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Monday, December 25, 2023

Decemystery (2022.3) 25: The 1974 Talladega 500 Sabotage


This write-up is dedicated to my closest friends, most of whom I know thanks to my love for NASCAR. To each and every one of you, thank you for being among the greatest folks I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.

I make it no secret that I’m a die-hard NASCAR fan. My late grandfather was a Dale Earnhardt, Sr. fan, and it’s thanks to him that I got into the sport. The very first race I watched—in full—was the 2004 Daytona 500, won by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I remember being really unhappy because I wanted Tony Stewart to win. My reason was I liked the color orange, and Stewart’s car was orange (he was sponsored by Home Depot). I envy my 8-year-old mind; the littlest things made it happy.

Also, as a random fun fact for those who don’t watch NASCAR: the number in a race’s name refers to the number of miles raced. This fact has no actual bearing on today’s write-up; I just wanted to share it.

Anyway, I eventually stopped watching NASCAR for quite a while; I forget the exact year. However, last year, I spontaneously decided to resume watching it. To my delight, my love never faded as I’ve been following it religiously once more. In fact, I attended my first race this year—the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. It was awesome!

Though, I digress; this isn’t meant to be about the life and times of yours truly. No, we’re here to talk about a mystery—and as you can likely tell, it’s related to NASCAR. It’s one I’ve had my heart set on writing about for the entire year. It’s also one that has an incredibly small amount of documentation; I honestly cannot believe a case like it isn’t talked about much more.

But let’s not delay any further. With the engines roaring with life and the green flag waving in the air, let’s get the show underway. This, dear reader, is the story of The 1974 Talladega 500 Sabotage!

Terror at the Trioval: The Talladega Curse

To kick things off, I want to provide a bit of background information on the 2.6-mile (4.2-kilometer) behemoth that is Talladega Superspeedway. I primarily want to do this since most articles, posts, and videos that contain information on today’s story go into detail on something known as “The Talladega Curse.” While it doesn’t have any major connections to the 1974 sabotage, I feel it does deserve an explanation.

The legend of Talladega’s curse is murky; there exist a few variations of its origin. One version claims that an unnamed Native American tribe raced horses upon the ground where Talladega Superspeedway was built. During one of these races, a chieftain was thrown off of his horse; he was severely wounded from the fall. In his final moments, the chieftain cursed the land. I’ll get into the exact details of this curse in a little while. For now, there exist more variations that I want to mention.

The next version is a classic in the realm of the paranormal. Some say that Talladega was constructed at the site of a Native American burial ground. Anyone who knows about ghosts will know that Native American burial grounds are notorious for being haunted. However, I’ll say this right now: I don’t believe the track itself is haunted, at least not beyond one account that I’ll go over in a little bit.

A third variation, and the final one that I know of, is that a Native American shaman placed a curse upon the land. This occurred after a local tribe was driven out of the area by another for cooperating with Andrew Jackson and his forces. This has to do with the Trail of Tears; if you’re a history buff who isn’t familiar with this, then I’ll leave that up to you to research. I don’t want to digress into a topic as bleak and horrific as that one.

Anyway, regardless of which version you subscribe to, one thing remains the same: there’s no proof. There is absolutely nothing to substantiate any of the stories; as far as I can tell, there is nothing that states there were horse races where Talladega Superspeedway now stands. Nor is there any proof for any burial ground (or burial grounds) at the track’s site. Given the correlation between intense hauntings and burial grounds—be they of Native American origin or not—you would think Talladega would be haunted. However, as far as I know, there has only been one paranormal event.

Said event took place during the 1973 Talladega 500 (now known as the YellaWood 500, which serves as one of the sports’ playoff races). During the race, NASCAR Rookie of the Year Larry Smith was involved in a wreck that resulted in extremely severe head trauma. Unfortunately, he passed away at the age of 31 due to his injuries.

Now for the one paranormal event that I mentioned earlier. On lap 90 of the same race—after Smith’s untimely death—NASCAR champion Bobby Isaac suddenly pulled onto pit road and parked his car while leading. There was nothing wrong with it; as far as his team was concerned, this decision was illogical. However, all would be explained when Bobby told them that he was quitting; he had no desire to race any longer. In his own words:

I wasn't afraid I was going to wreck. I don't have anything to prove to myself or to anybody else. I know how it feels to win and lose. I know how it feels to be a champion. And now I know how it feels to quit. 

It just entered my mind at that moment, I decided to quit and that was that. Bud Moore didn't know I had quit until after the race. I didn't know about Smith at that time.

I got those quotes from racing-reference, which had a small article on “Urban Legends” from NASCAR (we’ll be revisiting said article later). I don’t know if they were said in the same interview or not; to be on the safe side, I put them in two separate paragraphs.

Regardless, Isaac didn’t completely quit. He continued to race part-time until 1976 (though he didn’t partake in another race for the remainder of the 1973 season). However, the following year—on August 13, 1977—Isaac collapsed on pit road during a late-model race at Hickory Motor Speedway; he was revived but would sadly die the following day from a heart attack brought about by heat exhaustion. He was 45-years-old.

Two-time NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett, who was a close friend of Isaac, later told reporters that, after being revived from his collapse, Isaac confided in him about his decision to quit racing. According to Jarrett, Isaac told him that the reason he parked his car during the ‘73 Talladega 500 was due to him hearing a voice. This voice told him to “get out of the car,” or he would die.

The exact nature of this voice remains a mystery; as far as I can tell, Isaac never elaborated upon whether or not it was a disembodied voice or something more akin to his subconscious. Don’t take my word for it, though. Per NBC Sports, here’s a quote from Isaac’s widow, Patsy, where she recalled Isaac’s sudden retirement that fateful day:

As soon as he got out of the car and was able to get to a telephone, because we didn’t have cell phones then, he called me and repeated to me exactly what had happened to him in the car.

He said a voice told him that he needed to get out of the car, and so he radioed to Bud Moore. He said, ‘Find somebody to fill in the car. I’ve got to get out.’

I don’t know what that experience was. I don’t know if he felt it was an intuition or if it was actually a verbal voice. I know that it impacted him enough that he was not going to stay in the race car.

He had always said that it was not because someone had gotten killed earlier in the race, and that person was from Catawba County, and he knew them. That’s all I can tell you is what he told me.

