- Bobby Allison
Name = Robert Arthur Allison
Birthdate = birth date and age|1937|12|3
Best_Cup_Pos = 1st - 1983 (Winston Cup)
Cup_Wins = 84
Cup_Top_Tens = 446
Cup_Poles = 58
First_Cup_Race = 1961
First_Cup_Win = 1966 Race #31 (
Oxford Plains Speedway)
Last_Cup_Win = 1988
Last_Cup_Race = 1988
Miller High Life 500(Pocono)
Total_Busch_Races = 43
Years_In_Busch = 7
Busch_Wins = 2
Busch_Top_Tens = 22
First_Busch_Race = 1982
Sportsman 200( Dover Downs International Speedway
First_Busch_Win = 1984
Mello Yello 300( Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Last_Busch_Win = 1988
Goody's 300( Daytona International Speedway)
Last_Busch_Race = 1988
Winn-Dixie 300( Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Awards = 1983 Winston Cup Champion
Named one of
NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers(1998)
inducted into the
International Motorsports Hall of Fame(1993)
inducted into the
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America(1992
1980 IROC champion
Years_In_Cup = 25
Total_Cup_Races = 718
Robert Arthur Allison (born
December 3, 1937in Hialeah, Florida) is a former NASCARWinston Cup driver and was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers. His two sons, Clifford Allison and Davey Allisonfollowed him into racing, and both died within a year of each other.
Career before NASCAR
Allison entered his first race as a senior at
Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High Schoolin Miami, Florida, but was asked to quit by his father. After high school in 1955, Allison took his brother Donnie and some friends along on a quest for more lucrative racing than was available in south Florida. His searching led him to the Montgomery Speedway in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was told of a race that very night in Midfield, Alabamanear Birmingham. Allison entered and won that race, along with two other races that week. He had found his lucrative racing. Bobby and Donnie set up shop in Hueytown, Alabamawith another friend ( Red Farmer), and they began answering to the name Alabama Gang.
Bobby Allison also worked as a mechanic and an engine tester, but eventually became a driver and won the national championship in the modified special division in 1962.
He moved to the Grand National circuit in 1965 and got his first victory at Oxford Plains Speedway on
July 12, 1966.
During the course of his career, Bobby Allison accumulated 84 victories, making him third all-time, tied with
Darrell Waltrip, including three victories at the Daytona 500in 1978, 1982 and 1988, where he finished one-two with his son, Davey Allison. He was also the NASCAR Winston CupChampion in 1983 driving for DiGard Racing. Additionally, Allison ran in the Indianapolis 500twice, with a best finish of 25th in 1975.
Allison was involved in an accident at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in May, 1987 that saw his car turn sideways and go airborne into the protective catch fence that separates the speedway from the grandstands. The impact with the fence with the rear of the car at over 200 miles per hour caused nearly 100 yards of fencing to be torn down, and parts and pieces of the car went flying into the grandstand injuring several spectators.This is the same race that Bill Elliott set the all-time qualifying record at 212 mph. In response, NASCAR mandated smaller carburetors for the remaining 1987 events at Talladega and its sister track, Daytona International Speedway. The following year, NASCAR mandated restrictor plates at Daytona and Talladega to keep speeds under 200 miles per hour. Allison would win the first Daytona 500 run with restrictor plates in February 1988 by beating his son Davey Allison. He is the oldest driver (50 years) ever to win the Daytona 500 and the first one-two father/son finish in the Daytona 500.
Later that season, on
June 19, 1988, Bobby Allison nearly died in a crash at Pocono Raceway, but was left with injuries that forced his retirement from NASCAR. In 1992, his youngest son, Clifford Allison, was fatally injured in a practice crash for the NASCAR Busch Series race(now Nationwide Series) at Michigan International Speedway. Allison was elected to the International Motorsports Hall of Famein 1993, the same year that his son Davey died following a helicopter accident at Talladega Superspeedway. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of Americain 1992.
Allison is one of eight drivers to have won what was then considered a career Grand Slam (an unofficial term) by winning the sport's four majors: the
Daytona 500, Winston 500, Coca-Cola 600, and the Southern 500. Richard Petty, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Buddy Bakerare the other seven to have accomplished the feat.
Officially, according to [http://www.nascar.com/2002/kyn/history/drivers/02/02/ballison/ NASCAR.com] , Bobby Allison has won 84 races, placing him in third place on the all-time wins list, tied with
Darrell Waltrip. Unofficially, Bobby Allison has won 85 races, and may be credited with 86 wins. The controversy lies in two races: the 1971 Myers Brothers 250 held at Bowman Gray Stadium(Winston-Salem, North Carolina), and the 1973 National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Charlotte, North Carolina.)
1971 Myers Brothers 250
The 1971 Myers Brothers 250 was held August 6, 1971 at
Bowman Gray Stadiumin Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The first car to cross the finish line after 250 laps was driven by Bobby Allison.
The dispute in question came because of early 1970s combination races for the smaller
Grand AmericanSeries, featuring "pony" cars, such as the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and AMC Javelin, and the Grand National Series, featuring the Chevrolet Chevelle, Ford Torino Talladega, Dodge Charger Daytona, and Plymouth Roadrunner / Superbird. For that race, and the race following at West Virginia International Speedway, Allison raced a Grand National - Grand American combination race in a Grand American Series specification 1970 Ford Mustang, #49, sponsored by Rollins Leasing, and owned by Melvin Joseph. (Joseph was the head of Dover International Speedwayuntil his death in 2005.) As he was not racing in a Grand National car, he never received credit in that series, but was credited with a Grand American Series ("pony" cars) win.
