When it comes to big NASCAR fun, it's hard to beat Talladega Superspeedway , the 2.66-mile-long track that is the longest oval on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. Making it even larger than life for a select few NASCAR fans was being on hand as a DraftKings VIP for the October CampingWorld.com 500 during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . "Thanks to DraftKings for an unforgettable weekend at Talladega ," wrote DraftKings VIP Crystalbil. "The VIP experience was just that, VIP. My father and I had infield parking, all access to the pits and garages, we even sat on the pit wall during Sprint Cup qualifiers. We got to talk with pit crews about tires and pit box setup. ... The people were great at DraftKings putting together a weekend my father and I will never forget. They made it easy to feel like the king of the track." Besides behind-the-scenes access to pit road, DraftKings VIPs also got a chance to experience Talladega like never before. "From doing laps at 130 mph-plus on the banks of Talladega , in a pace car, to sitting up front in the drivers' meeting, DraftKings has you covered," wrote VIP lgbowling2. "They will show you how cars go through inspection, a tour of the garage and up close for driver introductions. Keep your eyes out, as you never know who will be in attendance that day." Terry Morris and his wife Cricket were especially impressed by the attention paid to them by DraftKings hosts. "I have been a NASCAR fan for many years and we were treated like VIPs," Morris said. "We were picked up at the parking lot by your team and escorted from each event. We had a hoot. We loved the pace car ride at Talladega . I have a greater respect for all NASCAR drivers. ... Then, we were there for driver introductions with a special opportunity to take pictures with Martin Truex Jr ." You too could share a similar experience at an upcoming NASCAR race by playing DraftKings. Not familiar with DraftKings? It's a daily fantasy sports game that allows players to experience a one-of-kind event experience as DraftKings has access to a direct data feed from NASCAR Digital Media that contains real-time stats. In each game, participants are assigned a fixed salary cap they can use to draft their entire roster, comprised of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. Scoring categories in DraftKings NASCAR daily fantasy sports games include finishing position, fastest laps, laps led and place differential. NASCAR games on DraftKings provides fans the opportunity to win one-of-a-kind NASCAR prizes and VIP experiences. More information on DraftKings NASCAR daily fantasy sports games is available at www.draftkings.com . Editor's note: The views expressed in this story pertaining to the DrafttKings VIP experience are solely those of previous winners.
Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Hank Williams, Jr., Billy Currington, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lee Brice, Martina McBride, Gary Allan, Tyler Farr and Many More at First-Ever Dega Jam Music Festival at Talladega Superspeedway , July 1-3, 2016 Tickets, VIP Packages and Travel Packages on Sale Now Early-Bird Pricing for 3-Day Passes Available for a Limited Time ( Talladega , Ala.) - October 25, 2015 – Dega Jam , the first-ever country music festival held at Talladega Superspeedway , announced a monster lineup for the first-time event. Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Hank Williams, Jr., Billy Currington, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lee Brice, Martina McBride, Gary Allan, Kip Moore, Tyler Farr and dozens more will keep the party rocking over Fourth of July weekend, July 1, 2 & 3, 2016 at the famed Talladega Superspeedway . Dega Jam, which will take place in the infield of the biggest NASCAR track in the country, will feature a huge music lineup over three days and nights, programmed on three specially designed performance stages. The mega-music festival will offer fans a thrilling new annual way to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday weekend. General Admission 3-day passes, VIP packages and travel packages are all on sale now. Early-bird pricing for weekend passes is available for a limited time. Camping opportunities will be available for purchase starting October 29. Visit DegaJam.com for all festival information, including participating hotels. The full 2016 Dega Jam lineup includes: Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Hank Williams, Jr., Billy Currington, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lee Brice, Martina McBride, Gary Allan, Kip Moore, Tyler Farr, Chase Rice, Chris Janson, Dwight Yoakam, Frankie Ballard, Jamey Johnson, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Niemann, Sara Evans, The Time Jumpers featuring Vince Gill, Kenny Sears, and Ranger Doug Green, Montgomery Gentry, Marty Stuart, Eli Young Band, Colt Ford, Brothers Osborne, Brandy Clark, Clare Dunn, John Anderson, Kristian Bush, The Cadillac Three, Aaron Lewis, Pat Green, Josh Thompson, RaeLynn, Mac Powell, Rodney Atkins, Cassadee Pope, Shooter Jennings The Swon Brothers, Mo Pitney, Frank Foster, Whiskey Myers, and Ruthie Collins. Quint Davis, producer/director said, “Dega Jam is coming to join the thunder that rocks Talladega Superspeedway . From the opening night strains of ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd to Eric Church and his mega-hit ‘ Talladega ’ on Saturday night, to taking it home with Kid Rock’s ‘Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long,’ the Dega Jam will live up to its namesake. A country festival like no other, Dega Jam headlines Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Hank Williams, Jr., and 40 more stars from all branches of country music. In the infield