Bobby Allison: Wikis

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Bobby Allison
BobbyAllisonAugust2007.jpg
Born December 3, 1937 (1937-12-03) (age 72)
Hometown Miami, Florida[1]
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
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series statistics
718 races run over 25 years
Best cup position 1st - 1983 (Winston Cup)
First race 1961 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Last race 1988 Miller High Life 500 (Pocono)
First win 1966 Race #31 (Oxford Plains Speedway)
Last win 1988 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Wins Top tens Poles
84
(see article)
446 58
NASCAR Nationwide Series statistics
43 races run over 7 years
First race 1982 Sportsman 200 (Dover Downs International Speedway
Last race 1988 Winn-Dixie 300 (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
First win 1984 Mello Yello 300 (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Last win 1988 Goody's 300 (Daytona International Speedway)
Wins Top tens Poles
2 22 0

Robert Arthur Allison (born December 3, 1937 in Miami, Florida) is a former NASCAR Winston Cup driver and was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers.[1] His two sons, Clifford Allison and Davey Allison followed him into racing, and both died within a year of each other.

Contents

Career before NASCAR

Allison entered his first race as a senior at Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School in 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, Alabama near 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, Alabama with another friend (Red Farmer), and they began answering to the name Alabama Gang.[1]

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.

NASCAR career

1968 racecar

He moved to the Grand National circuit in 1965[1] 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 500 in 1978, 1982 and 1988,[1] where he finished one-two with his son, Davey Allison. He was also the NASCAR Winston Cup Champion in 1983[1] driving for DiGard Racing. Additionally, Allison ran in the Indianapolis 500 twice, with a best finish of 25th in 1975.

Allison's NASCAR team owners included DiGard, Junior Johnson & Associates, and Roger Penske, for whom Allison scored four of the five NASCAR wins for American Motors' Matador. The other AMC victory was accomplished by Mark Donohue also racing for Penske in 1973 at Riverside. Bobby also raced in NASCAR as a driver/owner of an AMC Matador.

1983 championship car

Allison was involved in an accident at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in May, 1987 that saw his car cut down a tire, 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 (320 km/h) caused nearly 100 yards of fencing to be torn down. 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 (341 km/h). 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 (320 km/h). 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.

1988 racecar

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 driving in NASCAR.[1] 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 Fame in 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 America in 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 Baker are the other seven to have accomplished the feat.

Win controversy

Officially, according to 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.)

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1971 Myers Brothers 250

The 1971 Myers Brothers 250 was held August 6, 1971 at Bowman Gray Stadium in 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 American Series, 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 Speedway until 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.

Currently, Martinsville Speedway has such a race, with the Whelen Modified Tour and 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. While many still believe Allison was robbed of yet another win, it has long been NASCAR's practice to "have our races decided on the race track" and issue heavy fines for technical infractions. While Allison may have lost this victory, he also kept one win in which his car's engine failed post-race inspection due to "unapproved" valve train parts.

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.[2]

Car owner

Bobby was a car owner for numerous drivers from 1990 to 1996, most notably Mike Alexander, Hut Stricklin , Jimmy Spencer, and Derrike Cope.

Stricklin was Donnie Allison's son-in-law.[3]

The car number raced was #12 and sponsors included Raybestos Brakes from 1990 to 1992[3] and, in 1993, Meineke. Stricklin moved to the Junior Johnson team halfway through 1992 and Raybestos left at the end of the year to the Stavola Brothers #8 team.[3][4] 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 1996 season.

Recent years

Allison has actively promoted rail safety for the CSX "Keep on Living" campaign with appearances at Talladega and Daytona.

Racing Champions still ran die cast replicas of Allison in 1991 despite Allison being retired, the cars had Allison's 1988 paint scheme but no sponsorship.

Allison appeared in Zaxby's restaurant television ads in late 2007.

On March 6, 2008 Bobby's mother Kittie Allison died at the age of 101. She died in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was buried on March 9th.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Poole, Francis (2002) [1992]. Dawson, Dawn P. ed. Great Athletes. 1 (Revised ed.). Salem Press. pp. 46–48. ISBN 1-58765-008-8.  
  2. ^ Anderson, Lars (July 25, 2007). "Pushing the envelope: NASCAR has a proud history of tweaking the rules". SI.com. Time. Archived from the original on May 13, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5gkXdqZzL. Retrieved May 13, 2009.  
  3. ^ a b c Holmes, Heath. "Hut Stricklin's Racing Bio and Stats". HutStricklin.net. Archived from the original on May 13, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5gkYne908. Retrieved May 13, 2009.  
  4. ^ 1994 NASCAR Preview and Press Guide, UMI Publications

External links

Preceded by
Darrell Waltrip
NASCAR Winston Cup Champion
1983
Succeeded by
Terry Labonte
Preceded by
Mario Andretti
IROC Champion
IROC VII (1980)
Succeeded by
Cale Yarborough
Preceded by
Cale Yarborough
Daytona 500 Winner
1978
Succeeded by
Richard Petty
Preceded by
Richard Petty
Daytona 500 Winner
1982
Succeeded by
Cale Yarborough
Preceded by
Bill Elliott
Daytona 500 Winner
1988
Succeeded by
Darrell Waltrip

Simple English

[[File:|right|thumb|Bobby Allison in 2007.]] Robert Arthur Allison (born December 3, 1937) is a retired American Racecar driver. He was the 1983 Nascar Winston Cup champion. He is on the list of the 50 greatest NASCAR drivers.[1]

References


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