Talladega Days and Nights
It’s the most remote spot of all of the NASCAR venues. The wildest two weekends of the nearly 10 month NASCAR season can be summed up in one word. “Dega!” It has often been compared to Mardigras, only instead of New Orleans, it takes place on thousands of uninhabited acres in central Alabama. No bull, you should bring some Mardi-gras style beads. It may not be the best scenery in the world, but you will see more than you could ever want. This is one to leave the women and children you love, and also the faint of heart at home. This is the only remaining NASCAR location that offers free camping, so it really brings them out of the woodwork. It’s freaking wild! There are no hotels in Dega. Its 150,000 plus of the South’s finest rednecks all living together in one large campground/ RV park. Well, actually more like 200 grand if you count the 50,000 or so who come only for the party and don’t even make it to the race. However, I don’t recommend that. It’s hard to describe what it is like to see 43 cars blowing past you in less than 3 seconds at over 200 miles per hour. Dega fans truly personify every crazy stereotype you have ever heard about NASCAR fans. It’s by far and away the best “people-watching” I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’ve seen some characters.
The weather is almost always great in Talladega. The spring race falls in April so the hot Alabama summer temps haven’t set in yet. The fall race is in middle to late October, so it too usually offers a very mild, comfortable environment.
Dega is without question the most affordable race weekend of the year. Seeing that the camping is free and the race is one of only 2 or 3 remaining where you can get great seats for often well under 100 bucks, there is no reason that this wild little town shouldn’t be in your upcoming road trip plans. Oh yeah, almost forgot. NASCAR is the only remaining professional sport that will allow you to carry your own cooler into the stands with you. Just one more perk.