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Talladega Days: Behind the Scenes at NASCAR's Most Hated Track Photos by Liz Barclay

Loved by fans. Hated by drivers. The pride of Alabama, and the bane of an entire class of sportsmen. Oh yes: This is Talladega.

Since 1969, Talladega's 2.66-mile, four lane track has produced fast, often contentious races (read: "wreckfests"). The competitive spirit runs high, the margin for error, low. This past weekend, Tony Stewart triggered a 25-car crash on the final lap. The pile-up enraged drivers, or as Dale Ernhardt Jr. succinctly put it: "It's not safe." 

That said, it is Talladega. The fans revel in the danger of the tight, 33-degree banks. Crashes are part and parcel of the entertainment, having ended races with frightening regularity.

Race days at the Superspeedway are a juxtaposition between calm and chaos. Before the engines start, crews busily ready cars and pits, drivers attend mandatory meetings, and NASCAR does what does best—engage fans. Complex.com got a driver's seat-look behind the scenes at America's most notorious speedway on raceday, as it prepared and cheered on both the fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race and the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500.

Related: The 50 Craziest (Non-Fatal) NASCAR Crashes

Tags: nascar, talladega
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