It should be noted NASCAR has had co-sanctioned races with various series in the past; in such cases, the win counts only in the series which that driver's car was sanctioned. The driver tied with Allison in all-time Cup wins because of the dispute is involved in this incident. An Automobile Racing Club of America / Winston West combination race in College Station, Texas on March 21, 1993, was won by
Darrell Waltrip, driving an ARCA entry. That win was credited as an ARCA win only, and not counted in the NASCAR AutoZone West Series, Grand National Division (as it is currently known) win list. Likewise, when a Winston Cup driver won a Winston Cup / Winston West combination race, the win counts in Cup, not West. The Busch Series and Busch North Series also raced combination races in the past.
Martinsville Speedwayhas such a race, with the Whelen Modified Tourand Whelen Southern Modified Tour
1973 National 500
The 1973 National 500 was held October 7, 1973 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. The first three cars to cross the finish line after the scheduled 334 laps (501 miles) were driven by
Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, and Bobby Allison, in that order. Again, these facts are not disputed. What is disputed, is the legality of the first two cars' engines, recounted in Jim McLaurin’s book ”NASCAR'S Most Wanted", in the chapter “Fudgin’ With the Rules”:
:In the 1973 National 500 at
Charlotte Motor Speedway, Allison protested that the engines in winner Cale Yarborough's and second-place Richard Petty's cars were over-sized. NASCAR inspected all three of the top finishers, and Allison's engine fit the cubic-displacement specs. Six hours after the inspections began, NASCAR technical director Bill Gazaway told the press that the results were being sent to headquarters in Daytona for a final decision.
:Monday afternoon NASCAR released a statement saying that, because the inspection facilities at Charlotte were inadequate, the pre-race inspection numbers would be used-when all three cars were legal and that the results would stand.
:Allison threatened both to quit and to sue. It was not until after a private meeting with NASCAR President Bill France, Jr., a week later that Allison was assuaged. Speculation was that Allison had been bought off. Allison wouldn't confirm or deny it, saying only that he had “received satisfactory restitution”.
The results were never changed, but many to this day still believe that Allison was robbed of yet another win to add to his already long list.
1973 was a transition year in NASCAR. Teams could run a
restrictor plate-equipped 7-liter engine or a 5.9 liter engine without restrictor plates.
Ten years later, Petty's over sized engine at the same race resulted in new NASCAR rules on oversized engines, including twelve-week suspensions for the offending engine builder, driver, and car owner.
1982 Daytona 500 ("Bumpergate")
Following his victory at Daytona, Allison's car was inspected and was found to have lost its rear bumper. It appeared to have fallen off in a slight bump between two cars at the beginning of the race. However tests were performed on the car without its rear bumper and it was discovered that the car was faster and handled better without the bumper. It has been claimed that Allison and his crew modified the bumper so that it would fall off easily at the beginning of the race. NASCAR never fined him and the victory stands. Allison and his crew deny the allegations. [ [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/lars_anderson/06/26/nascar.cheating2/index.html SI.com - Writers - Lars Anderson: NASCAR has a proud history of tweaking the rules - Wednesday July 25, 2007 12:04PM ] ]
Bobby was a car owner for numerous drivers from 1990 to 1996, most notably Mike Alexander,
Hut Stricklin, Jimmy Spencer, and Derrike Cope.
Sticklin was Donnie Allison's son-in-law.Hut Stricklin official website biography, http://www.hutstricklin.net/Hutbio.html]
The car number raced was #12 and sponsors included
Raybestos Brakesfrom 1990 to 1992 [Wikipedia:Footnotes| [broken footnote] and, in 1993, Meineke. Stricklin moved to the Junior Johnsonteam halfway through 1992 and Raybestos left at the end of the year to the Stavola Brothers#8 team. [Wikipedia:Footnotes| [broken footnote] [1994 NASCAR Preview and Press Guide, UMI Publications] For 1994 and 1995, the team was sponsored by Mane 'n Tail with Derrike Cope at the wheel. Allison was forced to close down the team due to financial problems after the 1995 season.
Allison has actively promoted rail safety for the CSX "Keep on Living" campaign with appearances at Talladega and Daytona.
Racing Championsstill ran die cast replicas of Allison in 1991 despite Allison being retired, the cars had Allison's 1988 paint schemebut no sponsorship.
Allison appeared in
Zaxby'srestaurant television ads in late 2007. On March 6, 2008Bobby's mother Kittie Allisondied at the age of 101. She died in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was buried on March 9th.
List of NASCAR drivers
* [http://www.bobbyallison.com Bobby Allison's Official Web Site]
* [http://www.racing-reference.info/driver?id=allisbo01 Bobby Allison's Drivers Stats at racing-reference.info]
* [http://www.racing-reference.info/owner?id=allisbo01 Owner Stats at racing-reference.info]
* [http://www.nascar.com/2002/kyn/history/drivers/02/02/ballison/ Bobby Allison's Profile at NASCAR.com]
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