As far as I can tell, that is the one and only instance of anything conceivably paranormal occurring at Talladega; the other things tied to the track’s supposed curse are more unfortunate in nature. Drivers, pit crew members, and even the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) president have died at the track. All of these events have led to the belief that Talladega Superspeedway is cursed or jinxed.

Moving on from that is a truly terrifying moment in NASCAR history. In 1987, a catastrophic wreck occurred during the 1987 Winston 500; the car of NASCAR champion Bobby Allison went airborne and tore apart 100 feet (30 meters) of the track’s catch fence. Thankfully, two steel cables prevented the car from entering the grandstands and killing any of the spectators. This incident led to the implementation of restrictor plates, though, and has been mentioned as a part of the track’s supposed curse.

All of that leads us to today’s story. It is, by association, tied to that curse (which I intend to write about in full at some point in the future, maybe next year). You’re free to keep that in mind if you want, but as far as I can tell, it doesn’t appear that anyone out there thinks it’s the product—or byproduct—of some ancient curse. Well, not seriously, anyway.

With that, however, you now know a bit of the dark history of NASCAR’s fastest and largest oval track. Now, it’s time to get into the meat of the story, one of the sports’ most bizarre and perplexing moments. Let’s get into the mystery that—amusingly enough—took place the year after Bobby Isaac’s sudden retirement.

The Big One Redefined

Our story begins on the morning of August 11, 1974, in Talladega, Alabama. NASCAR teams are getting ready to inspect their cars before the Talladega 500. If you’re like me and aren’t good with cars, this is when the teams are hoping that NASCAR officials don’t notice how much they’ve cheated. Lucky for them, this was around the time when I’m pretty sure that most of the cars weren’t abiding by the convoluted NASCAR rulebook.

On this day, however, whether or not the teams were following the rules would be the least of NASCAR’s problems. As the teams looked over their cars, some found that they’d been sabotaged. Tires were slashed, toes were loosened, as were various bolts and gas tanks were filled with sand (and, in one instance, Coca-Cola). Seatbelts were also cut, along with oil and brake lines. It was a dumpster fire of a scene, to say the least, and one that would begin one of NASCAR’s most enduring mysteries.

It’s also where I need to pump the brakes because there’s a lot I need to address. The first thing is that I don’t know the exact number of cars that were damaged. I’ve seen it be as low as 10 and as high as 24. An article from The New York Times says that “a dozen” were sabotaged. Meanwhile, a report from The Greenville News, dated August 14, 1974, shows the number of cars affected as between 16 and 20. Credit to nascarman for being the one who posted the image of The Greenville News article. We’ll be revisiting that tweet in a little while, by the way.

Anyway, this lack of clarity presents a rather frustrating conundrum, one that I dwelled on for far too long when writing this. Simply put, I have no idea which of those two aforementioned news reports is true. If I had to guess, judging by driver averages, I would say that The Greenville News is likely more accurate; apparently, 23 of the 48 cars fielded at the race didn’t finish. However, to put a damper on things, I don’t know if all of those cars were tampered with or if some gave out for unrelated reasons. If I had to guess, the number of cars sabotaged is probably somewhere around 15. Though, that’s my guesswork at play, so don’t take it as gospel.

With all of that now out of the way, there’s one other thing I want to quickly go over. I know I’ve been stalling a lot, but this story is anything but easy to write about. Anyway, that thing is the extent of the damage done to the sabotaged cars. For reasons I cannot explain, documentation on this case is poor. Despite how many people could have died, it never became big news. You would think the dolled-up vultures known as mainstream journalists would flock to this story, but they never did.

As a result, there’s a bit of inconsistency with the information. Worst of all, The Greenville News article, which could have held a lot of valuable information, is locked behind a paywall. I know I should pay for access to newspaper archives, given that I write about unsolved mysteries and the like, but I have no funds. Please donate to my non-existent Patreon so I can spend it on everything other than what I need so I can fulfill my fantasy of being a real content creator.

Nowhere is that inconsistency more apparent than with one claim about foreign substances being put into the gas tanks of the sabotaged cars. Besides sand (and Coca-Cola), it’s also been said that dirt and sugar were poured into them. The claim about dirt may just be a substitute for sand (or vice-versa), but the one about sugar I saw on an article from ESPN, which inexplicably says that this race was the Winston 500 rather than the Talladega 500. The former of those two races is now known as the Geico 500 and is one of the four “Crown Jewel” races of NASCAR (the other three being the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, and Southern 500).

That error aside, I think—and I must stress that this is purely what I think—they got the claim about sugar mixed up with an incident from 1983 at Riverside Raceway. Before the start of one race, Bobby Allison’s crew found that his car’s gas tank had been filled with sugar, along with the tires having been slashed. The culprit was, as far as I know, never caught, but it’s believed that a fan did it. If you want to read about it, here’s an article run by The New York Times. I recommend keeping this incident in mind for later, though, because it ties into the aforementioned most prevailing theory. Now, with all of that said and done, let’s get back on track. 

While the exact number of cars sabotaged, along with the extent of the damage done to them, is a bit murky, there is one thing that is consistent. That being that ten of the top eleven qualifiers were affected. To me, this indicates that whoever did was a fan; I doubt a random person—or group of people—got lucky enough to target the top ten. But, more on that later. For now, let me finally address who was affected by the sabotage. While I don’t know everyone, racing-reference did name ten of the drivers; they are as follows (along with the position they started in):

#1: David Pearson

#2: Bobby Allison

#3: Richard Petty

#4: Donnie Allison

#5: Buddy Baker

#6: Neil Castles

#7: Coo Coo Marlin

#8: Cale Yarborough

#9: Joe Frasson

#11: James Hylton 

From what I can tell, Frank Warren—who started tenth—did not have his car tampered with. You know, given the man’s been ousted as a child molester, it’s a shame we didn’t strap him into one of those sabotaged cars and push it off a cliff with him in it.

As a result of the sabotage, the race was delayed for three hours. Even after the event started, several competition cautions were flown so crews could inspect the cars to make sure there wasn’t any undetected damage. I have no idea if any additional damage was found, but Wikipedia claims that two wrecks occurred early in the race due to oil that had spilled onto the track. So, I imagine there was some tampering that had been overlooked.

In the end, the race was completed; Richard Petty, NASCAR’s winningest driver in its highest division, narrowly defeated David Pearson. However, despite the race’s completion, many were still less than happy with the saboteurs’ actions. If this surprises you, then I recommend you never play with a jack-in-the-box.