of the Superspeedway , on three stages for three days, country music will be celebrated from modern superstar Martina McBride, to legendary rocker Dwight Yoakam, and everything in between, including Lee Brice, Billy Currington, Gary Allan, Montgomery Gentry, Tyler Farr, native Alabamians Sara Evans and Jamey Johnson. Even Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill brings his Time Jumpers to the party. And a party it will be; for sure there is something for everyone. All tickets go on sale today. Be one of the lucky few that get to actually camp out in the infield, inside the Festival itself, where the party really never stops. Hey, it’s not just a music Festival, it’s Talladega !” “Being the biggest race track in NASCAR and having nearly 3,000 acres of unlimited camping opportunities, Dega Jam is uniquely positioned to become one of the – if not the – biggest country music festival in the country,” said Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway . “More than 70 percent of our NASCAR customers come from outside of the state, generating more than $380 million annually for Alabama tourism, and we expect Dega Jam to add significantly to this economic impact. When these fans make their journey to Dega Jam, they will find that ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ has lots more to offer, too. From delicious food delicacies to incredible road-trip destinations, Alabama has it all. We can’t wait for July 2016.” Just as it is for the races at Talladega , Dega Jam will allow fans to camp in the infield, literally inside the festival. A full-range of camping opportunities is available for virtually any budget, from pitching a tent to deluxe RV locations adjacent to the stages. Special VIP packages – the “Crew Chief VIP Experience” and “VIP Pit Pass” - will allow for a variety of special privileges, depending upon which package is selected: an exclusive upfront, golden-circle viewing area at the main stage and with VIP viewing at the other stages; access to the White Lightning VIP Club offering a comfortable hospitality tent and private cash bar; and other comforts and amenities. VIP packages will be available in limited quantities. Fans at the festival will also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favorite country stars at artist meet-and-greets located throughout pit road and inside NASCAR garages. Numerous other features—a select festival menu sold from food booths and food trucks; carnival rides; arcade games; country-and-western merchandise; cool zone water elements; and more—will all be a part of the festival, as Dega Jam transforms Talladega Superspeedway into a festival-goer’s paradise. Be part of the Dega Jam community at any of the following: DegaJam.com DegaJam on Facebook @degajam on Twitter degajam on Instagram AEG Live along with Festival Productions, Inc. – New Orleans are partnering with the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) to produce the Dega Jam . PLEASE NOTE: Artist b-roll video is available at https://vimeo.com/141839637 . Festival Contact: Matthew Goldman, 504-410-4100, Matthew@fpi-no.com Talladega Contact: Russell Branham, 256-315-4556, Rbranham@talladegasuperspeedway.com ### DEGA JAM WEEKEND FESTIVAL PASSES 3-DAY GENERAL ADMISSION WEEKEND PASS – ($179 early bird all-in pricing) • 3-day general admission; passes are non-transferable • Includes access to over 40 bands on three festival stages, a select menu of food and beverage offerings available for purchase from food booths and food trucks, carnival rides, arcade games, country and western merchandise, official festival merchandise, a myriad of shade and water elements and much more VIP PIT PASS - ($599 all-in pricing) • 3-day admission; passes are non-transferable • Access to the Pit, an exclusive upfront, golden circle viewing area at the Dega Jam Stage and VIP viewing at the Sweet Home Dega Stage and Honky Tonk Hall • Access to the White Lightning VIP Club, a private hospitality tent where guests can cool of in the shade with access to exclusive beverage for purchase, private merchandise stand, cell phone charging stations and more • Private air-conditioned flushable restrooms • Exclusive festival merchandise item • Express VIP entrance with re-entry all weekend • Exclusive opportunity to purchase a VIP parking space • On-site experience concierge CREW CHIEF VIP EXPERIENCE – ($999 all-in pricing) • 3-day admission; non-transferable • Access to the Pit, an exclusive upfront, golden circle viewing area at the Dega Jam Stage and VIP viewing at the Sweet Home Dega Stage and Honky Tonk Hall • Exclusive access to the Crew Chief Super VIP Deck at the Dega Jam Stage featuring a covered viewing platform with premium views of the main stage, open bar featuring select wine, beer and spirits, complimentary light snacks and refreshments, and air-conditioned restrooms • Crew Chief VIP-only exclusive festival merchandise items • Access to the White Lightning VIP Club, a private hospitality tent where guests can cool of in the shade with access to exclusive beverage for purchase, private merchandise stand, cell phone charging stations and more • Crew Chief VIP only festival merchandise item • Express VIP entrance with re-entry all weekend • Exclusive opportunity to purchase a VIP parking space • On-site experience concierge Plus a few surprises!