One of Alabama’s most exciting events has circled around once again! The Talladega Geico 500 race weekend began on Friday, April 29, for a whirlwind of fun!
The festivities kicked off on Friday afternoon with an autograph session at the Hospitality Village behind Birmingham Tower. Drivers in attendance included Justin Allgaier, Dakoda Armstrong, Chris Cockrum, Brendan Gaughan, Blake Koch, Ryan Preece, Ryan Reed, Matt Tifft, Garrett Smithley, Ray Black Jr., Jeb Burtain, Ross Chastain, Brandon Jones, and Brandon McReynolds.
The weekend continued with NASCAR’s biggest party: The Big One on the Blvd. This massive parade featured some of the sport’s top drivers including Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Austin Dillon.
Later that evening, fans enjoyed concerts featuring A Band Called River and House of Thomas.
Fun fan activities and qualifying races took place on Saturday, all culminating with the main event on Sunday at noon: the GEICO 500, a 188-lap, 500-mile race.
Racer Brad Keselowski crossed the finish line in first for his fourth Talladega win. “I never thought I’d win at Talladega four times, and I’m super-pumped. This is awesome,” he commented.
Sunday’s race featured a number of small crashes and three massive wrecks, with one on Lap 161 involving 21 cars. That accident was ignited when Kurt Busch tapped Jimmie Johnson, causing Johnson’s Chevy to turn into Paul Menard’s, thus triggering a domino effect ending with torn-up cars strewn across the track and infield grass.
“You know, it’s just Talladega,” Kyle Busch said about the afternoon. “It is what it is. These cars, you try to get a little bit aggressive, start bumping people and pushing people, they’re real easy to get out of control.”
Fortunately, no one was injured as a result of the weekend’s many accidents. In fact, Talladega’s race weekend was a blast for the whole family! Studies show that vacationing is the activity that makes families the most happy, and what better way to spend a weekend with the kids than at a high-energy sporting event like a NASCAR race?
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