Sept. 13, 1969
Bill France Sr., founder of NASCAR, helped created the Talladega Superspeedway in the late 1960s at a time most major tracks were located along the Atlantic Coast. France wanted a track more centrally located in the Southeast and chose a 2,000-acre site off Interstate 20 near the town of Talladega. Track construction began in May 1968, and the facility opened the next year as the Alabama International Motor Speedway. The first race, the Bama 400, was held on this day in 1969. Talladega is NASCAR’s largest race track and typically produces the fastest race speeds in the circuit. The Superspeedway is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a $50 million “Transformation” project that includes a new infield fan zone and garages.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Construction of the Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) began in Talladega County in May 1968. The track hosted its first race in September 1969. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Talladega Superspeedway)
NASCAR founder Bill France, second from right, breaks ground on the new Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in Talladega County in 1969. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Talladega Superspeedway)
Pictured here is a ticket for the inaugural Alabama 500 race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Talladega County. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives and History)
Talladega Superspeedway, in north-central Talladega County, is one of the largest and fastest racetracks in the world. It was built by NASCAR founder Bill France and opened in 1969. The facility lies adjacent to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Valerie Glenn)
Nascar President and CEO Brian France watch as Bill France Sr. is selected to the Nascar Hall of Fame on October 14, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.