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 15, 2015 First-Ever Dega Jam Music Festival Coming to Talladega , July 1-3, 2016 Biggest Stars in Country Music to Appear at World-Famous Superspeedway Complete Artist Lineup to be Announced and Tickets on Sale October 25 Sign up to be on the mailing list and get all the festival info as soon as it becomes available at DegaJam.com ; Dega Jam on Facebook ; @DegaJam on Twitter ( Talladega , Ala.) - October 15, 2015 – Talladega Superspeedway , one of the most storied motorsports venues in America, is set to host a huge rockin’ country music festival over the most American of holidays, Fourth of July Weekend, July 1-3, 2016. Dega Jam , which will take place in the infield of the biggest and baddest race track on the planet, will feature the most popular stars in country music. Spread over three days and nights and programmed on three specially designed performance stages, the mega-music festival will offer fans a thrilling new way to celebrate the entire holiday weekend. The complete artist lineup will be announced on October 25 with tickets and VIP packages on sale to the public the same day. Just as it is for the great races at the Talladega Superspeedway , NASCAR’s Most Competitive track, Dega Jam will allow fans to camp in the infield, literally inside the festival. A full-range of camping opportunities is available for virtually any budget, from pitching a tent to deluxe RV locations adjacent to the stages. Special VIP packages – the “Crew Chief VIP Experience” and “VIP Pit Pass” - will allow for a variety of special privileges, depending upon which package is selected: an exclusive upfront, golden-circle viewing area at the main stage and with VIP viewing at the other performances areas; access to the White Lightning VIP Club offering a comfortable hospitality tent and private cash bar; and other comforts and amenities. VIP packages will be available in limited quantities. Visit DegaJam.com to sign up for the mailing list to receive information on tickets, camping, VIP opportunities and all the Jam details, including a list of participating area hotels and travel packages. Fans at the festival will also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favorite country stars at artist meet-and-greets located throughout pit road and inside NASCAR garages, two places where races have been won and lost at the historic track. Numerous other features—a select festival menu sold from food booths and food trucks; carnival rides; arcade games; country-and-western merchandise; cool zone water elements; and more—will all be a part of the festival, as Dega Jam transforms Talladega Superspeedway into a festival-goer’s paradise. Be part of the Dega Jam community at any of the following: DegaJam.com Dega Jam on Facebook @DegaJam on Twitter AEG Live along with Festival Productions, Inc. – New Orleans are partnering with the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) to produce the Dega Jam. ABOUT AEG & AEG Live AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns or is affiliated with a collection of companies including over 100 of the world’s preeminent facilities. AEG Live, the company’s live-entertainment division, is the world’s second largest concert promotion and touring companies and is comprised of touring, festival, exhibition, broadcast and special event divisions with 15 regional offices. For additional information, visit: www.aegworldwide.com. ABOUT Festival Productions, Inc. – New Orleans Festival Productions, Inc. – New Orleans (FPI-NO) is a Louisiana company that works in partnership with AEG Live. FPI-NO is the founder and the producer of the world-famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which draws almost 500,000 patrons from around the world for the 10-day event. The company has also produced myriad other events over the last four decades, from the Essence Music Festival to two Presidential Inaugural public events on the National Mall, as well as special events for both the NBA and the NFL. Since 2010, FPI-NO has created and produced several major country music festivals, including Bayou Country Superfest at LSU Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge and Buckeye Country Superfest at the Ohio State University’s legendary “Horseshoe” in Columbus. ABOUT Talladega Superspeedway Talladega Superspeedway is NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track (record 88 lead changes in 188 laps), most banked (33 degrees), and longest (2.66 miles), as well as the most fun and fan-friendly, offering up hundreds of acres of free camping, amazing kids ticket prices and special offers for military members and college students. The historic venue, built in 1969, is NASCAR’s “Party Capital” thanks to the track’s infamous infield, which features the traditional Saturday Night Concert and the world renowned Talladega Blvd, home of the “Big One on the Blvd” party. It is the site of the most comfortable seats in motorsports, large video viewing boards (a new initiative planned for future implementation at all ISC tracks) lining the frontstretch and endless activities for fans throughout its event weekends. Log on to www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 877-Go2-DEGA for more information. Festival Contact: Matthew Goldman, 504-410-4100, Matthew@fpi-no.com Talladega Contact: Russell Branham, 256-315-4556, Rbranham@talladegasuperspeedway.com ###
