I was thumbing through Muscle
Car Review Magazine 9 years ago and came across a write up on the 25th
Anniversary meet at Talladega Speedway hosted by the DSAC - (Daytona SuperBird
Automobile Club). I read the article many times and could not believe the
number of cars that had attended this meet. I knew at that moment that
I had to go. The only problem was, No Wing car, yet! Well, I had time to
fix that problem as the meet is held every five years on the 5th anniversary
dates of Talladega Speedway ('94 '99 '04 '09) . I showed Sharleen the article
and was very excited about it. I told Sharleen that we would be there with
our SuperBird or Daytona in 1999. Sharleen at that time reminded me that
we did not own a wing car and that I should first take care of the obvious,
getting a wing car!
A 14 year Journey to
Daytona SuperBird Clubs,
Meet at Talladega Speedway
October, 1 thru 3 2004.
So I set out on a journey that took five years and seven months. I looked
high and low for just the right car. I wanted a 4 Spd. SuperBird or Daytona.
Color or motor did not mattor. I would of settle for any well restored
wing car. In the summer of 1999 I purchased my 440 6BBL 4 Spd. Superbird.
that summer was awesome, I drove the car every weekend to every show I
could. I had missed the 1999 meet by one month as that year the Talladega
race was run in the Summer, not Fall. Even though I had missed the meet
I knew I would be there in 2004.
I joined the DSAC at the beginning of this year to make sure I would be
in the loop with all the happenings of the meet. I Sent in my entry fees
and booked my hotel. We were ready to go. On Wednesday September, 29 we
left on the first leg of our journey. Thursday September, 30 and 1269 miles
later we arrived in Alexander City, Alabama. The weather was perfect for
the entire weekend in the mid 70's to low 80's. When I pulled into the
hotel parking lot I was grinning ear to ear, excited about the three Daytonas
and two Superbirds parked in the hotel parking lot. At the Walmart down
the road they had Nascar City set up with the Coca Cola Team, Elliott Sadler
and the Hendricks team show cars and simulators. WOW! This was awesome
to see and be a part of. I changed a tire in 13.69 seconds, Sharleen and
I raced the Talladega simulator and we took our pictures with Tony the
Tiger. COOL! We were having a lot of fun.
set aside for a gathering and picnic at Tim and Pam Wellborn's home. Tim
is an avid Mopar collector with over 30 vintage mopars in his collection-
four Daytonas, two Superbirds, eleven 71 Hemi Chargers and Super Bees and
many more Mopar Muscle Cars. This was one of the highlights of the weekend
with over 125 winged and aero warriors (Charger 500's, Talladegas, Cyclones)
attending friday's event. Tim and Pam's hospitality was second to none,
they hosted one great day.
The Tim Wellborn Collection
the big day! We loaded the SuperBird into the Trailer the previous night
and were ready to go. We checked out of the Hotel and then we set off on
our own to the track. I had been thinking of the seats we had for the ARCA
race and decided they would not be good enough for the Cup Race. Just before
we arrived at the track we found a ticket scalper and made a trade for
front stretch pit entrance tickets, right in the middle of all the action.
After we upgraded our tickets, we proceded to the Nascar Test Track Entrance
where we were escorted to a staging area where we all waited for our Parade
lap of the Speedway. YES, we got to drive on the track. YES, the Racing
Surface! By 9:30AM we had 5 rows over 40 cars deep of wing cars and aero
warriors. At 10AM Tim Wellborn gave the 5 minute warning.
We received our
official Parade lap passes and were off. WOW! I have gone to a couple of
Nascar track tours but actually driving my SuperBird on the Talladega Motor
Speedway was awesome. We were asked to stay on the lower area of the track,
so I kept a steady speed just below the Yellow out of bounds line.Due to
the pitch of the track, Sharleen and my friend Rich had to brace themselves
from falling out of their seats. Then we were staged on the front straight
just before the pit entrance.
We were given time to take
photos of the cars and then we were introduced to take our parade lap.
We double filed out onto the racing surface and paraded pasted the main
grandstand, past the starting line stage, into turns 1 and 2. Onto the
back stretch we accelerated thru the gears and exited the track back to
our staging area. I decided it would be a good time to put the Superbird
in the trailer and get ready for the race.
Troy & I
These next pictures say it all. Look to
your Right, look to the Rear. It just doesn't get much better than this......
Our seats were barely sat
in during the race as the action had us on our feet! The race was so exciting
to watch, we stayed to the end and cheered Dale Ernhardt Jr. to a victory.
I would like to have seen a Dodge Win the race, but I guess I could not
Sharleen kept on asking
me, "was it everything you thought it would be?"
I said, "YES", and I can't
wait till 2009 when I can do it again.