TALLADEGA, Ala. (WIAT) — The roar of a stock car engine is half the fun of a NASCAR race.
Grant Lynch, the head of Talladega Superspeedway, understands that all too well.
“People want to get close to the stars of the sport,” Lynch said.
That’s why he and the rest of the staff at Talladega Superspeedway were excited about the unveiling of Big Bill’s Wednesday, the race track’s new open-air social club. The club was named in honor of Talladega Superspeedway builder and NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr.
“We wanted to build it for our fans and I think we’re delivering on our promise,” Lynch said.
The garage experience is the pearl of a $50 million renovation of the track. The garage for 22 racing teams will be housed inside the pavilion, giving fans up-close access to drivers and Victory Lane while enjoying the race in style. It will cost an additional $89 to access the garage experience.
Former NASCAR driver Red Farmer spoke at the unveiling ceremony, and told CBS 42 that in his heart, he believes that France is smiling down on his beloved track.
“Big Bill right now is looking down and happy seeing what he has accomplished over 50 years [after] he scratched [Talladega Superspeedway] in the dirt and everybody thought he was crazy to build a track like this out in the middle of nowhere,” said Farmer. “But he figured if he built it, they would come. That’s what’s gonna happen now.”
Gov. Kay Ivey is hopeful that the attraction can serve as an economic asset for the state.
“More people will be coming now because the experience is the ultimate fan experience,” Ivey said.
Announcing the beginning of the new fan experience in Talladega, Ivey echoed the words of legendary driver Darrell Waltrip.
“Let’s go racing, boys!” Ivey shouted.
The renovations are expected to be completed by the next series of races at Talladega in mid-October.