The Road To Talladega: Part One - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Talladega, AL

The Road To Talladega: Part One

Welcome to Talladega superspeedway, home to more than two and a half miles of action packed, bumper to bumper, three-wide racing.

With 30 degree banking in the turns and incredibly high speeds, fans will tell you, they love every inch of it.

"It's just like a Mardi Gras, and we have a blast. We've been to Phoenix and some of the other races, but it just doesn't compare to this one. AW: How far of a drive is it for you? It's about 30 hours of driving time," race fan Dennis Steen said.

Of course, others don't travel nearly that far to get their racing fix.

Take Randy Johnson, for example.

It's his third year here at his favorite spot in the north campground.

In 2004, he spotted this precious piece of real estate while driving down I-20 one day.

"One thing, I only live about 25 miles from here, up in Heflin, Alabama. My in-laws come up from Arizona and from Illinois, I have a son coming from Iowa and we've told them about Talladega, and it's one of the best race tracks in the nation," Johnson said.

More than 180-thousand fans pack the track here at Talladega to see their favorite drivers twice a year. Believe me when I say, when I say favorite drivers, each and every fans opinion is different.

"Kevin Harvick," exclaims Emmett Orr.

"He's good at this track, real good."

Johnson, adorned in a Jeff Gordon hat and shirt is also quick to tell you who's his driver.

"I've been running with Jeff for a long time, I've been getting harassed quite a bit for it, but I stand tall for him," Johnson said.

All have their drivers and all wait a long time to see them.

The die-hard fans reserve their tickets months in advance.

You can learn a lot from the seasoned veteran fans...even learn a life lesson or two, like James Harris, who learned the secret to a long marriage.

"Women go shopping, we sit here in the camp. AW: And I bet you've met some interesting people too. A whole bunch of them last year and probably a whole bunch more this year. AW: Looking forward to it then? Absolutely, wouldn't miss it," Harris said.

The fever of race day approaches and the fans here in Talladega are ready for the heat.

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