Of those whose emotions could be filed under “negative” was Buddy Baker, who was quoted as saying that the sabotage was “attempted mass murder.” He maintained this stance decades after the race. Here’s a quote from the previously-mentioned ESPN article:

They never caught the person or people who did it. I said then that if they ever catch him, he should be charged with attempted mass murder, because that’s what it was.

Honestly, I agree with him, but more on that later. For now, let’s focus on the investigation. Or, well, what little I can find on it. As I said before, the documentation of this case is poor, and the investigation into this case is a prime example of that. Though, I suppose it’s possible there wasn’t much evidence left behind—or the cops have remained tight-lipped on the matter. Why they would still be this quiet almost half a century later, I don’t know; I guess that’s how they do things in Alabama.

The one place I could find some decent information on the investigation was on a Reddit post from June of 2016 asking if another team had ever sabotaged a competitor’s car. In this post, a user named GHOSTY posted an excerpt from a book called “The Early Laps of Stock Car Racing,” which was written by Betty Boles Ellison. As such, for the next bit, I’ll be taking the excerpt as gospel; a pretty stupid idea, all things considered, given it says that eleven cars were sabotaged as opposed to the 16–20 that I mentioned earlier. But when you’re like me and cannot find information to save your life, you take what you can get.

According to the book, investigators believed the perpetrators to have been “racing insiders” as they knew who the top qualifiers were. They also stressed that they did not believe this to have been the work of another team sabotaging the competition. Admittedly, I think it would be rather easy to determine if this was the case since I imagine they would sabotage everyone but themselves. Then again, I wouldn’t put it past Rick Ware Racing to attempt that nowadays and still screw themselves over.

I digress, though. Talladega County Sheriff Gene Mitchell would say that the culprit hid inside a van within the garage area. After everyone had left the track, they got out and did their work. Exactly how they got there, I have no idea. As far as I know, neither do detectives. My best guess is that the culprit (or culprits) has access to the area. I know that nowadays, NASCAR has in-field tickets and VIP passes, which allow you to visit the garage and see things up close, but I don’t know if they had those back in 1974. If I had to guess, they probably did; I may be a fan of the sport, but I’m not a historian.

With that said, this doesn’t answer the biggest question that I imagine most of you have: how did nobody see this guy at any point? Well, the answer to that is easy—and it’s also quite silly. According to Sheriff Mitchell, security at Talladega at the time “was based on keeping someone out rather than catching someone who was in there.” Additionally, the garage was only guarded from the outside by two security officers. So, presumably, none of them went inside to check if someone, or something, was in there. I have some thoughts on this, but I’ll wait until later to expand upon them. For now, I want to circle back to nascarman’s tweet, which had a reply that shared a part of a news article.

While the article is not shown in its entirety, it does have a few additional details from Sheriff Mitchell. Apparently, the guards would “walk around the garage area once or twice an hour, but not through it.” He also said the two guards were on duty the entire night but never reported any disturbances. Again, I have some thoughts on this, but I’ll wait to expound upon them.

Sheriff Mitchell also stated that the only person who’d gone into the garage area was a telephone repairman. However, “he was accompanied by a deputy the entire time.” Neither of them saw any sign of an intruder, and the fence surrounding the garage was intact. So, yeah, the saboteur (or saboteurs) we’re almost certainly hiding somewhere the entire time. Honestly, that’s deeply unsettling to imagine.

Moving on from that, this lack of interior security would be changed in the wake of this incident. Talladega track manager Don Naman added a 10-foot fence with barbed wire, high-powered lights, and a handful of sentry dogs to ward off would-be intruders. I hope none of those dogs ever marked their territory on a car.

Now, this next bit is exceptionally interesting, and it ties into what I said earlier about the sugar in Bobby Allison’s car in 1983. According to Sheriff Mitchell, there were other instances of attempted sabotage prior to this one. The first involved Lennie Pond (whose name is incorrectly spelled as “Lenny”), whose car was tampered with at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It’s also here where we’re finally returning to racing-reference to look at that article on NASCAR urban legends. I hyperlinked it once more so you don’t have to scroll all the way back up; I’m slowly learning the concept of convenience!

A few weeks before the Talladega 500, on July 28, NASCAR held an event at Atlanta Motor Speedway: the Atlanta 500. During the start of the race, Lennie Pond discovered that the car’s wedge had been altered. If you don’t know what “wedge” is, it has to do with the car’s weight and affects how well it turns. That’s a very loose explanation; if I got anything wrong, feel free to correct me.

Anyway, due to this wedge adjustment, Lennie ended up spending a fair bit of the early race making pit stops to fix it. Ultimately, he finished fifth after qualifying fourth. He would later say that someone had sabotaged his car, being quoted as saying that “it’s the only answer” he could come up with. He later added:

I can’t prove it, but I will always believe it.

For reasons not given, Sheriff Mitchell said that there didn’t appear to be any link between this event and the one at Talladega. However, he did believe there was a link between an incident at Darlington Raceway earlier in the year and the incident at Talladega. For those curious, Atlanta Motor Speedway is only 2 hours and 20 minutes from Talladega, while Darlington is 5 hours and 53 minutes away. Just figured you ought to know that.

Anyway, the incident at Darlington. Prior to the start of the Rebel 450—which occurred on April 7— Bobby Allison and his crew discovered that someone had put a “strange substance” in his Chevrolet’s gas tank. Team owner Roger Penske was later quoted as saying the following: 

It may have been something we picked up, but it looked more like sweepings off the floor.

This “strange substance” would later be identified as wheat. As I said at the very start, I’ve been to Darlington Raceway, and I cannot really vouch for wheat being something you bring to the track. Though, hey, maybe it was different in 1974.

Whatever the case may be, the identity of who did this remains unknown. Allison would also go on to score a second-place finish, losing to David Pearson. So close!

This act of sabotage-by-wheat was enough for Sheriff Mitchell to suspect this incident was linked to the sabotage at Talladega. Don’t take my word for it, though. I’ll let The Early Laps of Stock Car Racing do the talking.

He [Sheriff Mitchell] said it was unusual to put wheat in a gas tank.

Great detective work, Sherlock!