RELATED: Talladega Race Center " Talladega driver reports TALLADEGA , Ala. -- Brad Keselowski knows exactly how Matt Kenseth is feeling. The No. 2 Team Penske driver needed a win last season at Talladega to advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Kenseth is in the same situation this year entering Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, Sirius XM). "I think you're looking at this weekend and there are certainly gonna be some people that race scared and racing scared, to me, means sometimes you race not to win, but to not lose as far as the points are concerned," Keselowski said Friday at Talladega . Keselowski didn't have the luxury of racing for points last season, just as Kenseth doesn't this weekend. That urgency and win-or-be-eliminated mentality plays a huge part in strategy. It's a delicate balance, racing hard to win while avoiding the "Big Ones" that characterize the 2.66-mile Alabama track, particularly on the final laps. But sometimes that urgency to win supersedes anything else -- even if that means creating chaos through the rest of the field. "The only real reference that I have from personal experience is last fall, and I certainly made riskier and bolder moves than I would have made otherwise, because at this point the penalty for a bad day is really nothing," Keselowski said. "The teams take more chances and there are more teams taking chances." The Chase element at Talladega this weekend causes chivalry to fade and "driver code" to fall to the wayside, as drivers like Kenseth -- and likely Dale Earnhardt Jr . -- will fight for their championship hopes come Sunday afternoon. "It's all about being in the right place and being positioned properly and not making just the right moves for yourself, but yet (anticipating) the moves that the rest of the cars make, too," Kenseth said. "Certainly being a race in the Chase everybody’s kind of on a different agenda or some people are locked in and are just going to help their teammates – there’s all kinds of different scenarios." RELATED: Kenseth says Logano should stop 'running his mouth' Keselowski's situation differs this season as he sits seventh of 12 drivers, which gives him the option to play the points game. But whether or not he'll race up front the entire time or hang toward the back and charge to the front remains to be seen. Fellow Chase driver Jeff Gordon -- who is tied with Earnhardt Jr. for the most wins among active drivers at Talladega with six -- has certainly worked every angle of the superspeedway , trying to find that perfect formula. "I've tried every approach known possible, to hang out in the back (and) be really conservative, to be up front (and) be really aggressive," Gordon said. "It's a balance. You have to take each moment and experience and try and make the most of it." Track position dictates much of a driver's initial strategy and is an element that Gordon believes is crucial, especially at superspeedway tracks. "If you have a car that qualifies up front -- like the last time we were here -- try to maintain that track position, you have to be a little bit more aggressive," Gordon said. "I watched Dale Jr. do an excellent job (in May) and there were a few other guys as well. They protect that position when they're up front impressively. "So, there's a fine line that can get you in trouble as well. But I can tell you, it's been a lot harder when you get shuffled back here to work your way up to the front than it used to be. People are smarter, cars are more equal, the drafting/aerodynamics are just different than they used to be and it's hard to make that work if you get behind. I'm hoping we qualify up front." But even with the most pristine plan in place, Keselowski ultimately likens game-planning for Sunday's race to Mike Tyson's famous quote: "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." Quite simply, drivers can't plan anything at Talladega . "Everybody has a plan here, or an approach, until they drop the green and then it usually doesn't work," Keselowski said. "We've had some really good approaches here in the past that have worked, but we'll just have to see. I'm not really all that interested in sharing what my plan is now, but hopefully it'll play out."
Editor's note: The following content was provided by Goodyear and may not reflect the opinions of the editorial staff. As an elimination race in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup , Talladega Superspeedway holds the key to advancing to the next round. For the 12 drivers still in contention for a championship, that’s not a comforting fact. Although Talladega is a fan favorite, it will likely be one of the most unpredictable races of the Chase. That's because 500 miles of high speed "pack racing" at the superspeedway can sometimes make luck a serious factor in a driver’s finishing position. For Goodyear, however, the variables affecting tire performance are well known. As one of only two superspeedways on the NASCAR schedule, Talladega is synonymous with speed. The 2.66-mile tri-oval carries drivers to average speeds of more than 200 mph -- which are limited with restrictor plates, used to reduce the engine's power output. The surface is also more aggressive than Daytona, with rougher asphalt translating to a higher rate of tire wear. These factors make endurance a major consideration in Goodyear’s tire development at Talladega . Higher speeds place more load on the tires, while the dynamics of pack racing (cars bunched up in a pack because of the limited top speed) often lead to drivers sliding in and out of the corners. To deliver superior performance in these extreme conditions, Goodyear has developed a tire combination unique to Talladega . The left side tire was engineered specifically for use at superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega ), and features a softer compound to give drivers the grip they need at sustained high speeds. The right side tire features a harder compound than what’s used at Daytona, to handle the wear of the more aggressive surface. Both use tire constructions that have been reinforced for use at sustained high speeds. Heading into the NASCAR race at Talladega , fans will be on edge of their seats as they witness cars racing up to four wide. Add in high speeds, tensions of championship hopes on the line, the possibility of "the big one," and it's easy to see how many variables could impact the race outcome. Luckily, one thing drivers can count on is the expert engineering behind their Goodyear Eagle race tires which will carry them to the finish line.
