E.A. Sports Today

Ready for Phase 2

Talladega Superspeedway will drop the green flag on Phase 2 of its Infield Transformation Project as soon as Sunday’s race concludes
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
TALLADEGA – The hum of high-performance engines will be replaced by the roar and clatter of heavy-duty equipment almost as soon as the checkered flag drops today as Phase 2 of Talladega’s Infield Transformation is about to get underway.
Talladega Superspeedway and ISC officials briefed the media Sunday on this most aggressive phase of chairman Grant Lynch’s $50 million parting gift to the track. They have an “extremely aggressive and tight timeline” for getting it done and expect it to be completed by mid- to late-September, well in time for fans to enjoy during the 1000Bulbs.com 500 fall race.
This phase includes the massive Talladega Garage Experience, the centerpiece of which is a 22-bay garage for that week’s top 22 cars designed to give fans unique viewing opportunities of all team and inspection stations, “putting them into the center of the locker room of the sport,” Lynch said. It’ll also include a new Victory Lane, garage suites and race operations and broadcast facilities.
“This probably cannot ever be done again of this magnitude because we’re the biggest race track and we have the most acreage or square-footage to work with in the infield,” Lynch said. “This is my last year and to get the chance to build the biggest project we’ve ever had here in my 26 years in the last year is a real honor and once we get this thing built then I can leave it to other folks to figure out what to do with it.”
International Speedway Corp., Talladega’s parent company, has overseen similar renovation projects at its tracks in Phoenix, Richmond and Daytona, but this one will be by far the most aggressive given its tight window. Contractors will be mobilized Monday as vendors leave the track and construction will commence Wednesday, officials said.
“It is quite an undertaking,” Paul Bellas of the ISC design team said. “What we’re going to be doing here over the summer is probably the fastest infield redevelopment we’ve ever done as a company by about a month and a half. Before that we did Richmond and that was a little bit longer of a schedule.”
Phase 1 of the project was completed and officially opened earlier this week – the two-way oversized tunnel in turn 3 to serve fan RVs and race team haulers.
“We have so many tracks in the Southeast you could pick from,” Lynch said. “Well, we’re stepping up a big notch now and putting ourselves, I think, at the pinnacle of fan amenities with the size of scope of our project.”

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