That brings us back to Talladega, though. It’s also here where I have to admit that I get a bit confused. According to the aforementioned Early Laps of Stock Car Racing, Bobby Allison was “suspicious” due to the “earlier incident.” So, he inspected his own car and found wheat; this prompted him to notify the other teams.

Now, I could be a complete moron here, but I have no idea if Allison did this after finding it in his car’s gas tanks at Darlington or if wheat was also used during the Talladega sabotage. I think it’s referring to the incident at Talladega, but if that’s the case, this book is the only source that says wheat was put into the gas tank of Allison’s car. That said, it would explain Sheriff Mitchell’s stance that this was linked to the Darlington sabotage.

Whatever the case may be, this is ultimately where the story hits a dead end. No progress was made in the case; no suspects were ever made, nor were any leads received. As far as I can tell, the investigation died before it ever got going.

With that said, there is one thing I want to draw attention to before we get into the theories. Back in 2002, there was a thread made over on Autosport Forums entitled “Sabotage.” It’s about what you’d think: incidents of sabotage in auto sporting events.

One response to this was from someone named Jim Thurman, who had the following to say as a response to a post about the sabotage at Talladega:

Glad someone mentioned that. That was a *major* incident. There were other security problems with the garage area at Talladega, but nothing quite to that level.

There also was signifigant sabotage at a NASCAR Late Model Sportsman race at Ontario Motor Speedway in 1971 or 1972. Engines tampered with, brake lines and oil lines cut, etc.

I know I have reports on these events if anyone would be interested in more detail.

Unfortunately, nobody ever asked about the incident at Ontario Motor Speedway. I tried to look it up, but there doesn’t appear to be anything online about it. I would greatly appreciate it if someone out there who knows more about this would leave a comment with details; otherwise, I’m stumped as to what Jim meant. Given the similarities, I have to wonder if it was by some incredible chance linked to the Talladega incident.

With that, however, the story of the 1974 Talladega 500 sabotage comes to an end. The checkered flag has waved, but the winner remains a mystery. It’s kind of like if L.W. Wright had won and never been found. In spite of that, however, we do have a fair number of theories to discuss. So, let’s head to the Ruoff Mortgage Victory Lane to talk about them. I also promise to never again say that.


1. A hippie cult initiation

Our first three theories take us to the comment section of a video by friskynixon entitled NASCAR’s Unsolved Mysteries; it’s where I first heard about this story if I’m not mistaken. Regardless, this theory—and the two after it—will take us in a variety of directions. The first is a really fitting one since I’ve been replaying Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed: a hippie cult was behind it.

A user named “MrWolfSnack” responded to a commenter who wondered who could have been behind the sabotage. He pinned it on hippies, claiming that they had “cults” that would “teach people how to destroy engines and company property.” He continued by saying these cultists and their recruits would then run around during the night and cut locks. They would then sneak in and “destroy the vehicles by ruining the engines.

I want to say right off the bat that I have absolutely no clue if “company property” refers specifically to NASCAR or if these cults targeted wealthy car dealers. If Mr. Wolf meant the former, then that would make sense, given the other two instances of sabotage at southeastern NASCAR events (Darlington is in South Carolina, Atlanta is in Georgia, and Talladega is in Alabama). It would also explain why the perpetrators appeared to know what they were doing; they’d have had prior experience.

However, there is one issue—and it admittedly falls heavily on me. I have absolutely no idea how common these supposed ”hippie cults” were. I mean, I know that cults exist; I know that The Manson Family was a thing, too. The thing is, judging by what I know, groups like that aren’t something that pops up like dandelions. At least, that’s my understanding of it.

I also don’t really get how a group like this couldn’t be tied to similar events in the area at the time. While NASCAR wasn’t as Bigfoot as, say, the NFL or MLB in 1974, it was still a major act of sabotage at a sporting event. Surely somebody on the police force would hear about it and go, “Hey, we’ve had other reports of cars being tampered with in the area.” I know that it’s Alabama, and they have a stereotype, but give me a break.

Ultimately, though, this theory isn’t without merit. As I said, groups like this have existed, and depending on whatever deranged agenda they had, I can definitely believe they’d want to target a NASCAR event. Remember, NASCAR was (and still is) a southern sport. Get enough radicals together and let them loose, and they’ll target whatever their opposition likes in hopes of ruining their fun. But I digress; I don’t want to get political. So, let’s move on to the next theory—which is extremely political.

2. Radical environmentalists

This theory and the previous one are extremely similar; a lot of hippies tend to be staunch environmentalists. As a result, you could consider this to be an offshoot of the previous theory. The only reason I didn’t make it one is due to the vagueness of Mr. Wolf’s original comment coupled with my own ignorance when it comes to hippie cults. I also didn’t want to make it seem like they were inseparable.

This theory was put forward by a commenter named “kiboe685,” who claimed that a group of “radical environmentalists” perpetrated the sabotage. They allegedly operated late at night and presumably did this due to the CO2 emissions the vehicles put out. Admittedly, that part is on me since—judging by a quick Google search—the CO2 Greenhouse effect became mainstream (for lack of a better word) in the 1970s. Or so says The American Institute of Physics. If I’m wrong, please let me know.

This theory has one major issue, like the previous one, and many that come after it. That is the issue regarding how the culprit (or culprits) got into the garage area. Whether they snuck in, had inside help or something else is all more than plausible, but it seems like a lot of effort, and you’d think someone would have seen them. But I digress; let’s save the rambling for later.

Although there is that obvious issue, this theory is by no absolutely no means outlandish. Eco-terrorism was a big thing in the mid-20th century; I recommend giving this archived report from the FBI a read to learn a bit about it. These folks would bomb oil pipelines and whaling vessels and put metal bars into trees. I’m no big-brained professor or anything like that, but I’m not sure you’re going to win over the hearts and minds of the general populace with these actions. Just a hunch, you know?

Assuming that an eco-terrorist cell had caught wind of NASCAR being at Talladega, it’s possible they wanted to try and make a statement by tampering with the cars. Whether they’d hoped to cause a wreck or just wanted to cause property damage, I don’t know. Though, I’d hazard a guess and say that Buddy Baker’s statement about it being “attempted mass murder” is likely correct.

Of course, I can’t prove any of this, but I do think it has a lot of merit—far more than I did when I first read about it. Seriously, when I first read the comment, I scoffed. I had no idea eco-terrorism was a huge thing in the mid-1970s. You learn something new every day!