The trunks of NASCAR race cars don't typically have much utilitarian value. There's the fuel cell and that's about it. There's no need for extra freight when traveling at 200 mph. However, those with VIP privileges or an employee card at Richard Childress Racing 's sprawling museum in Welcome, North Carolina, know there's treasure inside the trunk of the dozens of retired cars housed there, many of which were wheeled by NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt. Steve Ramey, the museum's curator in residence, pulls the fastening pins and raises the decklid on one in particular, an imposing black No. 3 car that might otherwise blend in with the others. "I get to pinch myself if you want to know the truth, knowing that when I go to work and I step out of my office, I walk into a room with the black number 3 cars from the day," Ramey says. "But this car here gets a lot of respect from the fans because they know the meaning of it. … This was his chance, his day and his race, and he took it and brought it home. It means a lot to them." Every car at the RCR Museum has a story, but this one stands out. The cargo that Ramey's looking for on this specific Monday, though, isn't in the trunk. It triggers his memory -- he had removed it for reference. Once he tracks down the three-ring binder specific to RCR Chassis No. 58, the lore gains even more clarity. The loose-leaf sheets in nondescript folders document each rolling artifact in the museum with pictures, notes and the crew chief's log. The next-to-last entry for Chassis 58 is a telling one, both succinct and understated considering the magnitude of what the car -- and more importantly, the driver -- accomplished in its last race. "Had good race car & Dale did rest." This is the story of the 2000 Winston 500, where Dale Earnhardt drove to the last of his 76 NASCAR premier series victories at Talladega Superspeedway . His 10th victory at the Alabama track -- still an all-time record -- came in stunning fashion, with a rally from 18th place to first in the final five laps. By then, Earnhardt's legend was already well-established -- as a stock-car racing deity, a hard charger, as "The Intimidator" -- but the impact of his final win went beyond the highlight-reel finish. The transcendent performance earned its place in NASCAR history, stirring an already frenzied fan base into hysteria that autumn afternoon. This summer, NASCAR.com interviewed 31 people -- drivers, officials, crewmen and broadcasters -- who were at Talladega that day for their personal accounts of the tumultuous race weekend. For this oral history surrounding the race's 15th anniversary, all interview subjects are listed with their job title or role on Oct. 15, 2000, the day Dale Earnhardt shook the Alabama grandstands with seismic force and embraced his final checkered flag. There are 12 entries for Chassis No. 58, perhaps none as important as the log for Oct. 15, 2000 -- "Had good race car & Dale did the rest." • • • • • The Man and his Playground "If you call that racing, OK. So be it. We'll just sit in line. … They could take the restrictor plate off and we'll see who'll hold it wide open around here." -- Dale Earnhardt, Talladega , Oct. 11, 1997. Dale Earnhardt's contradictory love-hate relationship with the 2.66-mile Alabama speed plant might fly in the face of conventional wisdom, especially for a man who so ably maneuvered its high banks to win 10 times. While he freely expressed his disdain for the speed-sapping restrictor plates, which limited carburetion and choked engine power, Earnhardt was also extraordinarily adept at the tightly woven, aero-dependent racing they produced. The track had dished out its share of hard hits to The Intimidator over the years, but also a lion's share of its laurels. Grant Lynch (Chairman, Talladega Superspeedway ): His picture is up in our media center, with his comments to the other drivers about, 'If you don't want to race at Talladega , tie a kerosene-soaked rag around your ankles so the ants don't come up there and eat that candy ass.' … He believed when you came here this was another race and you're supposed to race. A lot of people didn't take that same attitude. Ray Dunlap (pit reporter, ESPN): You have to remember that Earnhardt hated that kind of racing and it was so funny because he was so good at it, but he would really get himself worked up before those races started. Bill Elliott (owner/driver, Bill Elliott Racing No. 94 Ford): He was really, really a good drafter, just like what Tony Stewart once said. He said, 'It's a high-speed chess game and I can't even play checkers.' I think Earnhardt was a good chess player. Andy Petree (team owner, Andy Petree Racing): There was nobody better at that kind of racing than he was -- nobody. He had like this sixth sense. It's almost like being on the highway and trying to figure out which lane is gonna move. Darrell Waltrip (driver, Haas-Carter Motorsports No. 66 Ford): He was just so, so aggressive. If there was an opening, he took it. And if there wasn't an opening, he'd make one. He just drove harder at Daytona and Talladega than I think he did anyplace else, and he kind of went where other people were kind of afraid to go or other people wouldn't go. Bobby Labonte (driver, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Pontiac): It was like he was Superman, which he was. He was really good at it, but his driving style helped that ... his intimidation factor, I guess you might say. He had fast race cars, but he could take a car that wasn't so fast every day and do better with it than anybody else because he was better at drafting and making that move. Next thing you know, he's in front of you and it's like, 'How did that happen?' Not everybody else could do that but him, seemed like. Dale Earnhardt Jr . (driver, Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 8 Chevrolet): He wasn't this maniac that just wanted to go faster. I think everybody had the curiosity of what would the cars drive like and what would the race be like if they were unrestricted. It's just, we'd be going 230 miles an hour, I think. Danny "Chocolate" Myers (fueler, Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet): Earnhardt was a driver. If he was running good, he