Bobby Allison, The Legend
Bobby Allison finished his illustrious driving career in 1987 as one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, and is now a car-owner on the same Winston Cup circuit that he helped make so popular.
Allison was born on December 3, 1937, in Miami, Florida, the fourth of ten children. While a senior in High School, Bobby had his own car, and after some discussion with his parents he was allowed to enter his car in competition. In that first race he finished 10th out of 55 cars.
His young racing career was brought to a temporary end by his father when he flipped his car twice. After graduation from High School, Bobby was employed testing engines at Mercury Outboard, which involved running boats at high speeds. During that time he learned that preventive maintenance was as important to winning as a fast car, and that racing was a business.
From boat engine testing and NASCAR Grand National mechanic work, Allison spent two years as a garage owner, and then decided to drive race cars again. While he lived at home, Allison drove under the assumed name of Bob Sunderman until his parents found out. Then, claiming an older age, he began running the NASCAR Sportsman circuit as probably one of the youngest 21 year-olds in racing history.
His first major victory came on June 1, 1959, in Montgomery. Allison raced modified stock cars, honing his skills in the tough Alabama modified sportsman circuit. He won his first national NASCAR "Modified Special Crown" in 1962, and he won it again in 1963 and in 1964 he won NASCAR's Modified crown. Allison raced on the Grand National circuit, the SCCA's TransAm series, and in the 1973 Indianapolis 500.
Allison has scored 84 Winston Cup victories, was the Most Popular Driver for NASCAR's Winston Cup Division four times, won the 1983 Winston Cup title, and in 1988 received NASCAR's Award of Excellence. He raced in 717 Winston Cup races, claimed 57 poles, and won more than $7.1 million dollars.
Bobby Allison has been inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, as well as the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He is married to Judy Allison, who he met when he moved to Alabama.
Bobby Allison, a member of the Alabama Gang...and the first class of Inducteed in the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame.
Article courtesy of the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame
1983 Winston Cup Season
1983 proved different than the previous two NASCAR Winston Cup Series seasons as Bobby Allison held off Darrell Waltrip's late season charge to win the first NASCAR Winston Cup championship of his 23-year career. Allison had finished second in the point standings five times before winning his first title.
For the fifth straight year, the chase for the championship came down to the final race of the season.
FIVE RACES TO GO: North Wilkesboro, NC - Darrell Waltrip looks to threaten Allison's point lead and come from behind for the third straight season after winning the event at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Bobby Allison's third place finish would keep Waltrip at bay, however, and the points margin stood at 91 points heading to Charlotte.
FOUR RACES TO GO: Charlotte, NC - Darrell Waltrip finished runner-up to Richard Petty at Charlotte Motor Speedway and narrowed Bobby Allison's lead to 67 points. Allison finished the race in seventh, and NASCAR fans nationwide were certain they would see Waltrip sneak up on Allison and snatch the title once again.
THREE RACES TO GO: Rockingham, NC - Just like the years before, Darrell Waltrip bit into Bobby Allison's lead late in the year. Again he finished ahead of Allison, taking fifth place at Rockingham while Allison came in 16th. The lead was down to 27 points with two to go.
TWO RACES TO GO: Hampton, GA - Darrell Waltrip's ninth place finish at Atlanta would leave him with an outside chance at the title going into the season finale. Bobby Allison finished third and his lead was 64 points.
FINAL RACE: Riverside, CA - Darrell Waltrip would not catch Bobby Allison this time. Allison finished the Winston Western 500 in ninth place and clinched his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship. Two-time champion Darrell Waltrip finished the race in sixth place to finish 47 points behind Allison on the season. Allison had turned the tables on Waltrip this season to get his hands on that elusive champion's trophy.
WINSTON CUP STANDINGS (TOP 10)
Rank Driver Points
1. Bobby Allison 4667
2. Darrell Waltrip 4620
3. Bill Elliott 4279
4. Richard Petty 4042
5. Terry Labonte 4004
6. Neil Bonnett 3842
7. Harry Gant 3790
8. Dale Earnhardt 3732
9. Ricky Rudd 3693
10. Tim Richmond 3612
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