There was a time in racing history when there was no racetrack in Talladega, Alabama. What there was, in fact, was a huge, empty plot of land that had been purchased by Big Bill France, with a dream in his head of building a racetrack so awesome as to put to shame even his own Daytona International Speedway. A little story goes along with that land though. Rumor has always had it that it had belonged to a Native American tribe, and depending on which tale you listen to, was either a burial ground for tribal members or sacred ground used for tribal rituals. Whichever it was, the story goes that the tribe was quite unhappy about its planned use and sent their Medicine Man to try to change Big Bill’s mind, a feat that was tougher than moving mountains. True to form, France refused to budge and they say that the Medicine Man put a curse on what would soon become the new “Alabama International Motor Speedway”, or Talladega, as we know it today. I’m sorry, I have no idea what the fine for cursing was in those days, but Smokey Yunick could have told you.
In 1973 Bobby Isaac was driving for Bud Moore. On August 12, during the middle of the Talladega 500, Bobby Isaac, was leading the race when he pulled his car off the track and into the pits and quit. He simply pulled in and got out of the car and quit. It was said that he had heard a voice telling him to get out of the car.
Now, I’m not sure that I believe in curses and in reality I’m not even sure how much, if any, of that story is true. Still, the legend lives on and gains strength and popularity every time something eerie occurs at the giant racetrack.