loved plate racing. If he was running bad, he hated plate racing, I guess. Earnhardt Jr.: I'm sure he felt more confidence over the competition when he got to those races. He respected his competitors and the guys he was out there racing against, but I think he felt like he was sort of the best at those tracks. Lynch: I have told the drivers a couple times in the driver's meeting, I don't think Talladega is any driver's favorite race track, probably won't ever be, but when they get their minds right and they do what they can do here, it cannot be duplicated at any race track in the world by any form of motorsports. It just can't be done. Earnhardt's uncanny skill at restrictor-plate racing and manipulating aerodynamics in his favor promoted a myth that grew into a key piece of NASCAR folklore -- that he could see the air. Lynch: You've heard it said that he could see air. Well, he could definitely see something. Waltrip: He had that open-face helmet and the little pair of bubble goggles and everybody always said, 'Oh, he could see the air,' but he really couldn't see it, he could feel it. If you ever look at him laying over, his head about halfway hanging out that left window with that open-face helmet and those bubble goggles. I don't think it was so much he could see it, but he could feel it and I think that really helped him find the right path to take -- the path of least resistance sometimes.
NASCAR competition officials made changes Tuesday to race procedures for this weekend's events at Talladega Superspeedway , reducing the number of attempts at a green-white-checkered overtime finish. Starting this weekend, drivers will be limited to one attempt instead of the customary three tries at a green-white-checkered finish at Talladega . The change is effective immediately, in time for Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), the sixth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' next race, the fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM). "Following extensive dialogue with the industry, we have decided to make a procedural change at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. "In the event the race goes beyond the advertised distance due to a caution, we will use a single attempt at a green-white-checker finish. We take very seriously the responsibility of balancing exciting finishes and safety. We're confident that this is a positive direction for both." If there's a wreck during the green-white-checkered finish, the field would be frozen and the race would end under caution. This is how this year's Daytona 500 ended with Joey Logano getting the victory. Title-eligible drivers talked at length about proposed changes two weeks ago during Media Day for the Chase's Contender Round, a three-race series that ends with an elimination event at Talladega . Drivers said they had discussed changes to restart rules for restrictor-plate events with NASCAR officials, placing a handful of options on the table. NASCAR instituted the "green-white-checkered" rule in 2004 for NASCAR's premier series, with a limit of three tries to complete the race under a two-lap, green-flag shootout to the finish. Since 2012, four of the last seven Talladega races have gone into overtime, raising the odds for race-punctuating multicar crashes. Brad Keselowski , a three-time Talladega winner, was among those expressing his favor for a reduction in the number of green-white-checkered attempts at Talladega and Daytona. "I don't think it's a bad thing," Keselowski said Oct. 6. "We go there and say we're going to run 500 miles. You run 500 miles and it ends under yellow, it kind of feels a little uncomfortable. Give another crack at it and see if you can't finish it off for the fans, and if it doesn't come together, well, we tried. I would feel pretty good about that if I was a fan. And as a team owner, I would feel pretty good about that, too." Chase hopeful Denny Hamlin said two weeks ago that a potential move to single-file restarts for restrictor-plate tracks was also among the options that drivers discussed with competition officials. NASCAR made restarts in all three national series fall under the double-file, shootout-style heading midway through the 2009 season. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., a six-time winner at Talladega , supported NASCAR's decision on social media: In favor of this. Thought three attempts were excessive and gimmicky. https://t.co/rvaMWdXUiS — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 20, 2015
TALLADEGA , Ala. -- Country music superstars Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith and Kid Rock will headline the first annual Dega Jam music festival, officials announced in a press conference Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway . The festival will take place at Talladega July 1-3, 2016. "We've heard that Talladega Superspeedway is the biggest and baddest track of them all," said Quint Davis, producer/director of Dega Jam. "If we're going to come here with a country music festival, it better be the biggest and the baddest of them all." In addition to the headliners, the extensive festival lineup features 45 groups and artists. There will be 15 bands on three stages per day during the weekend, with Hank Williams Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Currington, Lee Brice, Martina McBride and Sara Evans also among playing. "If you think about that line-up, and you're picking a place in the southeastern United States that could host a whole bunch of people, and there just happened to be a little short track down in Alabama that’s got about 2,700 acres of useable land … we can handle bigger crowds than probably any other facility because we have all that land," said Grant Lynch, chairman of Talladega Superspeedway . "Virtually, we have unlimited camping, that's going to be a big part of this festival." "… I think it's a perfect fit for a race track to serve in this role. Quint and his team are going to be the best partners we could have reached out to." Tickets and VIP packages are available for purchase now, with early-bird weekend passes offered for a limited time. Visit DegaJam.com to purchase tickets, view the full line-up and learn more about the weekend.
