TALLADEGA, AL (WBRC) - After six months of construction, Talladega Superspeedway’s new two-lane oversized tunnel is now officially open.
“I guess it’s ironic that the biggest infield in motorsports is the last one to get a tunnel,” said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch.
Talladega held a ribbon cutting Wednesday morning kicking off race weekend. The new oversized tunnel in turn three allows fans’s RVs and team haulers to enter and exit the infield 24 hours a day.
“For the fans, it’s going to be incredible whether if you had trouble getting here or getting here late, you can just drive right in, so I think it’s a huge improvement,” said NASCAR driver Jeffrey Earnhardt.
“Our infield guests no longer are captured in here and can’t get out. You couldn’t come in if you were in a big RV unless you came across the top of the track and those days are gone now with that massive tunnel,” added Lynch.
The new tunnel weighs 3,200,000 pounds and is made up of more than 100 tons of rebar. Construction crews took over a million photos of the track before they started to dig the tunnel so when they repaved it, there would be no dip.
“Right here’s the new part, right there, you can’t really even tell a difference,” said NASCAR Xfinity Series drive Chase Briscoe.
The new tunnel is phase one of Talladega’s $50 million redevelopment project. Phase two will begin after this weekend.