Open Air Club, complete with ample seating, a bar and a 41-foot diagonal video screen, entertainment enthusiasts will be able to immerse themselves in the sport and witness the teams and drivers as the cars are prepped in the garage stalls for 3- and 4-wide racing.
“Since 1969, no other track in NASCAR has lived its brand better than Talladega Superspeedway. Big, bold and one-of-a-kind best describe this legendary facility and the larger-than-life visionary who created it, my grandfather Bill France Sr.,” said ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy.
“Today’s announcement, Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project, is a world-class extension of his vision offering many new amenities and conveniences. It’s a great day for the track, ISC and the state of Alabama. This is a special place to our family and so many race fans all over the world, and its future is incredibly bright,” Kennedy concluded.
“We have had nearly 50 years of incredible history in motorsports and have been a tourist destination for so many,” said Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway. “The investment that we are making shows a commitment today, tomorrow and beyond. Fans, both current and future, have a lot to look forward to in the next 50 years. There’s only one Talladega.”
The new garage viewing walkway is just one of a variety of new attractions for the fans as part of the Garage Fan Zone Experience, which will have over 140,000 square feet of social and engagement areas, complete with Wi-Fi, along with two new concession stands, restrooms complexes, a Guest Services Center and a fan First Aid facility.
The new Gatorade Victory Lane will offer fans from the grandstands, as well as those in the Garage Fan Zone Experience, a closer view of the winners who rewrite Talladega’s history. A two-level Paddock Club, with seating for more than 600 guests, will be located near the end of pit road.
Other amenities in the Garage Fan Zone Experience include four 25-person garage suites and four garage offices. The current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage will be used for the NASCAR Xfinity Series teams during the spring event weekend and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (as it will be known in 2019) in the fall.
“Talladega Superspeedway is where my career began as a driver so it holds a special place in my heart,” said NASCAR and International Motorsports Hall of Famer Richard Childress, who competed in Talladega’s first NASCAR race in 1969 and will also celebrate his 50th Anniversary in NASCAR in 2019.
“Over the years we have met so many fans that love our sport here, and with this new endeavor, Talladega and ISC are taking this place to next level. Fans have loved it for nearly 50 years, but this is going to take it to new heights,” added Childress, who, along with Hendrick Motorsports, has a Talladega record 12 wins as a team owner.
Approximately 300 new RV spaces – all with power and water hookups – will now be a part of the track’s infield via two main areas, one that will offer a view of the Alabama Gang Superstretch and the other located near the start-finish line. The new locations will offer premium opportunities to experience the world-famous Talladega infield, in which RV spaces have been filled to capacity months in advance for the past seven straight event weekends. Current infield RV areas, including those on the legendary Talladega Blvd, will remain the same.
Additional new enhancements are comprised of: a 2-lane, oversized vehicle tunnel at the end of the Alabama Gang Superstretch that will allow 24-hour entry/exit access for vehicular traffic, including RVs; a tram route that will deliver fans to the entrance of the new Garage Fan Zone Experience; infield premium parking opportunities; new infield shower options in Turns 1 & 2; expanded drivers meeting location; renovated media center; and a Race Operations building erected high atop the Tri-Oval that will house Race Control, LIVE TV booths for FOX & NBC, Motor Racing Network and Public Address.
RV spaces inside the Alabama Gang Superstretch, along with Race Operations, are scheduled for completion by the track’s spring event weekend of 2019 while all other aspects of the project are set to be finalized for the fall 2019 event weekend.
“Almost 50 years ago, Alabama became home to Talladega Superspeedway, a staple for the sport and a driver of tourism in our state,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said. “Today, I was thrilled to help kick off the development of the ‘Talladega Transformation Infield Project.’ This project will take this track into its next 50 years and give its loyal fans an even better experience.”
Hoar Construction, based in nearby Birmingham, AL, who has spearheaded some of the most recognizable landmarks in the Yellowhammer state, is the Preconstruction Contractor while the DLR Group is the Architect for Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project. DLR Group is also part of renovation projects at ISM Raceway (Phoenix) and Richmond Raceway (VA).
“We are excited to be involved in the redevelopment of the Talladega Superspeedway,” said Hoar Construction Vice President Turner Burton. “It is an honor to work with International Speedway Corporation on one of the most famous race tracks in the world. We are building a strong team of local partners that will make sure the project is a success and has a significant economic impact for our home state. We are looking forward to breaking ground this fall.”
“Talladega Superspeedway is an icon in the sports world,” said DLR Group Designer and Principal Bob Carlson. “It is an ultra-competitive festival atmosphere that offers a unique and authentic experience for fans. DLR Group collaborated with the leadership of Talladega Superspeedway and International Speedway Corporation to design a new way for fans to enjoy all of the elements that make race day memorable. Our design gives fans a front row view into the activity in the garages, as well as driver and pit crew interactions.”
For more information on all of the new opportunities as part of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project, call 855-518-RACE (7223).
Fans can also learn more about the project by visiting www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/transformation. News, images, video and up-to-date information will be available throughout the project.
Before the construction begins, Talladega will host its 2018 NASCAR Playoff doubleheader weekend this fall featuring the Talladega 250 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Noon CDT, and the 1000Bulbs.com 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 1 p.m. CDT. Saturday’s slate also includes Foodland/Food Giant Qualifying to determine the starting lineup for Sunday’s event in which Brad Keselowski is the defending champion.
Tickets are available and can be purchased online at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or by calling 855-518-RACE (7223).