When AMC Gremlins ruled at Talladega SuperspeedwayPublished: August 06, 2008 4:06 PM
The Blog of Tomorrow by Doug Demmons -- The Birmingham News
There was a time not so long ago when cars other than NASCAR behemoths raced at Talladega Superspeedway, a time in the 70s when Talladega had an infield road course linked to the tri-oval.
This created a four-mile track for sports cars and small Formula Vee and Formula Ford open wheel cars. Drivers would wind their way through the road course before hitting turns 1 & 2 of the trioval, down the backstretch, through turns 3 & 4 and over halfway down the frontstretch before diving back onto the road course.
Most races were sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association and featured multiple classes. The IMSA RS series featured such makes and models as AMC Gremlins, Ford Pintos, BMW 2002s, Honda Civics, Mazda RX-2s and Datsun 510s. The IMSA GT series featured the larger and faster BMW CSLs, Chevrolet Corvettes and Camaros, Porsche Carerras and 911s and Datsun Z cars.
On Aug. 9, 1975, the No. 96 Gremlin driven by Gene Felton won the 100-mile BF Goodrich Radial Challenge IMSA race at Talladega (then called Alabama International Motor Speedway). He averaged 95.77 mph. In fact, the top three finishers in the race drove Gremlins, with a Maverick and Datsun 710 rounding out the top five.