Named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers, Bobby Allison was born in Miami, Florida in 1937. His passion for the sport showed early and he started racing as a senior in high school. Unfortunately for Allison, his father forced him to quit racing after he had been involved in a few accidents – but Bobby Allison was determined. Shortly after leaving high school in 1959, he and his brother and a few friends went on a search for better racing opportunities. His search ended at the Montgomery Speedway in Alabama and on his first night in the town, he entered and won a race in Midfield. He went on to win two other races that week and decided that he had found what he’d been looking for. He set up shop in Hueytown and before long the group of three – Bobby and Donnie Allison and Red Farmer – became known as the Alabama Gang.
Initially he supported himself as a mechanic and an engine tester, but after winning the modified special division national championship in 1962, he was able to focus solely on driving. In 1965, Allison made the move to the Grand National circuit and just one year later he gained his first victory at the Oxford Plains Speedway. His NASCAR career was incredibly successful and he accumulated 84 victories during the 23 years he raced. Bobby Allison won the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship in 1983 and, in his third win at the Daytona 500 in 1988, he competed with his son, Davey Allison, for first place. Davey came in second. It wasn’t long after that Bobby’s racing career came to a screeching halt in a collision at the Pocono Raceway on June 19 that almost killed him. The injuries that resulted forced him to retire from NASCAR forever – but his legendary driving skills lived on in memory. He was inducted to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993.
Bobby Allison is one of the eight drivers to have won a Career Grand Slam. He continued to be involved with NASCAR racing, and was a car owner from 1990 to 1996 with drivers such as Hut Stricklin, Neil Bonnet and Jimmy Spencer behind the wheel of his cars. Today Allison lives a peaceful life with his wife in Hueytown, Alabama.