3. The drivers did it

This is the third and final theory I found from friskynixon’s video; this one ties into the greater part of NASCAR’s history. I’ll do my best to keep it short so we aren’t here for another twenty paragraphs.

To start things off, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way: the 1969 Talladega 500. Nicknamed “The Worst NASCAR Race Ever” due to repeated tire failures, this was the first time a NASCAR race was held at what was then known as Alabama International Motor Speedway. It’s also a race that demands its own write-up. However, I don’t believe I could do it justice; I recommend you watch this video by Sl4pSh0es for a great history lesson. To make a long story short, though, those repeated tire failures led to the drivers boycotting the event and NASCAR President Bill France outright giving spectators free tickets to the 1970 Daytona 500.

Ultimately, the race would be run; Goodyear (whose tires nowadays are about as reliable as snake oil) “flew in a new set of tires” for the race that didn’t blow out like the Firestone tires NASCAR had been using. In spite of that, however, the race is still remembered as the worst (or one of the worst) in the sport’s history. I have to wonder how it compares to the 2022 All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway; that one was nothing short of an abomination! At least Ryan Blaney still won.

Anyway, that is but one of the many controversies to have befallen Talladega. I won’t go over any of them, but there is one I want to zero in on. As I said earlier, the safety in NASCAR circa 1974 was—to put it politely—atrocious. Talladega was by no means an exception to this; Larry Smith died during the 1973 Talladega 500. However, that was the first death at the track during a NASCAR event. So, despite the notoriety the circuit has, it’s not known for being a place where competitors have lost their lives. In fact, throughout its time as a NASCAR venue, only three people (including Larry) have died. The track with the most deaths is Daytona International Superspeedway, which has been the site of 14 driver deaths.

The second death came on August 17, 1975, during the Talladega 500 when DeWayne Louis “Tiny” Lund and J. D. McDuffie collided on the track’s backstretch. Lund would sadly die at the scene. In an eerie coincidence, McDuffie would die 17 years to the day at Watkins Glen when the Talladega Sabotage occurred.

That finally brings us to this theory. According to a commenter named “amesgentry13,” there was a rumor that had gone around that the drivers themselves sabotaged the cars in an effort to get the race canceled. Apparently, many of NASCAR’s top drivers still had no desire to race at Talladega, so they concocted a plan to stage a sabotage and “make it look like there was a legit threat.”

In the time I spent researching this theory, I didn’t see this theory—or the previous two—mentioned anywhere outside of this video. However, this theory, in particular, piqued my curiosity since it’s actually something I could absolutely see being done. There are more than a few NASCAR drivers who are very vocal about their thoughts; Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, and Kevin Harvick are three who immediately come to mind. So, the idea that something like this could happen during a more “wild west” period in the sport’s history isn’t far-fetched.

However, it does raise the question as to how nobody saw them sneak into the garage area. Sure, the security guards—or security team as a whole—could have been paid off (God knows that bribery isn’t some foreign concept), but you’d think that after nearly half a century, someone would have come forward and admitted it. Secrecy is hard to maintain among a group of people; the more in on it, the more likely someone will spill the beans. I cannot imagine that an inside job like this would be taken to the grave by all involved.

Despite that, it isn’t what I’d call impossible or even implausible. After all, the saboteurs were said to have known what they were doing. Given the drivers’ expertise in this field, they would understand better than most how to tamper with the cars. They would also definitely have the money to keep people quiet. But I don’t want to get sued by someone’s estate for insinuating that they were responsible for a crime, so let’s move on.

4. A psychotic fan/A group of psychotic fans

Remember when I mentioned that “one prevailing theory?” This is that theory.

Just to preface: In my eyes, I believe that this was done by a group of people. I can’t imagine one individual managing to sabotage this many cars on their own, especially without someone helping to alert them if a security guard was passing by. I think there had to be around three or four perpetrators in total. With that said, though, I wanted this theory to view things from both angles, so I won’t be explaining it purely from the one I think is true.

This theory is really simple, given it’s arguably the safest bet. NASCAR fans, like any kind of sports fan, can be really stupid. That’s just the way it is; you can’t argue with it. Though, I digress. Unlike the previous theories, this one has something going for it that most others don’t: an explanation for how the saboteurs got into the garage. Though, it’s only if my history is not wrong.

As I stated earlier in the write-up, NASCAR sells in-field tickets and VIP passes, which allow you to go to the garage and see the drivers and cars up close. If they did sell these back then, then this would definitely be how they got there; they could have slipped off somewhere and hidden until the track closed. It’d be difficult but not impossible. Alternatively, someone who worked in the garage could have snuck the perpetrator[s] in via a van. As weird of a thought as that is, it would work and would easily explain how they got in and remained undetected.

Whatever the case may have been, the motivation for the sabotage can easily be taken in one of two ways. The first is that the saboteurs were fans of a certain driver and tampered with the competition so they would win. That didn’t work, given Richard Petty—whose car was a part of those sabotaged—won the race.

The other route is that the saboteurs wanted to see a big wreck. Talladega is known for “The Big One,” which is a term used for a large-scale wreck that happens there. It’s a staple of Superspeedway racing, but Talladega, in particular, is notorious for it. I think the plan here was to have it happen in spectacular fashion but with absolutely no regard for the safety of the drivers. What’s sad is that I’ve interacted with so-called NASCAR fans who want to see absolutely nothing more than the worst possible wrecks; it’s quite sad, really.

Anyway, had the plan succeeded as I believe it was intended to, NASCAR wouldn’t be around today. The safety of the sport back then was, to put it bluntly, horrible. While nowadays, it’s still dangerous (though I feel that goes without saying), there hasn’t been a death in the Cup Series since 2001 (when Dale Earnhardt, Sr. died). Concussions still happen, but the last death occurred over two decades ago. 

Had the sabotage been done for this reason, I cannot imagine the scale of death that would have happened. It likely would have been NASCAR’s Le Mans Disaster; it would have absolutely been a sport-ending catastrophe. Thankfully, the saboteurs failed, and the damage was seen before anything horrific happened. One can hope that such a plan never succeeds—ever.

5. The security guards

I saw a theory somewhere, I believe on Reddit, from someone who asked why nobody had looked into the security guards more. As far as I can tell, they were cleared of any wrongdoing, but I wanted to include this nonetheless.

