Talladega ARCA Race Kicks Off A Super Saturday Quadruple Header During Aaron’s Dream Weekend
Also Features Newly Enhanced Sprint Cup Qualifying, Nationwide Race and Concert
TALLADEGA, AL – If fans want a full day of fun, speed and the most competitive racing on the planet, then Talladega Superspeedway’s Aaron’s Dream Weekend (May 2-4) has it – a quadruple header like no other on Saturday, May 3!
The much anticipated Saturday will not only include the always action-packed Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, but also ARCA’s International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200, which in year’s past was held on Friday of the Aaron’s Dream Weekend. In addition, a new kind of race will emerge – NASCAR’s new and exciting Sprint Cup Series qualifying format – and the popular Saturday Night Infield Concert in the track’s iconic infield.
“We have one heck of a lineup for Saturday, with a full day of racing and a night full of music,” said Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway. “The landmark changes NASCAR has made to qualifying will stand out with the Sprint Cup Series cars battling it out for their starting positions like never before. It will be hard racing. There is no other track where the new format will have as much impact as Talladega.”
“I would venture to say that fans will see more side-by-side racing battles and drivers swapping position on Saturday of the Aaron’s Dream Weekend than on any single day in the history of our track. We have a variety of Saturday ticket options, plus kids 12 and under get in free. This year is a watershed moment for the biggest and most competitive racetrack of all, and we want all of our loyal fans to join us for it!”
ARCA’s International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 is scheduled to kick off the day with a 10 am (CST) start. The highly competitive race has seen young guns like Ty Dillon (grandson of Talladega all-time winning team owner Richard Childress) go to Victory Lane as well as veterans like Frank Kimmel, the series’ 10-time Champion who outduelled the field last year.
Following the ARCA race the new format for Sprint Cup Series qualifying will be showcased. Three elimination rounds will determine the Pole Winner. Unlike the old system where cars took to the track one at a time, all cars can now make their way onto the high banks and can utilize the draft just as they will in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499. The first round will be 25 minutes in length with the speeds of the top 24 moving on to the second round, which will be a 10-minute session reducing the field to 12. The third and final qualifying round will be five minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed will determine positions first through 12th in descending order. It will be a qualifying session like no other in the history of Talladega!
The stars of the Nationwide Series will try for glory in the Aaron’s 312 Nationwide Series race once Sprint Cup qualifying has ended. Last year, it couldn’t get any closer as JR Motorsports driver Regan Smith edged Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne at the finish. This year’s event promises to provide more of the same as newcomers like Chase Elliott (son of Talladega speed record holder Bill Elliott) make their debut at the 2.66-mile mammoth track.
The Saturday Night Infield Concert, which will take place once the sun has set on the racing action, is a tradition that gathers fans in the rowdy Talladega infield near the infamous Talladega Boulevard to party to the music of top-tier artists. Access to the concert requires a ticket to Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 event.
Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be monumental this season. With NASCAR’s recent announcement for the new “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” format, the winner of the Aaron’s 499 is practically locked in to make the 10-race, 16-driver end-of-the-season battle for the championship. With the incredible urgency to win, fans can expect all 43 drivers to compete like never before. David Ragan was the surprise winner last year in the always unpredictable Aaron’s 499.
Fans have the option to purchase a special 2-day ticket package for Saturday’s events and Sunday’s Aaron’s 499. In designated areas of the Gadsden and Talladega grandstands, the regular price for a 2-day ticket is $50, with kids 12 and under getting in free.
Friday of the Aaron’s Dream Weekend will host a whole day of action as well, with NASCAR’s new qualifying format making its Talladega debut to determine the starting order for the Aaron’s 312.
In addition, the ARCA Series drivers will introduce a new qualifying procedure where teams will qualify together for added excitement. Instead of one car going against the clock, the cars will be placed into groups based on their speeds from Friday morning’s practice session. The fastest lap during qualifying, which will surely showcase drafting, will determine each car’s numerical starting position in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 on Saturday.
Friday also marks the first time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitors will take to the high banks – for two practice sessions – during the weekend. The teams will fine-tune their machines in final preparation for Saturday’s all-new qualifying. Grandstand tickets for Friday’s activities are $20.
NASCAR returns to Talladega Superspeedway in 2014 with the Aaron’s Dream Weekend, which is set for May 2-4. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will take to the track on Saturday, May 3 while NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series machines take the green flag on Sunday, May 4. For ticket information, log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.