Talladega Superspeedway has been a source of controversy since it played host to its first race in 1969. On the eve of the inaugural Talladega 500, 37 drivers led by Richard Petty left the track, leaving Big Bill France to scramble and fill the starting spots with a motley assortment of drivers. The reason for the boycott? Both Goodyear and Firestone had failed to develop a tire that could handle the near-200 mph speeds of the massive Alabama tri-oval. Tires were disintegrating into spaghetti strands after just four laps.

Although tires and equipment today are much better than they were 40 years ago, drivers still find something to moan about when they come to Talladega. In fact, the only driver who ever openly admitted to liking Talladega was Dale Earnhardt Sr. The speed and close racing never bothered him. His message to those who thought the track was "too big and/or too fast" was as follows: "If you’ve got feathers on your ass or legs, then get the hell out of the race car and tie kerosene rags around your ankles so the ants don’t crawl up your legs and eat your candy ass."

Talladega crashes slide show

This is not the type of crash video normally featured here, but I think this one is worth a look. It includes some really good high-resolution shots.

Why we have restrictor plates: Bobby Allison 1987

Why we have roof flaps: Rusty Wallace 1993

The actions starts at 3:40.

1995 Die Hard 500: The Big ONLY One

The 1995 Die Hard 500 is the only Sprint Cup event I have attended at Talladega. The video above is of the race’s sole incident, and it happened on the backstretch.  I was seated on the frontstretch, so the only thing I saw was dust and airborne flaps of sod.

1997 Die Hard 500: The Big One

Jimmy Horton hops the wall 1993

Carl Edwards ‘The Flip’ 2009 

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