Since the checkered flag flew on the GEICO 500 nearly three weeks ago, Talladega Superspeedway’s infield has seen mass demolition of buildings and structures to make way for the new Talladega Garage Experience, which will debut for the 1000Bulbs.com 500 and Sugarlands Shine 250 on October 11-13.
While much of the beginning of Phase II of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project presented by Graybar is seeing part of the infield pit/garage area leveled, one building – Race Operations outside the mammoth 2.66-mile venue – already has its steel structure form and is being created high above the track’s Tri-Oval.
The new Race Operations building, which will be 127 feet high – roughly 10 stories – from the ground to the top of its roof, will house Race Control where NASCAR officials will call the race, along with analysts for LIVE Network Television (NBC in fall, and FOX in spring) and LIVE Radio – Motor Racing Network (MRN), as well as public address (PA) announcers. During Talladega’s recent race weekend, FOX’s Jeff Gordon, MRN’s Jeff Striegle and NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton – all of whom will be in the new structure for future events –saw the new construction and had rave reviews.
“I don’t know how we as commentators can get more excited about calling a race at Talladega, but the new tower will give us that opportunity,” said Gordon, who finished his career tied for second with Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the track’s all-time career win list with six. “I get just as excited in the booth as I did behind the wheel at Talladega because I know how tense it is out there, and with us being up so high, it’s going to give us a whole new perspective of such an incredible place.”
Race Operations, which is being built by GT Grandstands, a PlayCore Company out of Plant City, FL (www.gtgrandstands.com), will be 116 feet long by 18 feet tall, and 33 feet deep. It will also provide a new location for all the race team spotters, who will have the full length on top of the building to communicate with their driver and team. The new building will also oversee the Talladega Garage Experience (TGE) that will allow fans to be immersed into the sport of NASCAR like never before.
The TGE, which includes access under the same roof where the race cars are being prepped by the race teams, will feature “up-close” access, interactive attractions and enhanced amenities for fans, sponsors, teams and stakeholders in the iconic Talladega infield. It will take the place of the current garage/pit area that stretches from the center of the Tri-Oval all the way down near the start-finish line.
The approximately $50 million Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar is part of International Speedway Corporation’s (Talladega’s parent company) long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes. Some items in the new TGE will include: a fan viewing walkway to the teams, cars and inspection stations during race preparation in the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage; New Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garages (44 stalls); New, modern Open Air Club (covered) with close-up viewing of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage; Wi-Fi presented by Xtreme Concepts in all areas of the TGE; New Gatorade Victory Lane with fan up-close view in TGE; Pit Road Club to enhance the experience for fans and corporate guests; Exclusive social, engagement areas with Concessions/Souvenirs/Restrooms facilities, Guest Services Center & First Aid facility; and much more!