Soldiers attending the Accelerated 57-day Officer Candidate School (OCS) conducted by the Alabama Military Academy/200th Regiment, located at the Ft. McClellan Army National Guard Training Center, are gearing up to once again tackle Talladega Superspeedway. On February 19th, 197 soldiers will attempt to complete a seven-mile foot march under laden pack that ends at the track’s finish line.
“We are excited to again welcome the officer candidates to Talladega Superspeedway,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Rick Humphrey. “The service that these brave men and women perform each day gives us the opportunity to enjoy things in life such as racing and other sporting events. We are happy to open our facility to make their training a little more memorable.”
The soldiers and their commanders are also looking forward to the march on Talladega.
“We are certainly looking forward to our second opportunity to complete the Accelerated Officer Candidate School (AOCS) Seven Mile Foot March across the Start/Finish Line at Talladega Superspeedway,” said Colonel Charles D. Keith, Jr, Commander of the Alabama Military Academy. “Last August the officials at the Superspeedway were very gracious with allowing our Officer Candidates (OC’s) and Staff to be the first military organization to use the fastest track in the country as the focal point for the OC’s to finish a grueling, hot, and long seven-mile foot march. It came as a last minute surprise to the students as they walked down Speedway Blvd and quickly realized they were about to enter one of NASCAR’s premiere venues. The camaraderie, team building, and excitement of being at Talladega was something each candidate felt as they walked around the 2.66 mile track on the last leg of their seven mile march.
“On February 19th, officer candidates, staff and cadre from more than 39 states and territories attending the Alabama Military Academy, will have the chance to finish their march in style and set another record for traveling around the track on foot, each with more than 40lbs of equipment on their backs – something very few people will ever have the opportunity to do. No one ever said rough, tough and difficult training has to be conducted in a boring location, so we are extremely grateful for this opportunity to provide an exciting piece of terrain to accomplish this task.”
The Alabama Military Academy conducts the accelerated OCS course for the Army National Guard nationwide. Since 2003, more than 2,800 new Second Lieutenants from all 50 states and four territories have graduated from the program.
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.