Winning tickets for the Yellawood 500 NASCAR Race on October 2, 2022, was a surprise. As a native Alabamian, I had never attended a NASCAR race. Before the trip to ‘Dega,’ I sought tips for a first time visit to a Talladega NASCAR race from friends and various online sources. While the Talladega Speedway website gives you plenty of information about attending a race, it’s always good to listen to those who have attended.
Talladega Speedway “DEGA”
The “Dega” track is enormous. Wear comfortable shoes, you will need them. Besides your assigned seat, there is not a lot of seating in the stadium breezeways, although you will find a few benches and some tables on the grandstand breezeway. There is a lot of walking involved in getting to and enjoying the race. There are stairs plenty here, so you will most definitely get your steps in.
Gear for the Race
The track is loud. Come prepared with headphones or earplugs. You will need them. The sound system is large and loud. When the cars come around the turn, it sounds and feels like an earthquake. If you are interested in photography, I suggest bringing a long lens for those track shots.
I doubt there are many bad seats for a view of the track. I was concerned with how high the seats might be. As with any large entertainment venue, the higher you go, the less expensive it is. Thankfully, my seats weren’t that high, and the whole track was viewable.
Food and drink
Concessions were reasonably priced, and it seemed many people enjoyed the fries. There were adult libations available for purchase. You are allowed to bring a small cooler for your drinks and food.
There were plenty of things for sale, and many wore hats and t-shirts with their favorite driver’s likeness and car number.
My tickets included the garage experience. This is an up-close way to see the track and cars. There are also a lot of food and drink vendors, and you can watch the race from there.
Sunscreen is a must! The weather was perfect on this October Sunday, crystal blue skies, a light breeze, and moderate temps. It could not have been better. The cool breeze kept everyone comfortable while in their seats. Attendees spend most of their time in the sun, so be prepared to lather up with your favorite sunscreen. I can’t imagine how it must feel when the summer temps are blazing.
This can be a challenge for the uninitiated, but there are yellow vested workers who will point you in the right direction. Traffic coming from Interstate 20 was directed by the Alabama State Troopers. When you can have more than a hundred thousand people in attendance, traffic will always be an issue. Pack your patience. I was grateful to have a paid parking pass.
This was my first experience with car racing, and what could be a better way to begin than with a Talladega Nascar race? Talladega Speedway is an iconic, revered place for many in Alabama and across the county. I met a man who had driven from Canada for the race. Now that is being “all in.”
As the drivers’ names are announced, they walk a runway through the infield spectators and are whisked to their waiting cars in pickup trucks. The Louisana Air National Guard flyover at the opening ceremony was an unexpected bonus.
Guest services were helpful and courteous to this novice attendee. Once guests hit their stadium seats, all eyes follow the cars as they speed around the track.
It was an experience I won’t forget. I will return to visit the International Motor Sports Museum and perhaps ride the track. Thanks to Sweet Home Alabama for the giveaway tickets to my first NASCAR experience.
Like what you see, you can read more of my Roadrunner Journeys here.