Its that time of year again. Once in the spring and then once in the fall, little Talladega Alabama, is filled with NASCAR Fans. Thousands and thousands of NASCAR fans. It easily becomes the 5th largest city in the state of Alabama. Fans will save up their vacation time to take the entire week off and travel to the event. They bring their campers & tents to stay in the fields surrounding the track. I affectionately call it, ‘Panama City, with out the water’.
As new comers to the area here are a few tips going into the weekend:
1. Prices go up. Hotels up $200 – $300 per night. Gas has already gone up .20 to .30 cents a gallon, so I hope you already filled up for the weekend. A case of beer has gone up about $1. Except for Bush, Natty, and the Beast, they have 2 for 1 specials. (They run off a quantity over quality business model.)
2. Talladega County is dry on Sunday. Buy early and often.
3. On that note, buy lots and lots of ice. Lots of it. Bring it from Oxford, Anniston, Pell City, or wherever you are coming from. They will not have any by the time you get to the race and it will melt even faster.
4. Stay away from Walmart. Need I say more.
5. Want to rub elbows with the drivers? The Ark is Tony Stewart’s favorite place and Brad Keselowski is at Montana Grill every Friday night before the October Race. (You Haven’t Been to Dega if you Haven’t Been to ‘Tana’s– Buy the T-Shirt) The night races at the dirt track are exciting, and always have drivers roaming around.
6. The North Campground is the most ‘active’. (The one with the giant flags.) It’s free to go in, but you must show a ticket to the race to enter.
7. Traffic is a NIGHTMARE. All Talladega County schools are out the Friday before the race and delay start or cancel school the Monday following the race. Consider yourself warned.
8. All Alabama State Troopers and surrounding county law enforcement will be sitting and waiting for you between exit 173 and exit 168, all down HWY 77, Hwy 78, and over course Speedway Boulevard. They will catch you speeding, jake braking, texting, and drunk driving. Don’t be Dumb.
9. Not everyone has access to showers. Ok, 97% of those staying around the track won’t shower. All one can hope is they brought some Axe Body Spray and brushed their teeth, and that was probably with day old beer.
10. People watch. Talladega brings a very eclectic crowd. The NASCAR fan base truly stretches demographic and socioeconomic boundaries. It’s better than the airport!
Now that you live in east Central Alabama you must go and experience Talladega! At least once…
Did I miss something? Have something to add? Please leave a comment below.