With the culmination of the Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar in clear sight and set to debut Oct. 11-13, Talladega Superspeedway played host Wednesday to a fellow Alabamian – Grant Enfinger – along with a twist from Tennessee, the Moonshiners Mark & Digger, leaving the trio in amazement of what fans are going to see next week during the track’s NASCAR Playoffs doubleheader.
“Absolutely incredible,” quipped Enfinger, from Fairhope, AL, who will be a favorite in the Saturday, Oct. 12, Sugarlands Shine 250, of the new Talladega Garage Experience. “Just super fan-friendly. I mean you are right there, you’re right at the garage bays. You see the Cup guys up close and personal. They will be working on the car only a few feet away from you. It’s great for the entire family. It has incredible seating and I can bet they will be selling some moonshine in there. It’s an iconic facility that has stepped up its game.”
“I have one word to describe the whole Garage Experience – Insane! It’s just absolutely beautiful,” joked Mark Ramsey, AKA “Mark” of the hit TV show Moonshiners, and representative of Sugarlands Shine. “The fans are going to love it, being so close to the drivers. It’s tremendous. Digger and I have gone in the direction of making Talladega our home track. We have been treated so kind down here and we want to return the favor. So, if fans see us here in Talladega next weekend for the Sugarlands Shine 250, come and hug our neck and have a drink at the Sugarlands Bar in BIG BILL’S.”
Enfinger, the 2019 regular season series champion, who was eliminated from playoff competition after a blown motor at Las Vegas a few weeks back, is a former winner of the Sugarlands Shine 250, in 2016, for his first career triumph in the Gander Truck Series. A win, especially after the disappointment of an early exit to his title run, would be extra special.
“Talladega is obviously a home track for me, and this place is honestly what got the fire burning for me as a kid,” admitted Enfinger. “Dad and I would come up here every year. He’d normally get a charter bus, and get a good 30 or 40 good old southern guys from Alabama, and that’s what started the fire for me as a race fan. For it to be able to come full circle, and for me to be able to come back and compete for another checkered flag, is just a dream come true for me. A win would help make amends for our bad luck to start the playoffs.”
After a tour of the entire Talladega Garage Experience that will feature unparalleled access, FREE Wi-Fi and incredible $4 or less Value-Priced Concessions, the trio were a part of three activities that included boarding a tram for a tour of the track’s new four tram routes, three of which will get fans to and from the outside of the track to the drop-off location in front of the Talladega Garage Experience entry.
Afterward, it was time to try their hand at creating their specialty mixed drink at the 74-foot Sugarlands Shine Bar using Sugarlands Shine as well as a host of fruit and Coca-Cola products. The judges were none other than 1960 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Rex White, along with Senior Superintendent Gary Merriman from Hoar Construction, who has spear-headed the project.
Enfinger then assisted the construction crew by hanging one of the giant photos inside BIG BILL’S, which also includes a 41-foot diagonal video screen, as well as the two garages that house the top 22 drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship standings.
Prior to getting to the track, Enfinger stopped by Moody Junior High School to visit with students who will be a part of the “Driving STEM at Talladega Superspeedway presented by First Bank of Alabama.”
The Talladega Garage Experience is a major part of the $50 million Transformation endeavor that will stretch from the Tri-Oval down near the start-finish line. It will feature a host of activities and destinations, including more than 140,000 square feet of social and engagement areas and a new Gatorade Victory Lane where fans will be just a few steps away from the winner’s celebration in Fr8Auctions Celebration Plaza. Other amenities include a Kids Zone, Watch Zone, the Clyde May’s Courtyard, Iron Alley (featuring historic race cars), new restrooms, concession and souvenir stands, as well as a new Guest Services center.
The Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar is part of International Speedway Corporation’s (Parent company of Talladega Superspeedway) long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes. DLR Group is the architect of the entire project while Hoar Construction (Birmingham, AL) continues to spearhead Phase II. GT Grandstands (Plant City, FL) is constructing a new Race Operations tower high above the Tri-Oval, as well as the Pit Road Club that will house 600 guests who will get a birds-eye view of team pit stops from behind pit road, along with food and beverages.
Fans can learn more about the project and view the progress 24/7 via the construction cam by visiting www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/transformation. For ticket information on the track’s NASCAR doubleheader playoffs weekend and all things on Transformation and the Talladega Garage Experience, including BIG BILL’S, log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.
The Sugarlands Shine 250 for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series gets the green flag on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 12:30 p.m. CDT, while the 1000Bulbs.com 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13. Both will play pivotal roles in NASCAR’s Playoffs. Friday’s activities include practice sessions for both series.