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Below is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Talladega Superspeedway : 1. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Logano clinched a race win under caution on the final restart, securing a sweep of the Contender Round. " RELATED: Logano discusses win in Victory Lane 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt led a race-high 61 laps but didn’t get a chance to race for the win after the field was frozen shortly after the final restart began because of a caution during the only green-white-checkered attempt. " RELATED: Junior nearly wins way into next round 3. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . The drive for five is alive. Despite being winless, Jeff Gordon ’s quest for a title in his final season is still in play as he advances to the Eliminator Round. " RELATED: Gordon remains in title hunt 4. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Keselowski needed a win to advance after Talladega last year, but a fourth-place finish will work just fine in 2015. 5. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Earning a better Talladega finish than his 32nd-place showing in the spring, Edwards advances to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . 6. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . The 2015 season was a good year for Menard at Talladega , as he adds a top-10 finish to his record to join his third-place finish in the spring. 7. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Truex Jr. overcame starting from the back because of a qualifying violation to advance in the Chase. He got back on the lead lap thanks to being the beneficiary on the Lap 132 caution. 8. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Bowyer took the lead on Lap 95 and led two laps on his way to an eighth-place finish. A two-time winner at Talladega (2010-11), he now has 11 top-10 finishes there in 20 starts. 9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Scoring his best Talladega finish since 2013, Stenhouse Jr. could carry this momentum to Martinsville next week where he has room for improvement. 10. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Earning his 15th top-10 at Talladega , Kurt Busch advances to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Eliminator Round after leading for one lap. 11. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kyle Busch advances to the Eliminator Round of the Chase and even saw the lead for 11 laps. " RELATED: See the 2015 Chase Grid 12. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman's top-15 finish and one lap led was not enough to advance him to the Eliminator Round of the Chase. 13. Michael Waltrip , No. 98 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . In just his third race of the season, Waltrip had a strong showing, leading three laps on his way to a 13th-place finish after starting 33rd. It was his 59th start at Talladega , and he raised his average finish there up to 20.1. 14. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon had a respectable 14th-place finish — his second-best showing in five starts at Talladega — after starting 26th. His previous average finish there was 22.3. 15. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick ran into several issues in the race, reporting engine issues at Lap 155, a broken exhaust pipe on Lap 171 and wrecking on the final restart. " RELATED: Did Harvick cause end of race wreck? 16. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola placed nine spots higher than he started, but remains average there. He's finished outside the top 10 in 11 of his 12 starts at ‘Dega with an average finish of 20.2. 17. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish couldn't top his spring 2015 finish of sixth at Talladega and completed the race directly behind his RPM teammate. 18. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson caused the first shot at the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish to be put on hold after spinning out before the start/finish line, but recovered for a top-20 finish. 19. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne was out front for 18 laps -- his most since Martinsville in the spring -- but got shuffled back on the final restart. 20. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle played a major role in the ending of Talladega's race as he was leading for 18 of the closing laps and eventually had to come to pit road for fuel. 21. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne started sixth overall, but was unable to come up with his second career victory -- both of which would’ve been on restrictor plate tracks. 22. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt improved 12 spots from his starting position and managed to finish in the top 25 in all four restrictor-plate races this season. 23. Bobby Labonte , No. 32 Ford, GO Green Facing. The former Sprint Cup champion had his best finish of the season after restarting 21st with 49 laps to go. 24. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson was in third on Lap 170 but placed 24th after being rear-ended by Jimmie Johnson before the final G-W-C attempt. It was the sixth time in his last eight plate events he's lost track position after being involved in a wreck. 25. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart dropped to the back early after starting the race 12th and couldn't seem to find momentum needed to find speed and run up front. 26. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth needed to win to advance, but failed to do so and was one of two eliminated JGR cars. " RELATED: Kenseth reacts to elimination 27. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . After starting from the rear due to a transmission change on Sunday morning, Patrick finished on the lead lap. 28. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Facing. McDowell was collected in the 12-car pileup that ended the race under caution and slipped to a 28th-place finish. He was penalized on Lap 79 for driving too fast on pit road. 29. Josh Wise , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Wise battled a vibration early and then got hit for a pit road penalty (over the wall too soon), falling well short of his showing in the spring race (10th). 30. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan had a strong Talladega run, even seeing the lead for one lap, but got lost in the shuffle in the closing laps and finished one lap down in 30th-place. 31. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears placed 31st, dropping his career average finish at Talladega to 21.7 in 25 career starts. He has five top-10s at 'Dega and no top-fives 32. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland led a couple of laps but needed an extended pit stop after taking damage from a scrape with the No. 13 of Casey Mears on pit road. 33. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman fell a lap down on Lap 73 but managed to get back on the lead lap by Lap 140 before settling for a 33rd-place finish. 34. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. He ran in the top 15 early on, but eventually got shuffled toward the back for a 34th-place finish. 35. Travis Kvapil , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. Kvapil improved seven spots from his starting position in his fourth start of the season. 36. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger finished outside the top 30 for the sixth time in 12 starts at Talladega , placing 36th on Sunday. His average finish there is 23.9, with his only top five coming in 2014. 37. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin had a roof hatch issue midway through the race that never quite got fixed and wound up knocking him out of the playoffs. " RELATED: Hamlin knocked out of Chase 38. J.J. Yeley, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley's 38th-place finish marks the seventh time he's placed outside the top 20 at Talladega in 11 career starts. His average finish there is 27.6. 39. Jamie McMurray , No. 1, Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray, who had won two of the previous six fall races at Talladega (2009 and 2013), ran as high as third in the late stages of Sunday's race. He had to go to the garage on Lap 185, though, and settled for 39th after starting 24th. 40. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto reported having fuel pressure problems on Lap 71 and went to the garage on Lap 94 en route to a 40th-place finish. 41. Timmy Hill , No. 62 Ford, Premium Motorsports. In his 10th Sprint Cup Series race of the season, Hill finished 41st. His best finish this season is 36th. 42. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier's engine expired on Lap 131, but things started to unravel before that thanks to a pit road penalty (over the wall too soon). 43. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Blaney started in the top 10 and looked strong early but had his engine expire on Lap 85.
RELATED: Updated series standings " Chase Grid KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- Seven spots in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup remain up for grabs heading into Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). While there is plenty of excitement over the action that will take place and wondering who will make it through to the next round, Stewart-Haas Racing driver and co-owner Tony Stewart is not a fan of having the 2.66-mile track in the Chase. "I have never thought it was good to have it in the Chase, especially with this format," Stewart said following Kurt Busch 's press conference on Wednesday at SHR to announce a co-primary sponsorship with Monster Energy. "You've got teams that have worked too hard all year, and two guys in front that aren't a factor in it (the Chase) could totally dictate somebody's season this weekend. "I think Talladega and Daytona races are great, but I don't know that when it comes time to individual performances, a race like this is the right race." The Talladega fall race is the sixth race of the Chase and the third and final race of the Contender Round. Upon the completion of the race, four drivers will be eliminated from the playoff field and eight drivers will move on to the Eliminator Round. Entering Talladega , both of SHR's Chase teams, Kurt Busch and defending series champion Kevin Harvick , are above the cutline to advance to the next round. But at Talladega , that can all change in one fell swoop with "The Big One," not to mention the differing strategies that will be in play at the Alabama superspeedway . "From a driver's side, it's like we've always said, it's a chess match," Stewart explained. "You are trying to figure out where to be at the right times. There's guys that from the drop of the green to the checkered, race their guts out. And there's guys that don't race until 20 to go. Both systems work and don't work at different times. The hard part is just trying ... I think everybody has to sit there and go with the attitude of driving to run your race and analyze what you think is the best strategy. "From an owner's side, you sit there and there's nothing you can do about it anyway. It's all out of your control because there's so many -- everybody else dictates everybody else's outcome." Last month, the three-time champion announced the 2016 season would be his final season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Since he did not qualify for the 2015 postseason, Stewart has turned his attention toward getting a head start on the recently announced 2016 rules package that will be similar in many ways to the low downforce setups run in July at Kentucky Speedway and in September at Darlington Raceway . "Probably the most excited I've been about a rules package in a long time," Stewart said. "It's been going the other direction and finally, I think through a lot of people's effort and NASCAR. ... This is probably one of the coolest times to be a part of this sport as far as working with NASCAR and how much they've leaned on the manufacturers, Goodyear, the drivers, the team owners to make this as good as it can be. I don't know that we'll get all the way there in one year, but I think it's a great, great start." RELATED: Learn more about the 2016 rules package