A Look Back In Talladega History: The 200 MPH Field

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Buddy Baker became the first driver to break the 200 mph mark at Talladega Superspeedway during a test session in 1970.  Twelve years later, Benny Parsons would become the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to break 200 mph in qualifying prior to the 1982 Winston 500 (now Aaron’s 499).  From that day forward speeds at Talladega would increase exponentially, as only four years later Talladega Superspeedway would be home to the first all-200 mph field in NASCAR history. 

 
Race fans got a treat during qualifying for the 1986 Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.  In addition to witnessing Bill Elliott reel off a then-record qualifying speed of 212.229 mph, they also saw 41 of the 42 starters qualify over 200 mph. The final two positions in the field of 42 were set using provisional’s instead of speed, thus the first all 200 mph field in NASCAR history was born.  
 
In 2009, Talladega Superspeedway proudly celebrates forty years of the most competitive racing in NASCAR.  While the track has seen changes made to the cars that circle its high-banks, the surface that they race on and the grandstands that thousands of fans fill twice a year, one constant remains; Talladega Superspeedway is authentic NASCAR racing at its finest. 
 
Race fans should make plans now to experience part of Talladega’s history in 2009 during the triple-header, Aaron’s Dream Weekend, April 24-26, featuring the ARCA RE/MAX Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  For tickets, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT, Monday- Friday.
 
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