TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega Superspeedway has hosted 96 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) races since it opened in September 1969. Over that time frame, a Chevrolet has pulled into Gatorade Victory Lane an astounding track record 40 times. When NASCAR roars into Talladega for the Alabama 500 playoff event on Sunday, Oct. 15, Chevrolet and the bowtie brigade are hoping to add another notch in the Talladega belt.
It actually took eight years before Chevrolet could ‘find new roads’ at the historic venue to capture a triumph with NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip in 1977. In addition to Chevrolet, seven other manufacturers have been able to lay claim to a Talladega victory. They include Dodge, Plymouth, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac and Ford, which ranks second at TSS with 25 wins.
For Chevy, there have been 18 drivers who have taken the bowtie to victory at Talladega. They include: Dale Earnhardt Sr. (9 wins), Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon (6), Ernie Irvan, Sterling Marlin, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer (2); and 11 drivers with a single TSS victory in a Chevrolet. Two Chevy owners – Rick Hendrick and Richard Childress – are tied with a record 12 wins each at Talladega.
Chevrolet has also captured 37 poles at TSS – the most among manufacturers.
Below highlights a look back at some of the most memorable Chevrolet moments at Talladega’s unique 2.66-mile layout:
- 1977 – It took 16 races for a Chevrolet driver to triumph at Talladega, but Waltrip and Donnie Allison made it a Chevy sweep, as Waltrip drove the No. 88 DiGard Racing Chevrolet to victory lane in April, while Allison piloted Hoss Ellington’s No. 1 Chevrolet to the winner’s circle in August.
- 1984 – Chevrolet drivers swept events again with Cale Yarborough, in a Harry Ranier-owned machine, claiming his second of three Talladega wins, while Dale Earnhardt Sr. captured his first of nine Talladega victories for Richard Childress in a Chevy (he won the year before, but it was in the No. 15 Ford owned by Bud Moore).
- 1990 – Earnhardt Sr., driving his famous black No. 3 Chevrolet, claimed both of Talladega’s events for the first time in his career – something he would do again in 1999. He led nearly 65% of the laps in the two races in ’90, defeating Greg Sacks in April and Bill Elliott in August.
- 1999-2007 – The 18-race span was noteworthy for Chevrolet, as it won 13 consecutive races at NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track and 17 of 18 events. It started with Earnhardt Sr.’s 1999 race sweep and ended when Jeff Gordon won both events in 2007. Seven different drivers wheeled their Chevrolet to victory lane during the stretch, led by Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who each had five victories. Four of Earnhardt Jr.’s five victories came consecutively from the fall of 2001 through the spring of 2003. Also during this period Earnhardt Sr. made a memorable run in fall of 2000 when he drove from 18th to first in less than five laps to win his 10th Talladega race and the 76th and final MENCS victory of his career. The only driver to steer a non-Chevrolet to triumph during that time was Dale Jarrett (Ford) in fall of 2005 – his final career victory.
- 2009-2011 – Brad Keselowski’s first Talladega victory came in the spring of 2009, his first MENCS event at the intimidating venue while driving for the No. 09 underfunded, independent Chevrolet team. Chevrolet drivers also won all four Talladega Superspeedway races during the 2010 and 2011 seasons – most notably Jimmie Johnson’s triumph over Clint Bowyer by just 0.002 second in the spring of 2011, which still stands as the closet finish in NASCAR history.
Earnhardt Jr. is the latest driver to take Chevy to Gatorade Victory Lane in the 2015 spring GEICO 500. The six-time winner, who is tied with Gordon on the all-time TSS win list, trails only his father – Earnhardt Sr., with 10 triumphs at ‘Dega. He’ll make his final start at the famed track in the Alabama 500, hoping for win number seven and the 41st for the bowtie emblem.
Don’t miss this fall’s playoff weekend that kicks off on Friday, Oct. 13 with a full slate of practice sessions for both the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and Alabama 500. The fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola, where the field of championship eligible contenders will be trimmed from eight to six at event’s end, is scheduled for 12 Noon (CDT) on Saturday, Oct. 14. The weekend concludes the following day with the Alabama 500, the “Wildcard” race in the Round of 12 of NASCAR’s playoffs, set to get underway at 1 p.m. (CDT).
For more information or to order tickets visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com
About Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway is NASCAR’s Most Competitive (record of 88 lead changes in 188 laps), highest banked (33 degrees), and longest track (2.66-miles), as well as the most fun and fan-friendly. Talladega offers something for everyone, including hundreds of acres of free camping, amazing kids ticket and college student prices, along with special offers for military members and first responders. The historic venue, built in 1969, is deemed NASCAR’s “Party Capital” thanks to the track’s infamous infield, which features the traditional Saturday Night Concert (featuring Colt Ford Powered by American Ethanol) and the world-renowned Talladega Blvd, home of the Friday night “Big One on the Blvd” party. It’s the site of the most comfortable seats in motorsports, large ISM Vision HD video viewing boards that line the frontstretch and endless pre-race activities for fans on race day, including special kid’s VIP opportunities. Talladega Superspeedway’s next NASCAR weekend is set for October 13-15, featuring the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race Sat. Oct. 14 – the final race in the Round of 8 in the NCWTS Playoffs where the field of eligible title contenders will be trimmed from eight to six. The weekend’s anchor is on Sun. Oct. 15 with the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event, the second race in the Round of 12 during the MENCS Playoffs. For more details and ticket information simply log on to www.talladegasuperspeedway.