Realistically, I believe that this theory would be the easiest explanation. It would explain how the saboteurs got in and out so quickly; they were there the whole time and were working. It’s the perfect plan if you think about it. Okay, maybe not perfect, but it would be better than anything I could think of.

There are two flaws to this theory. The is that there’s no apparent motive. Unless the security guard (or security guards) embodied the “crazed fan” theory, then they would have had to do this for laughs. Given the amount of work and risk, I can’t imagine going through all of that for a laugh. Though, I will concede that not everyone is the same.

The second issue is the amount of coordination. Presumably, there was a supervising officer who would have noticed the guard, or guards’, absence. Unless they took turns sabotaging during their rotating shifts, this seems like an absurd amount of effort for extremely little payoff. Though, again, maybe it was a great amount of payoff for whoever did this.

With all of that said, I do have to admit that it’s remarkable how security never once got alerted to the saboteurs. So, it wouldn’t shock me if whoever did this either worked in security, knew one of the security officers, or flat-out monitored their patrol routes up until the day of the sabotage. In fact, I’m honestly amazed there wasn’t a larger-scale investigation into this aspect. Then again, I could have overlooked it when researching this story. I’m nothing if not a poor investigator.

6. A disgruntled employee

This theory, along with the one after it, both come from Bobby Allison. It’s simultaneously one of the most believable and, in my personal opinion, weirdest. I’ll elaborate on why I find it weird when we get into my personal take; for now, I want to focus on the theory itself. So, to start it off, here’s a quote from Allison, per racing-reference.

The possibility of a sickness like that could exist in a lot of areas. It could have been done by a former competitor or even a NASCAR employee. The guard at Talladega was not asleep, there just wasn’t enough security.

We’ll get into the competitor theory next. For now, a former NASCAR employee, could that be our saboteur? Well, yeah, absolutely. Disgruntled employees can and have taken revenge on places of work many times. Sometimes, the way they go about taking revenge ends in tragedy; there’s a term for this: going postal. Instances of employees going postal are, unfortunately, not necessarily uncommon, especially in a high-stress environment. That’s just the way things are; additional mental health funding would likely do wonders. But this is not the time for political soapbox standing.

With that said, most incidents usually involve the employee using a gun or other deadly weapon to murder those who wronged them before usually taking their own life. I cannot make one specific instance where the employee sabotaged something so that they would make a fool of their former employer. I’m sure it’s happened, but I cannot think of a notable one.

On top of that, disgruntled employees would almost certainly be among the first suspects questioned. I cannot imagine that law enforcement overlooked potential troublemaking workers when going through their list of potential culprits. That’d be like not questioning a significant other when someone is murdered. 

Nevertheless, this theory has a lot of merit to it, and it is anything but improbable. However, I’d be absolutely dumbfounded if the cops didn’t rule out any former employees within the first few days. If that truly is the case, then Talladega County’s police department was in dire need of restructuring back in the summer of ‘74.

7. A former competitor

This is the other theory from Bobby Allison, and it’s one that I genuinely have no clue about. Although it would explain the meticulous nature of the sabotage, I haven’t the faintest idea as to which “former competitor” could be behind this. Mostly because I don’t know who held a vendetta or grudge against NASCAR. Sure, there have been drivers who’ve had serious grievances with the sanctioning body, but never to this extreme. At least, not that I know.

However, assuming there was one competitor—or would-be competitor (who didn’t qualify for a race)—out there who was absolutely furious at NASCAR, I could see this being the case. At the same time, though, I think there are a couple of major problems. The first is: how on Earth did they sneak in?

Assuming the driver (or whoever they were) was ejected, I cannot imagine they were willingly let back into the venue. That would mean they had to have snuck in, and I doubt there’s a stock car racer out there who moonlights as Sam Fisher. Though, if there is, then I’d love to meet them.

The one way I can see the question of how they entered being answered is if this person didn’t qualify. If they didn’t get their big break but held no sort of outwardly apparent ill will, they could have still gotten in and his. Then, beneath the cover of darkness, they exacted their revenge. After that, they could have pulled a Sam Fisher and snuck out—assuming that’s how they got out.

Even then, though, there’s the matter of the second problem: why take the anger out on the drivers? Their equipment isn’t given to them by NASCAR. The teams pay for that; this would do nothing but hurt the teams and not NASCAR as a whole. While they could have been hoping to have the event canceled, I think there would be much better ways to go about this without screwing over innocent folks. You know, like vandalizing the track.

Then again, anger is known to lead to irrational decisions. So, it’s possible that said irrationality led to a poor lapse of judgment. It has been known to happen; I can vouch for that very well. Anyway, onto the next theory—which is a relatively fun one to think about.

8. Another team sabotaged its competition

Although investigators ruled this possibility out, I still want to make a note of it. 

The world of NASCAR is competitive; it’s a sport, after all. When it comes to the crews for each team, though, they are fiercely loyal. When drivers fight, the pit crews can—and more often than not, have—join in. To put it bluntly, the pit crews follow the driver like a duck follows its mother. However, instead of an avian matriarch, it’s a 3,300-pound (1,496-kilogram) stock car driven by someone who looks like Brad Keselowski.

I am so sorry to any Brad Keselowski fans out there.

Okay, I’m not going to throw stones at glass houses; I’m anything but a dapper-looking man. But, I could not resist one jab at Bad Brad. Anyway, this theory does, like a few before it, offer an explanation as to how the saboteur got into the garage. While I don’t know if pit crew members are allowed in there during the night, they could have a plausible enough reason, like leaving something there. Though, I imagine they would have been accompanied by a security guard.

There really isn’t much else to say here. As far as I know, no team has gone out of their way to sabotage the competition, and if it hasn’t happened nowadays, I sincerely doubt it happened back then. At least, certainly not on a scale this large. Though, hey, perhaps I’m wrong, and there’s a retired pit crew member somewhere out there, laughing it up as he recalls the time he tried to screw over his driver’s challengers at Talladega. That would make for one wild story.

9. Vengeful spirits

This isn’t a completely serious theory, but it is one nonetheless. Given this story’s ties to the supposed Talladega Curse, it stands to reason the wrathful spirits would take issue with the race there. No, there isn’t a reason why this had not occurred before this incident, nor why it hasn’t occurred since it. But, hey, one-off hauntings have happened before. Just look at the time someone saw J.D. McDuffie’s ghost at Watkins Glen. Or you could wait until next year’s Decemystery since we’ll likely go over that story next year. Either one works, really.

