News & Media

Lynch interested in Talladega, not bus-sitting

April 12, 2011, Joe Menzer,

Grant Lynch, chairman of Talladega Superspeedway and vice president of Strategic Projects for International Speedway Corp., answers this week's six questions.

1. What's one of the strangest things you've witnessed at your facility?

"So after this weekend, I hope to get out there and pick off a gobbler one of these next weekends coming up. But first, I have to sell some more tickets."


Lynch: Years ago, there was a group who always came to the races and stayed in an old school bus that was painted black with the No. 3 all over its sides. Well, the thing was once they were done with it for the race weekend, they would just pack up and leave it. We would let it sit there for a while and then move it back to our maintenance area -- and sure enough, about three or four weeks before the next race we'd get a phone call where they'd ask for us to pull their bus out and get it ready. We did that for a while, but then one time they called and I replied, 'What bus?' They described it and I said, 'Oh, we sold that thing.' They were like, 'Really?' I said, 'No, but if you leave it one more time we will.' They never left it behind again.

2. What is something most of us may not know about Talladega?

Lynch: The thing is, when you become a city -- and we become a city for race weekends -- where people are living together and there are 40,000 or 50,000 people camping, you're going to have some medical issues. And we typically do. We'll have some heart attacks or perhaps some other medical-type issues related to people maybe partying a little too hard. Luckily we have a great medical staff on hand that is quick to deal with whatever might happen. And so I wouldn't say it's common, but it's certainly not unheard of for us to go through the campgrounds a day or two after a race and find a camper with someone inside it who has, uh, expired.

3. What is your favorite on-track memory of a race at your place?

Lynch: Anyone who knows the history of Talladega almost always mentions the same race at the top of the list. It was when [the late] Dale Earnhardt got a push from Kenny Wallace and they came up through the pack and he went from 18th to first in like a lap and a half, and Earnhardt won the race. We've had so many great, close finishes through the years, including both of our races last year. Talladega races have always ranked up there as some of the most competitive, exciting races in NASCAR. We had that before restrictor plates and we have that now with the restrictor plates. It's never changed. But that one race sticks out in my mind, and in the minds of so many other people.

4. What do you figure the guys in the black No. 3 bus did after the elder Earnhardt won that day?

Lynch: I expect they were probably about to have a heart attack, quite frankly. I'm sure those boys got pretty riled up.

5. What do you like to do away from the race track to relax?

Lynch: I'm a big outdoorsman. When I can get away from the race track with my family, I like to be outside somewhere where it's quiet, where there aren't a lot of phones ringing, and where I can enjoy nature like the Good Lord intended us to. I could sit up in a deer stand for hours and be quite happy about it.

6. You think you'll be able to get out and enjoy some of that after this weekend?

Lynch: I sure hope so. There are still a couple weeks left in the Alabama turkey hunting season. So after this weekend, I hope to get out there and pick off a gobbler one of these next weekends coming up. But first, I have to sell some more tickets.