This week when I was talking to Eddie and Len about old stories that happened at Talladega, the “Talladega Curse” was brought to my attention. I, being a youngster, had no idea about the curse so I decided to dig up some information.
Based on my research, the theory behind the curse has yet to be determined. Is it haunted because a Native American Chief was thrown off his horse and killed during a local horse race on the grounds or that the track was built on an Indian burial ground?
Whatever it is, many many strange things have happened at Talladega. Most of us know all too well of the unfortunate wrecks, deaths and injuries that have occurred at the Superspeedway, which are all believed to be part of the “Talladega Curse”, but I learned some other mysterious events that unfolded.
A fan actually stole the pace car and drove it around the race track before the start of a race!!?? What about the time in 1974 that someone broke into the garage and sabotaged several of the race cars the night before the race. The teams showed up to race and found their cars had been tampered with, including the Wood Brothers. The “sabotagers” had cut the teams’ oil pump and changed the toe-in on the front end. No one ever figured out the guilty party who committed this act but it didn’t stop the Wood Brothers and David Pearson from bringing home a 2nd place finish that day.
I thought this act of sabotage was pretty brilliant, probably not as fun that day but to me it was a classic story, so I asked Leonard if he remembered anything about what happened (see video below).
Let’s hope the curse leaves us alone this weekend!!