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Race fans advised to fill up before trip

MONTGOMERY—Gov. Bob Riley advises NASCAR fans traveling to the Talladega Superspeedway this weekend to be aware of the intermittent retail fuel shortages along Interstate 20 east of Talladega.

Because of lingering gas shortages in the Anniston/Oxford area, drivers are urged to fill their gas tanks before leaving home to ensure they have enough fuel to get to the race track and travel out of the area after the race. The shortages are an effect of oil-refinery shutdowns due to Hurricane Ike and excessive refueling by anxious consumers.

“Race fans traveling to Talladega should plan responsibly, recognizing the possibility that refueling locally may not be as convenient as it would under normal circumstances,” Riley said.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the weekend of racing at Talladega that culminates in the AMP Energy 500 Sprint Cup Series race Sunday.

State Fire Marshall Ed Paulk advises race fans against transporting additional supplies of gasoline in portable containers as a means of coping with the current shortages. Transporting or storing gas in an area that is not well-ventilated poses a health and safety hazard. The Alabama Fire Code requires the use of approved containers to store or transport gasoline.

As fuel supplies continue to return to normal across Alabama, the Energy Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs recommends all drivers continue their normal refueling patterns, avoid topping-off their tanks unnecessarily and exercise restraint regarding fuel purchases to minimize spikes in demand.