Anyway, my point is that there have also been numerous instances of ghosts—specifically poltergeists—causing adverse harm to people and affecting physical objects. You needn’t look any further than practically any episode of Ghost Adventures, where the host will claim he’s affected and feels a presence from whoever died reading the newspaper two centuries ago thanks to explosive diarrhea. My very poor attempt at a joke aside, this theory can stand on its own—even if it’s only from a paranormal lore standpoint.

Unfortunately, that’s about where this theory’s good run ends. Aside from there being no concrete proof that Talladega itself is haunted, I sincerely doubt that a group of vengeful spirits would perform a one-off sabotage before never being seen or heard from again. Last I checked, most hauntings occur due to the spirit having unfinished business. I doubt that business here amounted to, “I’ve always wanted to screw with a stock car.” But, hey, what do I know? I’m not a ghost (though I sure as heck am pale enough to be mistaken for one).

10. Ross Chastain

The Melon Man strikes again! This time, he bent the timeline so he could wreck the competition before he was even born!

Through the sheer power of the Chastain family’s watermelon farm in Florida, Ross was able to go back in time to make sure that Richard Petty won. This, somehow, altered the timeline so that Ross would be born and would pull off that wall ride at Martinsville in 2022 to make it into the final round of the NASCAR playoffs. Thankfully, he lost the championship to Joey Logano.

My Take

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I’ve had trouble coming to the conclusion with some stories. Usually, it’s because there are two theories that I’m torn on. With today’s case, however, I find that almost all of them are plausible. I can’t remember the last time I came across a mystery where almost every theory struck me as perfectly reasonable.

The hippie cult theory is, to me, more than realistic. While I’m usually hesitant to pin the blame on a cult, the 1970s were a weird time, and hippies—to the best of my knowledge—could be an odd bunch. Get a weird, fringe group who wants to stick it to the man, and you’d end up with something intense happening.

The eco-terrorist theory, as I said in the theories section, can easily be lumped together with the previous one. Given the rise of climate change concerns back in the 1970s, I can easily see some deranged environmentalists trying to create a sport-ending wreck if it meant “saving the environment.” Human life be damned; think of the trees!

Disclaimer: that was something called a joke, a concept that I know many are unfamiliar with. As such, I wish to say that you should, in fact, help to protect the environment, as it’s important. You should never commit terrorism under any circumstances. Thank you for listening to my PSA because I know many people are too stupid to understand simple things.

As for the theory that the drivers did it, there’s precedent regarding them not liking the idea of racing at Talladega. Just the previous year, a driver died at the track; I cannot imagine those who already didn’t want to race there were enthusiastic about returning a year after that incident. So, I can definitely see them trying to get the race canceled. If this is what happened, then I cannot imagine how much of a punch to the gut it was when “Tiny” Lund died the following year at the exact same race. 

The psychotic fan (or fans) theory was, at first, the theory I subscribed to. In fact, I was so confident in it that I actually wrote a take for it before I’d even finished the write-up itself. Ultimately, I ended up reconsidering my stance; some of the original take was used for that theory’s explanation, though!

Despite that, I still believe it to be the second-most probable theory. If there is one thing I know about NASCAR fans, it’s that some of them have absolutely zero regard for the safety and well-being of the drivers. I’ve seen it first-hand, so I can absolutely believe that one—or a group of them—would do something like this in hopes of seeing a massive wreck. Exactly why people think this way or want this to happen is beyond me. I guess I don’t get it.

The security guard theory is, in my eyes, the second weakest. I think it’d require way too much coordination unless nearly everyone was in on it. Though, if that were the case, I have no idea why this happened one time. I would imagine they would have done it more times for whatever idiotic reason they had. Nevertheless, as I said in the theories section, this is the one that explains the whole incident the easiest. I don’t think any other theory comes close; the guards had access and could no doubt easily go in and out without being questioned about it. At least, I think they could.

Moving on, though, to the disgruntled employee theory. I said that this one was, in my eyes, one of the most believable, her also one of the weirdest. Well, it’s time to elaborate on the latter aspect.

I, personally, don’t understand why someone would decide to target their former place of work but not actively cause damage to their employer’s pockets. As I said, NASCAR doesn’t supply the teams with the cars or anything like that. Maybe it was different back then—I don’t believe it was based on what I know—but the cars belonged to the teams. If it was a former employee, then all they did was screw over the teams, not their boss (or bosses).

If their intention was to hurt the track’s reputation, I doubt one incident like this would be what ruined Talladega. If Talladega survived a driver dying there the previous year, an act of sabotage wouldn’t be what breaks the camel’s back. It’s small potatoes compared to a competitor dying. However, I will concede that the employee may have had some vendetta against those teams. If that were the case, then I admit that I’m just dumb for going on this tangent.

Carrying on, the idea of a former competitor being responsible is one that I’m not fully sold on. I pretty much gave my thoughts during the explanation of that theory when I went over it earlier; I can’t add much more to it. Well, I can add this: this is the biggest example of a sore loser I’ve ever seen. And here I thought Cole Custer complaining about AJ Allmendinger’s being “cheated up” was the worst crybaby moment in NASCAR I’d ever see. Sorry, Cole. Maybe next time, you won’t be up there with the likes of Harrison Burton in the Cup Series.

Moving on, the thought of someone—presumably from a smaller team—pulling a Tanya Harding on the competition is weirdly amusing to me. Especially given they would have gotten away with it. I have no idea how that would be possible since, as I said earlier, you’d think they would leave their car (or cars) untouched.

Though, hey, police work isn’t always stellar. If my time having read and researched unsolved crimes has taught me anything, it’s that law enforcement can be corrupt, comically inept, or both. So, hey, maybe the police force in Talladega County circa 1974 was missing a few sets of functioning eyes. Do I actually think that? Not quite. I doubt someone who was willing to put their job on the line like this would have kept their mouth shut.

The vengeful spirits theory is, without a doubt, the weakest theory. I may be an ardent believer in the paranormal, but not in this case. I don’t think ghosts pulled off an act of sabotage. If they did, then I would love to know why they never attempted it before or after. I would also greatly appreciate knowing why this track doesn’t have a reputation for being absurdly haunted. If Indianapolis Motor Speedway has one, then I think that Talladega sure as heck should, too!

