|The Alabama 500 will be raced at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, October 21.|
A blur of colors roars past at 200 mph with the deafening noise from 43 dueling race cars that are separated by mere inches. Suddenly, two of the cars touch, and spectators leap from their seats more in fear of flying debris than for a better vantage point. The squeal of skidding tires and odor of burnt rubber accompany an abrupt crash that leaves wreckage scattered across the asphalt.
No sport is more breathtaking than automobile racing, and with 2.6 miles of raceway action and steep 33-degree banked turn, no track is faster than the Talladega Superspeedway. The Alabama 500, held each October in Talladega is one of NASCAR’s premier events.
It’s been a sad, though no less exciting, year for Winston Cup stock car racing. The sport’s most colorful champion, Dale Earnhardt, was killed on the final lap of the Daytona 500, the first race of the year. In search of victory at any cost, Earnhardt became legendary for his controversial driving maneuvers.
In recent weeks, renegade driving tactics have ignited a weekly feud between veterans Ricky Rudd (who drives the late Davey Allison’s black and orange Number 28 Texaco Ford) and Rusty Wallace. Each weekend, one driver pays the other back for destruction inflicted the week before. The conflict escalated two weeks ago in Dover, Delaware, at the track known as the Monster Mile. Rudd clipped Wallace while putting him a lap down. Several laps later, Wallace blatantly smashed the rear of Rudd’s car, spinning Rudd out and costing him the race. After the race, Rudd confronted Wallace, grabbing him by the collar as the two exchanged threats in the garage. All eyes will be on the quarreling pair when the green flag drops at Talladega on Sunday, October 21.
Alabama 500 racing action begins Thursday, October 18, and Friday, October 19, with qualifying for the weekend’s races. Saturday will feature the ARCA Food World 300, and Sunday, October 21, features the big one, the Alabama 500. Call 256-362-RACE for details.