When Talladega Short Track owner and promoter Adam Stewart was searching for a weekend for the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models to make their debut, he had a significant one in mind.
After looking at the 2023 calendar, Stewart and his business partner David Miller picked a spring weekend where thousands of people were already planning to go – the NASCAR weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
Before the high-speed action happens on Sunday, the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models take center stage at Talladega Short Track – just outside the superspeedway – for the inaugural Alabama Gang 100 on Friday and Saturday, April 21-April 22—the first $50,000-to-win race of the season for the Series.
It’s an event Stewart hopes shows what the red-clay oval is all about.
“If we wanted to do something of this caliber, this was the best opportunity to do it,” Stewart said. “We’ve got 80,000 people in our front yard essentially that we know are race fans, and we also hope to capitalize on some of the newfound love from some of the Cup drivers that come and race.
“We hope that’ll help highlight a little more on what we do.”
While the weekend will host some of the best dirt Late Model drivers in the country, the Alabama Gang 100 name is a tribute to those who put racing in the “Cotton State” on the map.
NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, and Red Farmer picked up their racing headquarters from Florida and moved to Hueytown, Alabama.
Stewart named the race the Alabama Gang 100 as a way to give back to them, he said.
“That’s a name that ties old-school race fans to new-school people,” Stewart said. “All three of the folks we’re honoring there are NASCAR Hall of Fame members, and Red races with us every week.
“It’s a way to pay them back and honor what they’ve done to basically put Alabama racing on the map.”
The weekend will connect with NASCAR drivers of the past and the present.
A few NASCAR drivers will pull double duty at the short track and the superspeedway, including 2023 Daytona 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who’s expected to race his Sprint Car.
That’s only the beginning of what fans can expect at the event.
“You’ll have some NASCAR Cup teams doing VIP Hospitality stuff on the back straightaway just to get some of those executives over there and be involved,” Stewart said.
Stewart and his team have worked to improve the facility throughout the offseason, ensuring Talladega Short Track looks its best when fans arrive. Those improvements include an outside retaining wall in Turns 1 and 2, new sponsor billboards, and new clay.
However, the Series isn’t the first to race on the new surface, an honor that went to the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars in March.
Stewart expects his team to build off that momentum and create a destination for race fans nationwide.
“The new clay reacted well,” Stewart said. “We had a really good race, a good crowd. It’s something the racetrack needed with a shot in the arm.
“The surface in the past five years has been hit or miss, so if we can get a handle on that like we did the Sprint Car race, it’ll put us in a positive light compared to where we’ve been in the past.”
Stewart stated he knows more eyes will be on his track for Alabama Gang 100 weekend than before, especially with NASCAR in town on Sunday. That’s why he’s confident Talladega is a destination where race fans of all disciplines can get their money’s worth.
“You can see everything from short track, elbows up, racing to superspeedway racing that’s all within a half-mile of each other,” Stewart said.
The epic Alabama Gang 100 weekend kicks off on Friday, April 21, before its $50,000 finale for the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models on Saturday, April 22.
If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App.