Okay, in the interest of all fairness, the theory that ghosts did it isn’t the most ludicrous thing ever proposed on this blog. I mean, it could have been interdimensional environmentalist terrorists or something along those lines. No, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to mention interdimensional beings. Not even NASCAR is free from it. It will take over this blog until all I can say is the word “interdimensional.”

Last but certainly not least is the Ross Chastain theory. This one I definitely, absolutely, most undoubtedly think is true. I say with the utmost confidence that he did, in fact, do it. Trust me, guys. I have sources on the inside who know all about his immortality and time-traveling capabilities.

Anyway, now that I’ve given my thoughts on every theory, it’s time to reveal the theory I’m the most partial to. If you can pretend there’s a drumroll here, do so. Okay, drumroll done; it’s the eco-terrorist theory.

That theory is, in my eyes, the most plausible. There’s precedent for those groups being highly active during that time period; the science on the CO2 Greenhouse effect was just kicking off, and NASCAR is known as a southern sport. I can absolutely see a left-wing fringe group pulling this off in hopes of sending a message.

I also think there was more than one saboteur; as I said during the theory that this was done by NASCAR fans[s], I personally cannot see this being a one-man operation; I think there were three or four perpetrators. Of course, that doesn’t mean it was impossible. But, in my eyes, it would be exceedingly difficult (and needlessly risky).

The only thing I can’t answer is how the culprits got into the garage area. I’ve said that numerous times throughout this write-up, and I’ve put forward ideas as to how they could have gotten in, but I still can’t settle on one. If I had to decide, I’d say they had some sort of access into the in-field, and someone inside helped them to hide.

Whatever the case may be, they got in without having to force their way in (since, you know, the fence wasn’t damaged). Once the track had closed for the night, they got out from hiding and got to work; one or two watched for the guards while the rest sabotaged the cars. Alternatively, it’s possible they knew the rounds of the guards beforehand and monitored the time carefully. Either way, they made sure not to make noise when security was nearby.

Once they were done, they either hid until daylight or snuck out of the track. More than likely, it was the latter, as I think they would have been caught once the teams arrived the following morning. You know, the more I type about this, the more it sounds like some weird parody of a Mission: Impossible movie. I really want to see someone make this as a short film now.

That’s my half-baked take, though. Admittedly, it’s absolutely goofy and almost certainly not true, but it’s all I’ve got. This is a weird case and one that I had a lot of trouble trying to piece together due to the sparse information available on it. So, if my take sounds like something out of a bad spy story, then please place the blame on the lack of documentation first. Then, place the blame on me for not being a very good writer.

I’d also like to elaborate upon my stance that this was attempted mass murder; as I said, I agreed with Buddy Baker earlier. This is something I’m adamant about; I cannot imagine that the perpetrators didn’t know they were putting the lives of the drivers at risk. Given that, based on what I read, they were meticulous about the whole thing, I have to imagine they intended for someone—if not everyone—to be hurt in some capacity. As such, I wholeheartedly agree with Buddy. This was attempted mass murder.

With all of that said, there is one other thing I want to give my thoughts on. That is the theory that this incident was tied to a previous act of sabotage. Honestly, I’m skeptical—very skeptical, in fact. I don’t think that the tampering with Lennie Pond’s car at Atlanta Motor Speedway was done by the same saboteurs. Instead, I think it may have been a crew member who accidentally botched up the car’s setup. Human error is a thing, and it’s possible that’s what happened there. That said, it could have been sabotage. I’m just iffy, is all.

In the case of Darlington, I must admit that I do find it a bit more compelling. Assuming that wheat was used there and at Talladega, I do find that to be exceptionally specific. However, at the same time, it isn’t impossible that the perpetrators of the Talladega sabotage knew of the Darlington incident and simply copied it. Copycat criminals exist, after all. Though I don’t know how common they are, especially with something like this. So, do keep that in mind.

I also have to point out that I have no idea if security at Darlington (and Atlanta, for that matter) was as lax as it was at Talladega. If it was, then I’m absolutely flabbergasted as to how NASCAR did not beef up security after the incident at Atlanta. Perhaps it’s that glorious thing known as “hindsight” in action, but I would expect them to detect a weird pattern after two drivers had their cars screwed within the same season in the same region of the United States (the Southeast).

At the same time, however, this is NASCAR we’re talking about. Their officiating is extremely questionable at best. There’s a saying in the community that the only thing consistent about the sport is its inconsistency. The rules are seemingly made up on the fly, things change based on the mood of the sanctioning body, and caution flags sometimes wave for no apparent reason. Seriously, phantom cautions are the biggest joke in the sport. Perhaps, in the future, I’ll write about them; there is a pretty interesting conspiracy surrounding Kurt Busch being screwed out of a win at the 2015 Auto Club 400.

But I digress. My main point is that I’m skeptical any of these events were linked. Rather, I believe they were the work of lone wolves or separate fringe groups. Of course, I could be wrong—I almost certainly am, to be honest. However, that’s my stance on this theory.

On one final note, I want to give my take on this story’s relationship with the supposed Talladega Curse. Personally, I don’t think this should be lumped with it. At its core, this strikes me as a crime perpetrated by some demented individuals. A curse isn’t a prerequisite for that sort of thing to happen. Though, hey, that’s just me and my two cents.


Writing about this story was an absolute blast and was easily one of the greatest writing experiences of my life. Having the opportunity to talk about one of my greatest passions in life like this was nothing short of a dream come true. Best of all, it isn’t the last mystery related to NASCAR we’ll be discussing today; one of the bonus entries will be some spooky happenings at one of the sport’s most historic tracks.

However, as it stands, our time at Talladega Superspeedway has come to a close. Like I said near the start, I intend to write about the track’s curse at some point in the future. When, exactly, I don’t know; it may be next year, or it could be even further down the line. I try not to create timetables as I’m terrible at following them. If I had to take a guess, though, I would say next year, maybe for Decemystery 2024. I make absolutely no promises. Heck, at this point, I refuse to even make a schedule for myself. If I did, I would have covered both Julia and The Carmel Crawler this month.

Oh well, whatever. While I may refuse to make any sort of schedule, I can safely say that I have a fair number of mysteries related to NASCAR that I hope to cover next year. Even if you aren’t a fan of the sport, I truly believe that it will be beyond fascinating and will offer a crazy insight into the sport as a whole. But that is for the future, and the future is as bright as the Sun. So, until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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